The seniors are almost finished with high school. Not just for the year but, forever. Senioritis has truly set in, now that we are almost there. There are only seven days left of school and the wait is unbearable. After 12, almost 13 years I am checked out. I have almost finished up the last of my tests and am just checking off the last few homework assignments. I can’t say I am sad that we are almost done. I am more rejoicing in the awesome times I have had at Kenny Lake. I could list all the great memories I have had, but we would be here awhile. It is time for me to move onto the next stage in my life, college.
I will be attending University of Montana in the fall where I will be studying Wildlife Biology. I hope to make many new friends and continue on the journey of life. In the meantime I will be volunteering at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to learn a little about wildlife management, not only so that I am not a complete greenhorn at college, but also to get some real world experience which will help with employment in the future. Between volunteering and working at fish camp for another three weeks this summer, I get to travel to Hawaii to spend ten days with a family friend. This I anticipate will be an awesome trip. As soon as I return with my dark skin and blonde hair I will travel to Pilot Point in Bristol Bay. There I will be set netting for the same family to make some money as I mentioned in a previous blog. Then I head off to college with my sister for the fall semester at the University of Montana.
My spring break was spent out of Alaska, traveling throughout the lower 48 checking out three of the colleges I was accepted to. My dad and I flew into Missoula, Montana where the University of Montana is located and where my sister is now going to college. We arrived Saturday night, and I spent the next few nights in my sister’s dorm. The next day we explored Missoula, hiking and driving around the town. On Monday I had the day to take a tour and meet with people from the wildlife biology department as well as a person from admissions. On Tuesday, I hung out with my sister some more and attended one of her classes.
The next day we woke up early and drove down to Utah, through Idaho, to Logan, Utah and Utah State University. We took a tour around campus, which was pretty empty because the students were on spring break. It was a nice day so that afternoon we drove up into the mountains around Logan. We were free on Friday so we decided to take a trip to Promontory, where the Continental railroad connects, and The Great Salt Lake. Promontory was a ways away so we had to do a little driving to get there. To get to the Salt Lake, we actually had to drive through a cattle ranch on a dirt road. At the lake, I acquired some Great Lake salt. That night, when we got back to Logan, we went out to an all-you-can-eat sushi place, which was delicious.
The following day we headed back north to Montana, stopped at West Yellowstone for lunch, and reached Bozeman that night. On Sunday we headed off so we decided to take a trip to Yellowstone which was only a couple hours away. We drove the only road that is open during the winter into the park and saw our fair share of Bison up close. We took a tour of the Bozeman campus the next day and checked out the city a little bit. That afternoon we went bowling and played pool on campus. Our flight left from Missoula early Wednesday morning. We had to drive the three hours to get there on Tuesday, and spent the last evening with my sister.
It was a great trip overall, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit these colleges. It helped me learn a lot more about the schools and where they are located. I also got a good feel for the college life hanging out with my sis.
To have a best day ever, means there has to be some planning involved. You don’t just wake up and say, “This is going to be the best day ever.” Steve, Sam, and I, had the idea for awhile; it was just finding the perfect day for a ride to Kimball Pass. The perfect day just turned out to be Monday, January 2, a clear, sunny, semi-warm, school holiday. Steve arrived at my house around 9:30 a.m. and we left by 10:00. We were supposed to meet Sam at the start of the Bernard Creek Trail at 10:30, but Sam, being a Carlson, was a good 10 minutes late.
We rode into the rising sun up to Kimball, with only minor incidents on the ride up. These included Steve’s gas can falling off, and accidentally taking a wrong turn, forcing us to drag our snowmobiles and turn them around. We made it to the top with only a slight breeze. Nobody else had been up since the last snow, so we were the first to lay down some fresh tracks. We stashed all our food, skis, and snowboard that I had brought up. Then we got down to business. We started to carve up all the new snow in the little valleys.
Luckily, I wasn't the first to get stuck. Sam had that honor on his first little run. I was awarded with the best stuck of the day, which occurred not long after. I was hammering down towards this steep hill on the other side of a small valley when I hit a snow berm that I didn't see until it was too late. This threw me off balance and I ended up running into a wall of snow and getting stuck almost vertical. We kept riding all around, up and down. It was great. Then I started having snowmobile problems. Long story short: it lost all its power and my throttle cable started to freeze up. I was afraid it wouldn’t make it up the steep hill that we had come down. That’s when Mr. Fshizzle showed up. We recognized him from a mile off cruising toward us. We rode around for a bit more with F-dog, before my snowmobile died. The only cure was to let it sit. So I sat there in awe watching Mr. F high marking, and Steve trying, on the other side of the valley. Man is the F-dog good. That’s when Mr. Fshizzle came over and offered to let me ride his machine while he rested.
If wishes were fishes I’d have a lot of wishes. In my days as a Bristol Bay fisherman, I’ve caught thousands of pounds of salmon, as well as a few flounder. Set netting on the Ugashik River is one of those jobs you either love or you hate. No one says it’s just okay. I am one of those who love it. I love being on the boat for hours at a time picking fish and getting covered in fish slime.
This last summer I spent three weeks at fish camp, which consisted of about eight different camps spread out along the beach. Our camp, the Peterson camp, had three buildings: a kitchen building with a bedroom, a bunk house for the rest of the crew and a sauna. We had six crew members and the mom of the family who was the cook. There were two boats we fished from, three people to each boat. I fished on a boat with two older men: Chris, an old Alaskan who had done about everything there is to do in Alaska, from fishing on a crab boat to boating up the Yukon to hunt monster moose, and a big fella from Wisconsin named Brian. He had fished for a few years with the Petersons. He knew what he was doing which was why he was the captain of our boat.
We usually fished for about ten hours each day, sometimes longer. We'd set our nets at the beginning of the opener, about an hour before low tide. This changed over the three weeks as the tides slowly changed. We'd fish anywhere from four in the morning to two in the afternoon, or from four in the afternoon to two in the morning.
In the end, I wish I could have stayed out at fish camp longer and made more money.
I had a great time and I will be returning this summer to fish for the same family.
“Imagine a family of six...” There is no other feeling like public speaking. Not even jumping off a 30 foot cliff comes close to the feeling. You try to memorize the speech perfectly, repeating it over and over in your head until you think you have it down well enough to present. All that hard work disappears, even when you're in front of even a small crowd of people you know. It’s one of those experiences in life that everyone should at least try once, even if you go blank, because the best of us still falter.
The Oratorical is one of those events where you can see just how you will do on a stage. You write a 10- minute speech on an issue concerning the Constitution, then memorize it. My speech was on the debt crisis in the United States and how to deal with this issue. I hoped to show all the possible solutions then propose my opinion on the most feasible solution.
I thought I had my speech memorized pretty well, but of course, not well enough. I was picked to go third which was nice, because I had a little time in the library to review my speech one last time. I got half way through my first paragraph before I choked, and it wasn't even the biggest paragraph. After I got over the first hump, I had no problem with the rest of my speech. In the end, I am glad that I did the oratorical. It is something I will never forget.