Simeon Oliver recants one of his most unusual experiences (Son of the Smokey Sea, pp. 110-111): "…as we approached, we saw a baby whale, perhaps twenty-five feet long, lying on its slide just below the surface of the water. This bouncing baby was butting its head against its mother as a small calf will butt a cow when nursing. . Occasionally the big whale would move forward a little way and the young one would follow eagerly after its dinner."
Knut D. Peterson (When Alaska Was Free, 1977) talks about "odd balls": "His true nature, whether he knows it or not, is to search for the unknown. He doesn’t look down on anybody, regardless of caste, race or color. Neither does he look up to anyone, no matter how high he may have climbed. He is a sort of loner, although he is not necessarily lonesome. The herd instinct doesn’t apply to his nature. Above all, he is a free agent."
Alaska native Simeon Oliver, author of Son of the Smokey Sea (printed in 1941) spent his early life on Kodiak and tells of meditating and visualizing from a ridge top: "Seattle…was the western headquarters of Sears-Roebuck, whose catalogue of treasures was our most exciting reading. How I longed to see that great store where you could get anything pictured in the big book: flash lights, clothes, bicycles, candy; even horse and buggies. And pianos!" He went on to become a world famous pianist.
Gray-brown daggers, icicles dangling from them in the sun facing snow berms along the roadways, bring hope of a coming spring. Those brown-gray masses, releasing their melted snow in the form of water which runs onto the roadways is the March look I’ve been awaiting. Finally. Yeah!
It’s nice to be on your own wave length, but it would be nice if someone was on it with you. (1-9-2017)
After they heard the first shot, there was a second and grandpa said, "That could be good." When they heard a third rifle report about 150 yards away, grandpa said, "That could be bad." So they waited. No moose crossed the clearing but in about five minutes they saw the shooter and his scout emerge from the timber. They joined the hunter and scout, both of whom wore a smile. The good news: success; the bad news: now the work begins.
The moose walked all but right into camp, maybe thirty yards out. And it was a bull. The son grabbed his smoke pole and followed it for several minutes, scoping it to determine its legality. Uncertain, he did not shoot. After consultation with grandpa, the son and spotter son chose to search for the bull, going to the last sighting point. Meanwhile grandpa with his rifle and the older grandson followed a hundred yards back, sneaking quietly so as not to spook the animal. The son and grandson disappeared into the thick stuff and grandpa waited at a point of observation. Shortly there was a rifle report and grandpa said, "That could be good."
The gang invited grandpa to hunt moose. They headed east into the rain which dissipated by nightfall. Next morning they built a campfire near the tent and cooked warmed vegetable beef stew. Grandpa gave a bull grunt, followed at fifteen minute intervals by two others. An hour elapsed before grandpa gave the "I have a headache" cow call. Within a short time the ten-year-old grandson proclaimed, "There’s a bull."
Poem : The Touch of The Master’s Hand
The mighty Chugach Mountains beckon outdoor lovers. They’re just a touch behind Anchorage, today backed by blue sky and 10 to 15 degree temperatures. Beckoning those who live free and long for the pristine pleasures, purified air and clear trails.