Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Camp life 4
One evening after going to town to pick up mail and grub boxes and pick up my oldest daughter from town we headed back to camp across a frozen Kotzebue sound . It is about a 20 mile trip on a good day. the trail is staked well and it was usually a fun ride. light blowing snow... things can change fast and after about 15 minutes into the trip the weather got real bad. soon it was a white out and you could not see. The wind blew so hard it pushed the temperature down to -50 . you could not see the light beam from the headlight. I was taught if things got bad to ride just enough off the trail so you could look down and to the side out of the wind and see the ski and track marks on the trail. of course I was taught not to get into this jam to begin with but here we were. the wind blew so hard that soon the drifting snow covered the trail and there were no tracks to follow and the trail markers were gone ! Had I stopped there I was only 2 miles from Camp. I thought I knew where I was so I kept going. after I traveled far enough that i should be home I stopped when I could smell Salt Water ! yes the smell of an open water lead. I had heard of people traveling and running off into the open water. we turned back and followed our tracks to a spot that I knew was on land and stopped to shut off the machine. I rolled the sled and the machine on its side and pointed into the wind like a VEE ^ shape to block the wind. The wind was steady at 60 mph. we used the tarps and skins to make a little tent. we had lots of food . My daughter was about eight years old and she snuggled up under my parke . We were warm and safe and I should have done this earlier... always trust your god given instinct . we sang songs and snacked on the grub box . when I asked her if she was scared she said " no if we don't get home soon my Taataa will come get us". A few hours later we heard a snow machine pull up and her Taataa popped inside our little ice camp and grinning said ... "If you have no Thermo with coffee than lets go home!!!" I swear that man had a compass in his head and he tracked us down and found us out there. the next day we went back out to see where the storm had lied to us. right at the spot that I wanted to stop at first we were only 2 miles from camp. God gave us a brain and emotions for a reason. to warn us of danger and to comfort us in our time of need. He also gave us Taataas.....