Victoria Briggs: Another Alaskan Morning!!



DSC06528Neo and Pod

May 22, 2009

I had to share a great photo a friend sent from another beautiful place in Alaska. These are from the Juneau area.

This morning we went to Outer Point and the dogs had a great morning in celebration of “spaced outedness…”

I had to comment that no matter how pretty the part of Alaska I live in is, there are so many other parts I can’t imagine having a hard time living in.

All this sharing of the beauty happens as I am sitting near one of our main windows, with a pot of sweet peas blooming, which always remind me of my grandma and God mother, and getting to smell their sweet scent!

It is still to cool at night for me to take covers off veggies growing outside. Sweet-smelling goodies like sweet peas and lilies get a special place in my windows so I can remember spring and summer will come!

signs of spring-may 09 004

We are quickly moving into busy mode as hubby was off this morning, 1 AM, to do a quick freight run with the boat. Sorry no pictures as it is still pretty darn dark at that time of the morning here.

This means the VHF is turned up and dialed into a mutual channel while he is out on this run. You sleep but always with an ear open. Given there are no highways to get things to Ugashik, water freight is the next possible mode for heavy or off shaped things. You would be surprised by how much of one’s household and business items fall into those categories when one begins the process of shipping things.

We are lucky in that we have a boat that can make the trips – short distances of under a half week to help get things out to us.

As transportation has become harder in much of Alaska, many villagers do without replacing items because transportation costs are prohibitive. You can image the whole issue this makes with transporting such things as vehicles, construction materials and even such items as a BBQ!

This weekend we are making one last quick trip to Anchorage before the season starts to meet with a fish buyer, pick up more supplies and do some last minute business in ‘town’.  These are always whirl wind trips that leave us wondering if we will ever get a chance to do anything again without constantly noting the time of day and what is next on the “list.”

~ Victoria


5 Responses to “Victoria Briggs: Another Alaskan Morning!!”

  1. anonymousbloggers Says:


    I noticed you’re on flood warning. Is everything looking okay for Nunam? Please keep us updated!

    About shipping…

    Last summer my daughter was on her post-graduation trip to Europe on her birthday. I wanted her to know I was thinking of her so I got a cheap cellophane-wrapped pound cake, birthday candles, party napkins, etc. and sent it off priority mail so it would be waiting when she arrived in Paris.

    Spouse groused! “Why would you send that to a pastry mecca?” Postage was way more than the value but sometimes it’s necessary!


  2. annstrongheart Says:


    You are right on with the shipping issues. For instance when we ordered our wood stove from SBS it cost about $250 but to get it here was another $230. Many things it costs more to get them here than you paid for the item itself.

    I remember one of my favorite shipping memories. I was working for RuralCAP in Alakanuk, I went into Anchorage for the annual meeting, and so we did some shopping for program supplies while we were there. A couple people wanted to get hula hoops thinking what fun the preschoolers could have with them. The Hula Hoops were $5 each, but the cost to ship them back to the village was $50 each. That was just insane and they decided that it wasn’t worth it to send them back.

    Then you look at the excess baggage charges on the airlines. We can only have 50 lbs of luggage anything over that is 50 cents to a dollar a pound to get it back home. That makes it very expensive to even try to bring anything home from Emmonak, Bethel or Anchorage.

  3. annstrongheart Says:


    I had the VHF on all day and a couple of hours ago heard the AK State Trooper Ice Crew/Pilot giving an update as he flew over the river. There appears to be a huge ice jam ABOVE Emmonak that is causing some flooding in the unoccupied sloughs.

    The ice jam is about 800 yards long. At Emmonak and Alakanuk the ice is still shore to shore. There is some open water in places but the river ice is still pretty much intact.

    The ocean/sea ice is still intact 4 to more than 10 miles out and that is what will determine whether or not we flood. That is were our jamming occurs while it is trying to flow out to the ocean. So far we aren’t seeing anything yet.

    Just keeping the VHF on and listening for updates. We won’t even start monitoring our river until we hear Emmonak is starting break up. We got word that Kotlik broke up today. According to our source in Kotlik the water was rising very slowly.

    Well that’s all I know for right now. Will let y’all know when I hear more.

  4. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign Says:

    Ahh, sweet peas ALREADY? You are so smart if you started them early early so they are blooming now. The picture in southeast Alaska is just lovely – rumor is that we never have sun down here, but that picture proves that we DO get sun sometimes. The dogs out there in the water look like grazing deer!

    Reading about gearing up for fishing makes me miss a bit the days when I commercial fished some with hubby and friends. Everybody should have that chance to experience it at least once – it sure makes one appreciate all the hard work and danger involved in making this a living!

  5. lgardener Says:

    Is it too dangerous to drop a stick of dynamite in an ice jam from a helicopter to reduce the amount of flooding?

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