I didn't realize how long it has been since I last made a posting! Let's catch up.
We signed papers for our half of a skiff (we are sharing it with Ron) and have been out cruising around several times since. The first time I took it out I saw somewhere between 30 and 40 moose along the river! I guess they all congregate near the river to eat the willow buds early in the spring. At that time there was still a lot of ice flowing down the river making driving a bit tricky, but that has all disappeared now. The moose are also disappearing now. Two days ago I saw only three moose even though Ron and I drove around 30 miles up into the Nuyakuk River.
A few weeks ago we ordered an Ally Pak canoe. It's made out of aluminum rods with a canvas-like shell and can be taken apart to fit in a large duffel bag. . .This way we could actually have it shipped here cheaply and now will be able to take it to the lower 48 if we decide to. We've been out in it a few times, paddling up river until we are tired and then floating our way back down through various sloughs. This river is swift! Molly and I are surprisingly strong paddlers, but even when paddling our hardest we do not move forward when in the middle of the river. The only way we go up is to stick right next to the shoreline, picking our way along and crossing only when we have to do so. It's a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. We are hoping to catch rides up the river in a skiff and then paddle down camping along the way if we are far enough up river.
I went duck hunting with some of my high school students. Although this seems like it would be very awkward because they are my students and will still be next year, I had a blast. I think that in a community this size everyone is so used to knowing everything about everyone already, not to mention that everyone is related to everyone else, this sort of thing works out a bit better than it would in a larger setting where rumors tend to start.
Our puppy, Vincent, learned to walk just a few days ago! Before this, I would say he was kind of crawling, but then he learned that he could get in and out of his box. Both puppies began going in and out, in and out, just because they could. Now he is able scamper about and it is very cute. The two puppies are also starting to play with and chew on everything. We visit them every day, play with them for about 10 minutes and then they go to sleep. We will be taking more and more pictures of them so expect more puppy updates soon.
I caught my first Alaskan fish! Ron and I went out fishing and I caught 3 grayling, each about 12 inches, an a fat rainbow trout. We only had to travel almost 2 hours up river to get the trout! Apparently, the trout are up rivers and streams spawning. . . I think they should be done now because I thought trout spawned under the ice just before it melted, but it could be different. I am told that in June the trout will migrate back down the river and we will start catching them next to the village.
To be continued. . .