Skip to main content


Showing posts with the label ptarmigan

Kongakut River Journal - Day Nine

Got up real early.  Clear sky.  Moon.  Big time frost.  Made coffee.  Got fire going from last nights coals.  Sun rose over upper drainage.  Then fog rolled in.  Made rounds around camp with coffee pot.

Big hike today.  Incredibly clear.  Sunny and warmed quickly, the warmest day yet.  Maybe hit sixty-five degrees.  Saw distant griz.  Once on top could see ice in Demarcation Bay.  This was the end of the continent.  A sobering thought.  There was a vessel of some sort making its way across the bay.

Saw five wolves on the way back to camp.  Three black, two gray.  They flushed a flock of ptarmigan, then systematically went about hunting for and re-flushing them in the willows.  The birds got pretty wild after being flushed a few times.

Back at camp, the rainfly had blown down.   It was put back up easily. Camp was ship shape in no time.

Saw three ptarmigan on gravel bar by camp.  A hen and two chicks.  Not very good brood survival. They blend into stream rock extremely well.

Caught s…

Remembering Alaska - Part Two - Hunting

It's a long way to Cold Bay, Alaska, from anywhere, for anyone.  Maybe even longer for a kenneled Brittany.  I can still remember Zach peering through the kennel door as he was loaded onto the conveyor at the airport.  He likely was somewhat astonished as his kennel moved towards the bowels of the plane.  If a dog was capable of pondering it's fate, here was his chance.  We thought that we heard howling upon takeoff. 
Leg one of the trip took us from Montana to Seattle and then on to Anchorage.  Canine and humans arrived none the worse for wear.  Next day we boarded a smaller commuter plane bound for the Aleutian Island community of Cold Bay.  Zach, now a world traveller, was loaded by hand, into a considerably smaller cargo area.  A mountain of gear and supplies were stacked around his kennel.
Cold Bay was militarily significant during World War Two.  It served as an outpost and staging area for upwards of 20,000 soldiers.  A few quonset huts and the military road system are…