New Ride & Trip to the Pik

Check out our new ride! It's a Polaris Touring 340, fresh off the plane from Hartley Motors in Palmer. You will notice how it is all in one piece. Thankfully we did not have a repeat of the fourwheeler incident.

I know, I know...the snow is melting, so why are we just now buying a machine. Well, we wanted one for next year, and it turns out that now is the best time to buy. Luckily though, the snow is holding (did I really just say that?). I took an awesome trip with a teacher from St. Michael this weekend, and we are planning another trip with a group (girls included) for next weekend.

My friend Drew and I decided that we needed to break in my new snowmachine with an overnight trip to the Pikmiktalik River. This is the same river where I went fishing last fall.

Below: Here you can see that we are well prepared with Drew's sled to haul all of our gear. I pride myself is being an ultra-light packer, but when you have an entire sled to hold all of your gear it is easy to wander into the mindset of "hey, let's see how much this will hold." Neffy wanted to come, and we almost packed her too, but then I decided that Heidi might need her company while I was away.

Above & Below: About one-third of the way to the Pikmiktalik there is a canal which forms the boundary between St. Michael Island and the mainland. I don't know the whole story, but apparently there are two (possibly three) steam ships that ran aground and got permanently stuck. The remnants are still there. Locals have told me that the first ship ran aground while trying to weather a storm and then the second ran aground while trying to recover the first.

Below: It is possible that at one time there were three ships in this canal. We counted three of these boilers, but only two paddle wheels. Someone once told me that there was a third ship that had run aground which was recovered by leaving the boilers behind. I've only been able to hear bits and pieces from many different people, so I'll have to do more research to find the full story.

Above: We met one of Drew's friends at the river and rode around until bed time. It was nice to be near the mountains and see some real trees.
Below: We saw tracks for moose, lynx, and rabbits, but didn't see any. This morning after a light dusting of snow I spotted some otter tracks which lead to this den. We waited for about ten minutes and then these two otters stuck their heads out of the hole. They looked like sock puppets or muppet characters when their heads popped up. It was really quite comical to watch them move about. Otters are notoriously curious and playful; they really checked us out.

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