Omens II

I pull over at the closest pull out to the mile marker he mentioned and poke around a bit. I can’t find the trial he described, but there is a little animal trail. I follow it down the steep mossy bank, slipping and sliding but managing to keep my feet under me. At the bottom I look around, gasping when I see a still bloody caribou skull. There are no other bones around it, just the skull laying in the moss like art. I’m glad I left Bro in the van.

I step around it, slip out of my shoes, and hop rocks across a stream. On the other side I sit on the rocks amid chickweed and yellow flowers to roll my pants back down and put my shoes on. If I go downstream I should come to the cabin within a mile, and then I’ll follow it’s trail out to the road.

The moss is slippery from rain, and I keep trying to climb higher so I can see and slipping back down. There are ripe blueberries everywhere, and every time I jump over a wet boggy hole in the moss I bend down and grab a handful. I love blueberries. They should be the state plant.

A half mile or so later there’s a trail leading away from the stream, up the hill. I follow it up to a little cabin on a bluff. There is wood piled all around it and a big cache for meat. I would think someone was already living there, but the impenetrabe sea of wild rhubarb makes it obvious that no ones been there this summer. I stand next to it and turn, slowly. Old, holey buckets. Outhouse up the hill. Root cellar. Dog houses. More cabins down the hill.

I turn towards the door. It’s kind of spooky looking. I unloop the rope that holds the outter door open and tiptoe through an arctic entry stacked on both sides with wood. At the real door I grasp an old rope handle and tug. It doesn budge. I lean into it a little harder and yank and it pops open. The cloudy light outside just barely filters in through the entryway and two windows that are covered with copious amounts of that thick plastic that people use for windows out in the bush. I lean in and step through the door, tentatively.

It’s perfect.

There’s an old barrel stove, two kitchen counters with little shelves, a couple woodboxes, a platform with a rope bed and (as always with old Alaskan cabins) bookshelves stacked to overflowing. I check it out, and most of the books are westerns from the seventies, but there’s one Janet Evanovich book that must have come from the last couple years. Hanging on the support beam next to the woodstove are a leather glove, a fire poke, and a caribou antler. Over the stove there’s a big round metal hangy thing with clothespins for drying things. I love it.

I go outside and sit in the rhubarb and monkshood, looking down at the stream. I love this place.

Soon it starts raining and I follow the trail back to the road. It’s exceptionally short, just down the hill to the stream and up the other side to the road. When I come out on the road I turn towards town and there’s a double rainbow. Maybe it’s a sign.

I turn and trudge back up the road to my van. The window behind the driver’s door is broken. There’s glass everywhere. Is this a sign too?


  1. Typical stripper tease!! 😉 Lead us up to the good part and then…. leave us waiting! Seriously, I love your blog, I’ve read large portions of it to my Dad over the phone, he lived in/on Kodiak for many years. Stuff like this makes him chuckle and tell me lots of stories about his experiences that I’ve never heard, and I love it! Thank you so much.

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