Stuck in the mud at Alfred Creek

dall sheep ewe

Dall sheep lamb

Friday, June 13, 1980—went to Peter’s cabin and spent the day fishing. Caught whitefish and grayling in the stream there. Peter got a really nice grayling. Then Peter showed me some old, Indian dugout holes where they cached fish, covered it with moss to keep it fresh. The ground here is frozen and it keeps fish from spoiling when they put the tundra over it to insulate it. We had a good time exploring and fishing.

Saturday, June 14, 1980—took Henry, his brother Phillip and Bill Houser in the swamp buggy to Cal Gilcrist’s gold claims on Alfred Creek. While there, we got a few nuggets—got stuck twice. Henry’s always upbeat about things like that and it helps get the buggy out of the mud holes. The trail is wet and slippery. Had a good time, though. On the way back out, I was coming up this stream at Pass Creek and there was a big rock and the swamp buggy wouldn’t climb over that big rock. The water was really deep and Henry’s brother, Phillip was riding in the swamp buggy with me and Bill Hauser was up on top of it. When I couldn’t go any further, Phil, he reached out with a cup and dipped it in the stream that was running by us and got himself a drink of water. Then I had to back a long ways down the stream before I could get out of there and get on the regular trail. When we got back to Nelchina in the evening, we had a party.

Thursday, June 19, 1980—got up early and Dick and Phyllis and Sylvia and I went into Anchorage and did some shopping. I got a gold dredge in the hopes we can do some dredging with it. From the highway, we saw Dall ewes and lambs on Sheep Mountain.

They walked 8 miles at -35° to Gunsight Lodge

Gunsight Mountain in Winter

Gunsight Mountain in Winter

Wednesday, December 12, 1979—did some chores around the cabin and got the truck started. The lodge here at Nelchina wanted me to go down to Gunsight Mountain Lodge and get gas for them.

While I was there at Gunsight, I listened to an amazing story told by a man named John and his wife. They had just walked over eight miles of the trail from Alfred Creek at -35° below zero to get here. The snow was very deep and they had no snowshoes. They had originally tried to drive out with a small Cat from the gold mine on Alfred Creek, but they couldn’t get over the mountain and down the pass. The employer had left them there with too little food, promising to fly food in to them. This didn’t happen and they ran out of food. It was such a hard walk, that he couldn’t carry his wife. She became exhausted and he kept telling her that it’s just a little farther, just a little farther… He coached her to stay with him and they eventually made it to Gunsight Lodge. Of course they had heat there and the lodge owner gave them food and a place to stay. It got down to -40° that evening. (Life in the bush demands fortitude.)