INCIDENTS OF My TRAVELS to
NEVER SEEKING ADVENTURE YET ADVENTURE FINDS ME
Arrival to our remote destination
There waiting for us on that beach was Jim Purdy, the last member of the expedition (actually I was the last). The image of a tall lanky southerner was of a professional with a serious affect was not what I expected. His shock of red curly locks with a matching thick beard he was the epitome of what an Alaskan mountain man looked like. Dressed in tan Cardhart pants with dark brown knee patches (one of three he packed for the two week, knowing the value of packing the bare essentials) and a red and black checkered flannel shirt, this man knew how to dress for the elements. A hunting rifle was slung over his shoulder.
A hunting rifle I questioned. I was under the impression that we were here to work the two weeks straight with little time for deviation. Probably an arrangement made with Harry before my arrival. I would later find that this was the essential tool brought to the bush.
As we unloaded the supplies from the plane Harry introduced us. No sooner do we shake hands when he informs me in that typical southern drawl expected from people in the southern regions of the states, “This is mah rifle. You do not touch it. You don’t even look at it. You follow those rules and we are good.”
What an ass. First impression. This was sure to be an interesting couple of weeks.
We finish unpacking the supplies and haul them through a gap in the ridgeline along the beach. On the other side I see a dip into an inland plain, lower in elevation than the beach we landed on. On high tide that ridge keeps the sea from flooding the patchy terrain. The opening was a path leading west to, what now seems, an enormous lagoon. From the air it was not as imposing. Now it covered a large swath north to south. We would have to circumvent this lagoon on our way to the worksite. Halfway down this path I see two metal igloos side by side. The sight clashed with the natural landscape I was amazed. Metal igloos! A contrary sight indeed, only expecting igloos to be made of ice, the domed structure did make sense in respect to keeping the elements out during harsh weather. Snow will not pack onto it, water runs off. The metal sheeting would make it useful year round. Functional and quite ingenious in design actually.
The transported supplies went into the white igloo piled along other supplies brought earlier, piled upon supplies left by earlier expeditions as I would soon find out. Sunburnt green flakes of paint remain flitters in the wind off its hide, evidence of its longevity here. The other igloo brown and obviously newer was to it was to be our temporary residence because it had a latching door that the other lacked. It was a bit small for three grown men but as Harry confides its temporary inconvenience for we are to stay at a cabin at the job site, rented out for the duration of our two week’s stay. We will only stay here until we are situated to relocate. A day, maybe two.
Once settled in we return to the beach and manually push the plane to the ridge of the beach and anchor it away in anticipation of high tide. Jim and I would lift the tail tire and dragged the plane across the rocky surface, Harry pushing at the engine.
With that done we return to the igloos to prepare.
About the Author
I have always ended up in unexpected places. So I present a collection of my tales told over the years. Places that due to circumstances I might never go on my own accord.