At the moment, I am enjoying a tenderloin caribou dinner, planning to write this story and reminiscing back to last month, September 23- Oct 1st.
But, first I'll start by going back to February of this year. I had to go out to Kotzebue hospital to put in the new DDC system and fire system for the Eldercare addition. I knew being in the arctic for the first time; I needed to get out and experience what was up there. As we all know fellow forum member Strangerinastrangeland is what the arctic is all about, I had shot him a message hoping he could help me out. It started off with asking about hunting and fishing up there and what was in/around in Febuary. Chip did the unexpected and offered to take me out.
Little did I know, a cold spell of -70 would hit, then a blizzard where you couldn't see a foot in front of you. Still Chip had made it over to Kotzebue to help me on my first arctic experience. The sled broke down, and the weather was terrible, so we weren't able to get out. We did, however get to meet up for dinner. I don't think I stopped laughing the entire time with Chip telling story after story. He also extended an offer for me to come out in September on his favorite hunt of the year. One where the mosquitoes are gone, the caribou are plenty, and the company is great.
Now, I'll fast forward passed all of our P.M's, phone calls, planning, and the stuff no one cares to hear about. Come September 23, Akrstabout and I are in the plane to Kotzebue, and I was besides myself. The 7 months of waiting had gotten to me and I was more than excited.
A childhood idol of mine, Jim Shockey, once said that one of his favorite things about hunting in different parts of the world is learning the culture thatís there, and experiencing the different lifestyles the world has to offer. In my negligence from experience, I thought it was all bullsh**, made up for TV. So, on this trip, I found the truth in what he was saying:
So, back to the story. Akrstabout and I are in the plane from Kotzebue to Noorvik. 139.jpg
Although we planned just about all we could, and went over everything, I still didn't know what to expect. We got off the plane and didn't see Chip. Uh oh. Something isn't good. Nope, everything was fine. His daughters had come down to pick us up! Carolyn and Qutan. How badass is it that his 6 y.o can ride an ATV better then me!? So, we loaded our equipment up and headed to chips house. Immediately, I was in awl. Just taking a tour around Chips property was baddass. A rack full of fish, caribou, hides from musk ox, bears, etc. 026.jpg