Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Livin' the Dream

Some say I'm "living the dream". I don't disagree, I'm just not sure that  "dream" is quite the right word for my gallivanting across the tundra. Adventure?  For sure. Blissful autonomy? Absolutely. But "dream"? Hmmm, that might be pushing it at times (you did read about the boat ride, right?)  But you be the judge. Here's what living the dream looked like this week on my trip to Togiak, Manokotak and Aleknagik.

Sleeping in the nurses station at Togiak school.

Remember, it was in Togiak this week that a bear was spotted meandering around the school. This time of year, people hang their fish to dry on racks outside, which tends to attract the bears.

The weather was beautiful this week. Flying between villages and viewing the tundra, I had moments of feeling how fortunate I am to have this job right now. Despite the exhausting travel and less than luxury accommodations, it's an experience very few people are afforded. It truly is amazing.
From Togiak it was a quick stop at Twin Hills to pickup
another passenger. You can see Togiak is in the distance
Twin Hills airstrip. The big brown building on the
bottom left is the Twin Hills school.
Manokotak School. I was able to stay in the teacher housing. Sweet crib except for the howling wind all night. I had to use ear plugs so I could fall asleep

Getting a ride to the Manokotak airstrip in a box truck. I had been told at the school that a box truck would be picking me up. I didn't think they were being quite this literal.

Loading up the plane in Manokotak.
Leaving Manokotak
In the distance, the white spot at the bottom
of the hills is the village.
Landscape between Manokotak and Dillingham.
Sleeping in a single-wide trailer in Dillingham. This is district housing:

Dillingham has several murals that I love.

Typical view in Dillingham.
Sunset leaving Dillingham.
After leaving Dillingham I stayed over in Anchorage for the weekend with friends and picked up these bad boys at Play it Again Sports. Can't wait to use them!

Flying home to Fairbanks the pilot did a fly-by of Denali. I almost missed it as I was snoozing. Luckily I woke up when I felt the plane drop in altitude. 
Mountains at foot of Denali.
Denali. The plane was only 2000 feet above the summit.