One Man's Alaska

Notes from Tok, AK

May 22, 2007

Here are some quick summary notes as I get ready to crash in Tok, Alaska:

I've now seen 30+ black bears, ~10 brown bears (some grizzlies, I think, as they look very different), 2 wolverines, 3 wolves, 3 bald eagles, a ton of canadian geese, 3 cats on a boat, chipmunks, something that looked like a squirrel, 10+ caribou/elk (I don't know the difference yet), crazy birds that almost fly into your car (maybe because they're not used to the traffic), and two really dumb larger birds that are like pheasant or grouse (and don't move when you're about to run them over), and ... three men (natives) standing in the middle of the dirt road holding rifles and hunting something they thought would fit in their blue van. :(

There's a Canadian tv station named NTV that shows music videos sometimes instead of commercials. Very cool idea.

Last night it got darker around 11pm, and lighter around 4am.

Today in Tok I was attacked by a flock of mosquitoes as I was pumping gas. I must have looked ridiculous fighting them off. The lady inside said they are very large for this time of year.

I'm now four hours off from Louisville time. It looks like it is 1:10 a.m. in Louisville right now, and 9:10 here.

It turns out that the "two really dumb larger birds that look like pheasant or grouse" are some form of ptarmigan. I love the description of the ptarmigan on wikipedia: "It is a sedentary species". That describes it perfectly. At first you assume it will fly out of the way like all the other birds, or at least run, but no, it just stands there waiting to be run over as you drive by.

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