2 Double shots of moonshine in Alaska

How could I ever leave the north? I seriously think about moving here one day and raising lovely children who don’t know about Ed Hardy.

I have been having such an incredible time. I work hard, make the most of my days and I have met amazing people.

Great north helicopter photo shoot anyone?

Help! I am trapped inside a Kokanee label and I’m getting paid.

This is one of our smaller camps – A fraction of the mountain that I have to organize.

Excuse me while I am a tourist for a moment.

I strategically lowballed my estimate for the “how many bears will we see on our way to Stewart” game. I lost the game and saw 7 bears.

I took my passport and stole a bike from the hotel I didn’t stay at and rode it to Alaska from Stewart, B.C.

I stopped at this store to buy candied salmon.

It was closed and I caught my purse getting off the bike, collapsing 90 degrees towards the ground. Thankfully, it was the first real ground I had fallen on in 5 weeks, so I was in good spirits. The camp I work in is covered in snow if you haven’t caught on to that yet.

I rode my bike as far north as Hyder, Alaska would take me. I sat down and listened to my iPod for a while. On my way out a guy drove up, “did you hear the gunshots?” he asked. “No,” I replied “I had my headphones in.”

“Oh, well you should be cautious up here.”

“For what?” I asked? Trying to remember the protocol for encountering a bear.

He disclosed that people were shooting, the Hyderites. The first thing that came to my mind probably shouldn’t have been – “I wonder if they would let me have a shot?”

Next I went to the bar to get Hyderized. That’s a double shot of moonshine “drink it in one go or you buy the bar a round, you have to keep it down, etc. etc.”

In a grunt, the aged bartender said “let’s see how much you wasted” flipping our shot glasses over and lighting the residue on fire. Mine barely lit, while Mattieu’s burned for seconds.

I then got double Hyderized and drove my bike back to Canada.

Now I am just waiting in the hotel for the guys to get back from their grand moving-heavy-equipment-across-a-glacier adventure.

They’re always ripe with stories.


Adjacent to Alaska

This is my third season working in a mining exploration camp. It is the part of my life people fail to remember when they see my rather undirected and charmed life outside of steel toe boots.

For the record, the boots are quite unnecessary, but who am I to argue with Dad?

I am optimistic about things so far, but I am also melodramatic and a junkie for novelty.

I arrived to Terrace not knowing who was picking me up or who I was joining me on the 4.5 hour drive up the mountain. I was among the least disappointed when we had to fit 10 burly men and 1 girl into an 11 seat van. Strangely, space is a luxury I have never cared for while travelling and it was a great group of guys in the car.

We laughed our way along the snowy roads and I felt like I was on my way to a snowmobiling trip with my Dad. Eventually the snow on the side of the roads was tall enough that we definitely wouldn’t have been going snowmobiling and then it switched gears to “who knows where we are and how long would it take someone to start looking for us?”

Then…a Russian truck driver jackknifed his truck on the road. We waited 4 hours on standby as the tow truck got to work. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait in what was becoming a very lived in van, we went to our drivers nearby cabin. I took my steel toe boots off and we ate pizza and pop like a bunch of bored kids at a birthday party.

We also watched 4 episodes of Pawn Stars which is awesome.

Then late in the dark we headed back down the snowy road for the final leg of our trip. John and Cole, two very good friends of mine came to pick us up on quads in a beautiful snowy blizzard. I say beautiful because I am still on the novelty bandwagon.

Tomorrow I am excited to see some more friends; this trip has been very champagne so far. Hopefully the internet kicks in so I can post this before I change my mind.