3 September, 1999
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd 1999: Arriving in Cold Bay
Aloha everyone! It is so nice to be able to write to all of you again, even though you haven't been able to write back yet! It is actually the 7th of September today, but I am going back to tell you what we have done up to this point. Anuhea Kamakele, the student that has joined me, wrote a journal entry today for the 7th of September, so you can read that to hear her perspective of things up 'til now. We made her quit writing to you early, even though she had a lot left to write, because we needed to get going on a talk at the cultural center! So anyway, to get you updated...
On Thursday Anu and I flew from Honolulu to Seattle, then to Anchorage. When I reached Seattle I called up Ms. Susanne Gabriel and asked her to input a journal entry for me for Thursday since I would not have computer access until I got to Cold Bay. Little did I know I wouldn't have computer access in Cold Bay, either! So I called Ms. Gabriel at 11 at night Hawaii time and told her what I would like her to type to my students back home. Thank you so much for doing that!
Anu and I reached the hotel in Anchorage at about 2am and were asleep by 3. We skipped breakfast the next morning and choose sleep instead, and left on a 10:30 am flight for Cold Bay the next morning. We had one stop in King Salmon on the way to Cold Bay, and arrived in Cold Bay in the early afternoon. As Anu says: "Cold Bay is COLD!" It was windy and damp. At the end of this journal entry I am going to type some annual temperatures and you can see just how cold it gets (I want my 9th grade students to graph the annual temperatures of all the stops on our journey!) We were met by United States Fish and Wildlife employees who helped us load our luggage, and drove us the big 300 yards to our hotel. We stayed in the "Weathered Inn", which is the only place to stay in Cold Bay, basically. The entire village population is 80 people! There is one motel, one resturant, one bar, one store, one school (k-12) with one teacher! There are seventeen school age children attending the school, and they are trying to get another teacher hired so that there will be two!
Everything was off to a good start, except for one thing... my luggage didn't make it. Anu and I have a TON of luggage - we have 4 bags and a pack of poster boards explaining Hawaiian Studies. One of the bags contains only gifts for the schools in Barrow that we will speak to later in the week, and gifts for all the people who were kind to us and helped us out along the way. Luckily, that bag made it. Kumu Gallano spent her own money on many of those gifts from Hawaiian Studies, mahalo to her! Sadly, though, it was all of my sweaters and warmest clothes that did not make the trip! The airport people figured out that it had fallen off of the conveyer belt back in Anchorage, and since no planes fly in on Saturday, the soonest I could have my luggage is on Sunday. Well, we left Cold Bay on Monday, so I just ended up picking up my bag on the way out of town heading for Barrow. The people at USFWS were very kind and gave us all kinds of cold weather gear to wear while we were there, anyway.
After we settled in (and we each received a fresh flower from the manager of the Inn, who was on the plane with us, carrying the flowers), we got a tour of the town. This didn't take long, obviously! Then, we spent the evening bear hunting! There are brown bear all over the place in Cold Bay, but we didn't see any that evening. Instead, we were thrilled to see the salmon, which were running. They come up the river once a year to spawn and then die. The rivers were full of them jumping around, it was amazing to see. The wildflowers in Cold Bay were also fantastic. We were very happy to be there, even if the bears were not cooperating with us!
Make sure to email any questions that you have back to Anu and I - we will have computer access for the remainder of the trip, I promise! :-D. Take Care, Michele Hauschulz,( Teacher Experiencing the Arctic)
Information for my class to graph (9th graders): Average temperatures (from the Alaska Almanac, 21st edition). Make sure to Title your graph, Label both the x-axis and the y-axis, and hang on to your graphs after you are pau for additonal information in other journals!
(Temperatures are in Fahrenheit):
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