Friday, May 16, 2008

Home again

We made it!

After a little bit of suspense, we did indeed make it back to Nunap on Wednesday afternoon. We were worried, because, as you may remember, the airport is on the opposite side of the Johnson River as the school and our house, and the river ice had melted just enough while we were gone to make walking/snowmachining across impossible, but not enough for the ice to actually break loose and leave, thus making crossing by boat easy. It's the "break up" season, annual event here in the area, with all the expectation and uncertainty it involves. The tension is thick in the air...everyone's waiting to be able to get out by boat and after the birds that are flying around.

So, after discussing and wavering back and forth a little bit on Tuesday about whether to postpone travel for a few days based on river conditions, it was decided that we'd take our chances and hope that somebody'd be able to help us across. Sure enough, Matthew and Raymond were nice enough to meet us on the "across" side of the river from school. So we loaded into the boat, motored about a third of the way across the river, and then us guys got out on the river ice and pulled the boat up, in order to push it across to the next area of open water near the shore we were trying to reach. It was a little nerve-racking for this kassa'q to be pushing a boat across rotten ice, listening to the cracking and groaning underfoot and radiating out from the boat, but I had a tight grip that (I hope) would have ensured my ability to jump right in had the ice gave way. Alas, we made it to the rest of the open water, and on to the boardwalk and home. Home!

Don't get me wrong, Anchorage was great, for a bunch of reasons. But there really is no place like home, sleeping in our own bed, being able to get into our own routine with Isaac here now. Not to mention, we missed Loki :-)

The weather was fantastic for us traveling Wednesday and yesterday, too...really warm and sunny, helping to melt that river ice. Which it was such a shock to wake up this morning to find 6 inches of heavy, wet snow on the ground. Oh well, it won't last long.

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