Monday, September 1, 2008

My First Real Tundra Experience

Last weekend marked the first three day weekend of the school year. My roommate's boyfriend Buddy came up to restock our supplies of food and do some hunting and fishing. A typical weekend for Jennifer, my roommate, and I consists of working on a jigsaw puzzle that has consumed our kitchen table, watching movies, working at school, and cross stitching like an 80 year old. This weekend was a welcome change.

Buddy came up, armed with rifle and fishing poles, to set out on a caribou hunt and to fish for some grayling. Unfortunately, he did not catch any fish, but he did manage to shoot a female caribou. We were able to get about 60 pounds of meat from it and also to pack our freezer full of good food. Caribou is an extremely lean meat and is absolutely delicious. It was a good thing Buddy is an avid hunter and could cut it all up and pack it for us. The puzzle table was taken over and soon we had bloody chunks of caribou all around the kitchen. That was quite a sight to see for me. I've never gone hunting in my life.

Later that night we decided to head back out to the tundra to see if we could shoot a male caribou. We saw some once we had walked a few miles out, but they got scared by something in the distance, probably a wolverine, and took off running. It was a beautiful walk though and I was able to see the coal mine and get a closer look at the streams running into the river, as well as some nice pictures.

On Sunday, we had a dinner of roast caribou, made in the crock pot with onions, carrots, and potatoes. It was so good, especially after eating nothing but stuff I pull out of the freezer for the last month. We invited a few of the other teachers over and had a great time. We usually try to get together with these other teachers at least once a weekend for cards. This time we even played Sing Star Rocks on my Playstation. It's kind of like a karaoke game, but absolutely hilarious. I'm eternally greatful to have these people here because they are making it completely worth being stuck away in this corner of Alaska. Nothing like total seclusion to bring people together.

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