Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fish Camp

It is an annual ritual of Yukon first nations peoples to go to their fish camps on the Yukon River and net salmon. Last year my dear husband went to a number of fish camps for his work. This year he is visiting and helping out at May's fish camp. May is his favourite elder and a real sweat heart. I went down for only an over night and helped out a little bit with the whole fish smoking and drying. May's first language is Northern Tutchone, not English. To be able to interact with May I had to really tune my ears and put myself in her shoes. Entirely new converations would be started quitely and accelerate rapidly into fascinatingly brief stories of life on the Yukon River.

May said to me, as she was slicing a large slamon into stips; "Tourist would get off here, and run into town... when steamboats ran". And that was the story. All of it. i was left on my own to imagine how fast, how hard, how hard those tourists would run to get into Carmacks. Even my own husband begins to tell stories this way. "Japanese tourist ate Chinook eggs like candy. Last year they stopped at the camp and May told them with hand motions that the eggs were food". My imagination fills in the details.

Hot! Hot! Hot!

No complaints from me. Every time I feel slightly warm, I drink more water and reminisce about the -45 degree weather of this past winter. Mind you, I will be sleeping in the basement this evening as the sheets sticking to me is an unfamiliar feeling and kept me awake last eve.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


We're off to the Atlin Arts and Music fest this weekend. I'm really looking forward to it. Check out who's there:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Haines Alaska

We have just returned from a wonderful 'mini break' to Haines Alaska. The weather was fabulous and this time for the first time we brought our canoe! I'd decided that if the canoe didn't get used this year we should sell it. It was wonderful to have and paddle on Chilkoot Lake. Ever since I first saw that lake I've wanted to paddle it. Each morning it is still as glass. You can see little concentric ripples caused by the tiny fish fry as they come to the surface to devour unlucky bugs. It is just like being in a picture post card as bald eagles cry, salmon jump and mergansers shepherd their young. As I always say, I'll post photos when I can.

The fishing was the pits sadly. Not one nibble. Except Christoper. He caught himself. That was fun and dramatic. He managed to sink one of the barbed hooks of a trebble hooked lure into the flesh of his right arm. He sank it past the barbs, which meant it had to go through the other side to come out. He was more embarassed than hurt, although his capacity for embarassment seems rather large ... After much frantic searching I found a pair of wire cutters in the truck's tool box and proceeded to cut the barbs off the other two hooks. Then Chris says; 'don't watch'. Well, hell, I couldn't help but watch and hold the skin as he pushed the hook through. Then I had to cut the barbed tip off so he could pull it back out. All that drama and surprisingly little blood. After it was all said and done, two small puncture wounds and a bandaid was all that was needed. Along with a bit of restorative elixyr.