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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm not ready for Summer....

I really am not ready for summer. It got to around 70-80 degrees this past weekend, a shock to my system! We spent four days camping near a still half frozen Anaktuvuk river, and watched as it visibly melted. At random moments you would hear the thunderous boom of heavy ice crashing into the fast moving waters of the river. It echoed oddly through the valley.

It got to hot for me. And the dogs who stood watch for bears. We all curled up in the shade of the tent and napped during the hottest parts of the afternoon. I found myself completely forgetting to take pictures during the whole trip, even though there was some neat things happening. We attempted to cross the river and ended up floating down the rabid river a bit, spinning in our argo with hundreds of pounds of camping gear. We hit a shallow bank down a bit and slowly crawled up to join the rest of the caravan, but I spent the rest of the afternoon making my husband promise we weren't going to floating anytime soon. Eventually we gave up and camped on high ground...away from the dense willows that hide the bears as they dig up and devour 'eskimo' potato roots...or as we call it....masu. Eventually we made our way to the same digging places, and dug some up for ourselves...armed with two alert dogs and a large pistol of course. And as these things usually go, nothing happened, except maybe the occasional screaming person running across the field to get away from the huge fuzzy ping pong ball sized bumble bees. There have been a noticeable amount of them this year, droves of them, like a wave of furry insect dominance. I always found it funny that we as a people in general are afraid of any type of large stinging insect. Even full grown nature hardened hunters will get squeamish around a good sized warble fly or wasp.
Our pile of masu we collected over the weekend. It tastes a bit like a sweet carrot. I like mine either soaked in seal oil with salt or boiled and lightly sprinkled with sugar.
This moose stalked us the whole weekend. It would sit and stare at use for ages. Quite creepy. It did charge our camp a couple of times. The first time we started the argo and revved the engine, which worked. The second time it tried coming into camp while we were sleeping. The dogs heard it and sounded alarm. Hearing the dogs it decided to leave. At some point we also saw a bear standing in the willows, staring at us. It stood about 7 feet at least. For some reason I was more afraid of the moose than the bear! We had no idea why it was so interested in us!
caribou antlers....
More caribou antlers....
A phot that I thought I put up but I guess I didn't.....we took the crop of the ptarmigans we ate and emptied most of the food inside, then inflated them and hung them up and let them dry. You hang these in the house for good luck.


  1. OMG those antlers are HUGE !!

    How dangerous are mooses ?

    1. Moose are extremely dangerous. They will charge and run you down like a train if they think you are a threat. We steer clear of them.