Alaska Writing Site
Living life in the outdoors
By Dirck Rosenkrans
I believe in the outdoors -- the wild – the freedom you feel when you go places few have gone before, freeing yourself from the worries and problems of the world. I enjoy thinking about the project you have due or the deadline you have to make, about your dismal situation in life or the bills. Being free from all your burdens, just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
I have spent many weekends out in the vast Alaskan wild, whether it be a weekend in my remote cabin along the McCarthy road, a day riding on the slopes in Kimball, or a camping and boating trips to Prince William Sound. Just this past spring I have taken three trips up to Kimball riding with Mr. Friendshuh, Sam, and Steve. Every one of them has been a much needed release from the everyday life of Kenny Lake. When you’re up on the slopes you don't think about anything besides the next line or how to get your snowmachine out of a hole. This past weekend Mr. Friendshuh, his dad, Steve, Mr. Bruss, and I decided to head up to Kimball on the clear Saturday morning. We left around ten and did not return until around seven that evening. We traveled almost 60 miles climbing high mountains and hitting huge jumps. Cruising across the high wind blown tundra, I lost track of time. The beading sun reflected off the snow burning my face, only to be cooled by the gentle breeze. I do not remember exactly how many times I buried my machine in the wet, spring snow, but what I do know is that it was a day that I will never forget.
I will also always remember our family's boating trips in Prince William Sound. Just sitting waiting for the Shoup Glacier to calve, then right as I would give up, a thunderous roar would carry across the bay, followed by a massive wave. Water sliding in the small creek above our camp site in the crisp glacial water on a clear blue day, and an encounter with a large black bear. I will remember watching the gulls as they flee from their nests as the eagles fly above and getting pooped on. Skipping rocks on our skipping stone beach on calm days and fishing for pinks as they jumped out of the water left and right. Then building camp fires and roasting hotdogs and our freshly caught salmon. Riding our boat followed by jumping porpoise within touching distance, and spending a day kayaking with my mom for hours.
Our cabin along the McCarthy road has also provided an array of great memories. I remember ice fishing with Keaton on Long Lake, almost crashing the snowmachine and running into snowmachine ahead of us because we had no breaks, and walking almost three miles back to the cabin after the snowmachine started leaking gas. I remember playing numerous games of croquet in the stumpy yard, and digging out rotten stumps with my uncle and cousin. Sitting around the campfire enjoying Mark's stories of bears and wildlife, hiking down to the Nizina and collecting backpacks full of rocks, then having to hike them all the way back up the steep slope. Going up to Jumbo mine and exploring the old, abandoned bunk houses.
Just remembering all these good times has brought back that sense of freedom the outdoors bring. The effect these memories have will last a life time. If I ever get too overwhelmed, I need not look far, because an escape is closer than many think.
Soaring above the clouds
By Wyatt Miller
I believe in soaring above the clouds. I believe in the principle of flight. I’m writing this story to give you the reader an understanding of flight and what it brings. Once the principle of flight takes effect I’m already seeing a bird’s eye view of the world.
It all started when I turned 11 years old. My dad bought a wrecked airplane from a local hangar. Since that day I’ve become more familiar with airplanes and how they work. During the restoration, my dad showed me step-by-step how to build, and how lift works. Throughout my first and second years of high school I came across the Bernoulli’s principle of lift in our daily assignments.
Being in the air is a feeling all its own. There’s a sense of adrenaline when taking off, flying and landing safely back on earth. When my dad and I go up for a quick flight, we climb to 2,500 feet and make our way to the Copper River then to the Tonsina where we look for any wildlife such as buffalo, bear, moose or even sometimes during the winter, wolves. On occasion, my dad and I climb a mile high, cut power down to a minimum and sense we have a big wing span. We soar until we slowly make our way down.
Last year my dad and I had our fair share of flying. It was late January when there was a break in the cold weather for a few days. It gave us the opportunity to go ice fishing in the Chugach Mountains by Hanagita Pass, past Chitna, near Silver Lake. The lake we went to is called Summit Lake. It’s a long narrow lake in a half pipe structure; there are mountains on each long side of the lake.
My dad and I got all our fishing gear and lunches ready, loaded and secured everything down in the baggage compartment of the plane, and made sure the airplane had enough gas to get to our destination and back. We took off from Wygant’s runway and headed east towards Chitina. My dad decided to descend to the Copper River and climb when we were near the fishwheels. We finally made it to the lake and scouted it for a soft and non- hazardous place to land. We descended and stopped, unloaded our gear, and set up where we wanted to fish.
After a few hours of catching fish, the fishing became really slow, and it started to get cold. My dad told me to pack up, because we might get stuck if the weather became colder. We took off and decided to fly down the Hanagita to see if there were any animals wandering around. A few minutes later we ran into some wet snowy weather, but not bad enough to make us turn around. We arrived back at the hangar, and landed on the big blanket of snow covering the field. We pulled the plane back into its tie down spot and called it a day.
I have seen the world around me from a bird’s eye view. Flying is my life, and I will never let go of it. Being able to fly takes my mind off of all the stressful aspects of life, and keeps me busy. I’m also writing this story to convince people to become interested in the history of flight. I believe in the principle of flight. I believe in soaring above the clouds.