Sunday, July 23, 2006

Unalaska, Alaska Journal Entry 3

The past week has been one of apparent normalcy when describing life on the island. Diligent work throughout the workdays followed by the viewing of a film over a self-prepared meal of two-to-three courses, and then the decision of whether or not to catch up on a domestic or professional itinerary. Your alternative is to push these chores aside and socialize at one of the limited watering holes, where you discuss occupational matters in a setting outside the workplace or attempt to sequester the constant thought-line of labor by whimsical and nonsensical banter. This is the pattern of life for myself and friendly coworkers during the first five days of the week, but as soon as six o’clock appears in the bottom-right corner of your computer’s monitor you pack your bags and head for surrounding nature.

It was at this time on Friday that three of us headed out on a hushed adventure to a cabin located on the western side of the Beaver Inlet along the Agamgik Bay. This cabin is the more secretive of two cabins known to a select few on the island; the other being one that is a common hangout for highschool students and rats that inhabit due to the teenager’s lackadaisical behavior. After a drive along a meandering coastal dirt road, we arrived at the head of the trail and readied ourselves for a five mile hike out to the distant cabin. The trek out was fairly uneventful without any daunting inclines and only a bit of foraging through a handful of shallow streams. Along the barely-worn trail there was a light and refreshing breeze that enhanced our comfort, providing relief to our bodies hauling the evenings feast and festivities- in addition to the essentials. Upon reaching the cabin, I noticed it was an old makeshift shed dating back to the second World War. The dilapidated exterior had me second-guessing my friend’s lofty proclamations, but after further inspection I learned this poorly kept face may serve more as a deterrent from outsiders than anything else. The backside of the cabin was far more welcoming, including: (1) a running stream that flows ten feet from, (2) a deck with optimal picnic seating covered by a wooden roof and blue tarp that were recent renovations in response to a winter storm, (3) bedding for up to five occupants, and (4) enough food and supply to last these potential occupants for weeks. How had I ended up at this oasis? I felt incredibly fortunate to be introduced to this area by my Alaskan friend.

Events of the evening were typical to most camping excursions I have experienced in my past. The specifics being that we cooked up four halibut fillets and a pot of coos-coos for dinner, indulged in conversation that seemed to go off on tangents only to end on the initial topic of work, and plenty of consumption of Hamm’s beer and Corbett Canyon wine around an uncooperative wood stove. The evening wore on into the early hours of the morning, and the morning began in the early hours of the afternoon...awakening to scrambled eggs, sausage, and a couple cups of coffee. The weather conditions had flipped overnight and we were now faced with light showers that we decided to hike back through, but not before a game of Scrabble and a warming fire aided by plenty of kindling and fire paste (a substance of amazement that I had previously been unaware of). The drenching hike back to the truck seemed an exchangeable punishment for a great excursion, and provided my mind with time to reflect on the time spent at this resort.


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