Finally ended my first hitch. As I sat waiting for my flight in Deadhorse, I did some people watching. The predominately male crowd was clean shaven (unusual for Alaska but it’s a slope rule since you have to be able to wear a full face respirator and it has to fit tightly around your face, which it cannot do with a beard), ranging in age from early twenties to a few in their early sixties. I waited to get on the plane last. It was hard to believe a 737 could hold all those in the seemingly endless line, but as these are charter flights, the oil companies want every last seat filled. When I finally got on the plane, I saw that goal was met – not a single empty seat.
No alcohol is allowed on the slope. Not sold or brought in with luggage. There is no booze served on the flights north. However, on the flight south, alcohol is served, and at a discount price. Everyone is allowed two drinks, at $2.00 each. As the stewardesses moved through with the beverage cart, wads of 4 one dollar bills passed to the middle, and doubles of Alaskan Ale, Budwiser Beer, and Crown Royals shorties passed towards the window. It was a practiced orchestra, and the cart moved quickly to the back, doling out it’s precious cargo to thirsty Slopers. As I sipped my drink, I thought I’d never tasted one so good – and that was the same look I saw on those around me.
As I touched down in Anchorage, I scurried to the check in doors, where my buddy Todd was waiting in his truck with 3 tires I’d purchased from Craigslist. He’d bought them for me, and delivered them to the airport so I could take them home as baggage. Luckily, instate travel still allows 3 free bags in Alaska. Each tire and rim weighed over 50 lbs, so I had to pay $50 for each tire, but the tires were in great shape and as luck would have it, the rims look like they’ll fit my Chevy 3/4 ton. I only paid $75 for all 3 tires, so $225 was still a good deal. These 3 match the 2 I’d bought a few months ago, so now I’ve got 4 fresh tires and a matching spare.
Today’s 4th of July was cool here in Juneau. Funny to be cold coming this far south after being just right or even hot on the Arctic Ocean for the past 3 weeks.
Mark Stopha and Sara Hannan
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
Wild Salmon and Salmon Pet Treats
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801