Bigger than the Beatles

I arrived to my new job on the north slope day before
yesterday. I met a main supervisor for our work
group, who got me situated in a room and showed me the
mess hall. Today, we started about 530 am. I still
needed to get my ID, so the same supervisor from last
evening showed me hunting slides for about ½ hour
until badge place opened. This is definitely going to
be a good place to work.

We worked doing maintenance on the boats for the day,
and generally getting as aquainted with staff and the
place as you can in one day. This place is bigger
than the Beatles. It’s flat as far as you can see in
most directions, except far to the south, where the
Brooks Range guards the Arctic plain. I moved to the
company barracks today. My room is on the 8th (the
highest) floor, and overlooks the Arctic Ocean, where
the pack ice is still in place but breaking up. The
temperature is in the 40’s and very comfortable. I
saw my first emperor geese today, as well as other
ducks and a caribou. Although some see the oil patch
as an industrial park, it’s also in essence a reserve
for Alaska wildlife. There’s no hunting in the oil
lease areas where we work, so the animals have no
reason to fear us, and seem to be used to the activity
around them.

If first impressions are good long term indicators, I
think I’m going to like it here, and fit in here, just

Today is second full day of work, which was spent in
hazardous materials DOT training. A freakin’ thrill a
minute. I think I got more rest there than in my bed
last night.

Saw a couple pairs of Arctic loons today. Another
bright, sunny, nice day here with temps in the 40’s.

Mark Stopha and Sara Hannan
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
Wild Salmon and Salmon Pet Treats
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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