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Friday, May 20, 2005

Civilization

My wife, my nephew and I were in Alaska a few years back visiting friends and doing a couple fishing charters.

One of the charters departed from a small town named Seldovia (Map Web cams) carved out of the forest in a small bay. Seldovia is a little town of maybe a thousand or so people, about 500 of which are year round residents.
There are two ways to get to Seldovia - by boat or small plane. By small plane, I mean not any bigger than say, a six seater. There are no roads going to the town, dirt or otherwise.
It is roughly a one hour ferry ride from Homer to Seldovia, and about a 15 minute flight.

After arriving in Seldovia, we met up with the captain of the fishing charter, acquired our room for the three days we would be spending, and settled in. The charter didn't leave until early the next morning so we had some time to kill for the rest of the afternoon. The owner of the B&B where we were staying (and charter captain) had a loaner car available, so we asked where a good 'self guided tour' may be. He told us there wasn't much to see by car other than the town and the trees, but that there may be some ripe berries up the canyon a little if we were interested.
He also told us to keep your eyes open. Bears like berries too. "If you leave civilization, you become part of the food chain."

Of course, with those words in the back of our mind, the berry picking excursion was rather swift and intense. The bushes we picked from were no farther off the graded road than we were able to reach with our feet still planted on the gravel. The car doors were left open, the engine was left running, and one person always kept lookout while the rest were picking.

With half of a baseball cap each of berries, we decided that was enough. We had had our tour and with that, headed back to 'civilization'.

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