Partying with the Natives

So there we were in Coastal Alaska on a cold monday night. Seward is a great town, it features a main street for tourists and one for locals. Its one of the towns that is right up against glacier carved mountains, and that the main industry is tourism and fishing. The main hobby is hunting and fishing- its actually more of a way of life. Everyone hunts and fishes especially durring salmon spawning season, the salmon swim up river to try and lay their eggs or something of that sort. Every local tried to explain it to me and I hadn’t the head for it. So we had taken up a post on one side of a culvert that the Salmon were shooting out of and the local fishing folks were out there snagging them up. Thats how we met Derrick, there was one dude who was just catching tons of silver salmon. He had a whole pile of em- he even offered us a real nice one, but we had already cooked our sodium ladden osem dinner and werent in the mood of gutting a fish and finding something to cook it with, so instead we took up the tourist role of asking him tons of questions. A true local he was clad in a pair of Carhart overalls, hooded sweatshirt, and cap. Muddy, sweaty and dirty and smelly, but not seeming to mind he introduced himself and proceeded to tell us good hikes in the area where we could watch bears snatching salmon right out of the water.

We were going to sleep in some heated bathrooms that night because it was cold and damp, but I secretly wanted to get invited to his house. Sure enough he got the hint and begged us to over to his house, have a couple bears and eat some moose and salmon that he just hunted and caught. We heartily obliged before he een knew our names. Derrick was born in Omaha but his grandmother is Native so he gets more tags for hunting and he gets twice the oil dividend that Alaskans all receive from the oil companies. When he tells us he lives on a house boat we get even more excited, what a great expereince we can have to tell people. So we begin walking past all the marina’s and end up at his bought, which he and friend towed over high seas from Kodiak 600 miles away. His boat is on cinderblocks and looks like it came from under the water rather then on top. Actually it looked like it could be an anchor more then a floating item. Never the less, we went inside- I could Danny was freaked out but Shira was pumped finally getting to talk with the Natives- he didn’t have the native look but he had the knowledge and hunting skills. He shot three moose already and had a freezer full of meat and fish, to keep him set for the winter. He passed around some cans of the worst bear I had ever had Natural Ice- dont try it. Anyway He pulled out sa bowl and then it got interesting. Two other Natives Lara and Kavik mosied on in. Lara is Athabascan- she told me the nickname for them is half a gas can since they like to huff gas in the winter, Kavik is Eskimo and from Nome. Kavik says he’s an alcholholic- they are all tal,king about how much fish they got. Kavik was really interesting- talking about whale hunting and and king crab fishing on the ice of the Bering Sea. He tells me Craibou hide is he best for clothing because its hairs are hollow fibers that trap warmth(yes I like random facts)- So they all start drinking and asking us to- Danny and Shira are saying how they should have got them 5 years ago but now they just dont drink much. More for us the happy Kavik and his chick are saying. Kavik looks like a native- he could pass for Mexican, Asian or Eskimo- at least I think so.

So I was sitting with three drunken Natives in a houseboat on cinderblocks in Seward Alaska- I felt good- it was heated too and there was air matress for me- couldnt be better. Even after Derrick threw up every where- it was projectile vomit- like a super soaker or something- I hate vomit so I just busted out and went to sleep.

Next morning Derrick wakes us up at 7:30 and says he has to go fish- that is my kind of guy- gets wasted smokes two bowls but still gets up to go to work, or fish no matter.