The low visitor turnout in Dillingham was discouraging but understandable. The logistics involved in getting there can be rigorous.
Although it was in my possession, this artifact did not belong to me. If possible, I hoped to send the lamp back home.
Sure, the massive brown bears on and near the Brooks River will always be attraction No. 1, but an array of other prospects make Katmai a special place to visit.
How can I resist the lure of the sea peach, the tiger chiton, the opalescent nudibranch, the frilled dogwinkle, the false lemon peel, the breadcrumb sponge, the decorator crab, the peanut worm?
A program to track beached bird carcasses along Pacific Northwest coastlines has expanded in geography and scope.
Pervasive winter quiet interrupted only by grinding ice and shuffling sand along a popular Alaska beach that in five months will see dipnetters packed shoulder to shoulder.
For decades, chum salmon production on the famous McNeil River has lagged. Brown bears that feed there aren't going hungry, but biologists are working to rebuild the run.
It's hard to contemplate scientific advances when traipsing through a gelatinous graveyard. All those intricate patterns, all that see-through anatomy — beautiful even without the pulse of life.
DILLINGHAM — What’s in a name? Well, plenty. The names we give to the places we inhabit speak loudly and often profoundly of identity and of belonging. Sometimes names fit the place perfectly. Sometimes they generate controversy — consider the recent narrow vote in support of changing Barrow to Utqiagvik. And occasionally communities, like … Continue reading What’s in a name? Often, a heck of a lot.
DILLINGHAM — One blustery afternoon near Snag Point here, Lyle Smith, pointing to the low hills and open tundra across the mouth of the Wood River, told me he was born in a small cabin there more than 80 years ago. He leaned on the ski pole he used for a walking stick, watched his … Continue reading Putting down roots in Alaska
HOMER — Author Barry Schwartz, in his 2004 book “The Paradox of Choice,” asserted that having too many choices can paralyze us. Although we cherish freedom and our ability to choose, we don’t always benefit from having plenty of alternatives. After moving here from Dillingham this summer, I’ve been wondering whether I’ve been struck by … Continue reading Welcome to Homer, the small Alaska town with dining options aplenty
DILLINGHAM — Prior to moving here with Yvonne Leutwyler in 2013, my sole Bristol Bay experience involved 10 days of 12-hour night shifts on the freezer crew in the Pederson Point cannery near Naknek during the peak of sockeye season almost 30 years ago. My brother, who had worked and lived here almost 20 years … Continue reading So long, Dillingham. Thanks for the memories.
DILLINGHAM — After we shared a $45 pizza at the Windmill Grill on my first day here, Yvonne Leutwyler took me to the area’s most popular hiking trail — up Snake Lake Mountain. After experiencing Dillingham and Nushagak Bay from sea level, I was eager for a more elevated perspective. I had no idea on … Continue reading Mountains, snakes and a mini-Stonehenge in Southwest Alaska
When I first attended a Bowling League function in Dillingham, I discovered a house packed with Alaska brewers, tasters, onlookers and judges lured there by the variety and quality of the many beverages cooling in reusable bottles and other containers.
As I left my Kenai Peninsula classroom after 20 years, I swore that I would never become a substitute teacher. I was leaving my classroom; I had no plans to tend to someone elses. Then I realized one should never be too quick to say never.