I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

So, I am in a bit of trouble. The plumber arrived this morning to fix something in the basement that has to do with winter ventilation. The fan has been broken all summer, but needs to be working by the time it gets cold. I was surprised to see him, since I know he’s a moose hunter, and the season begins at daylight tomorrow. He hadn’t quite realized that, until he saw the cooler and boxes in my entry way that I am filling today with camp food for the next five days. It was probably a mistake to say I had a lot to do before leaving this afternoon, and to talk about the weather, and wonder out loud if the high water and winds of the last few days had blown away our wall tent or flooded our little Island on the Chilkat River. He took off his boots, opened the cellar door, looked at my cooler again and said, “I promised Chip I’d have this done by moose season.” Then he said, “But your not going to be here anyway…” Then he looked down the stairs and said, ” I have a lot to do before hunting, too.” Then he said, ” Tell Chip I’ll get to it after I get my moose.” I assured him Chip would understand. Completely. 

I had told the Chamber of Commerce that I would miss their assembly candidate’s forum on the 16th at 11:45-1:15 at the library. I’m running for one of two open seats. There are six of us who want them, and the top two vote getters win. The forum is the second day of moose season, and an unofficial holiday for hunters, especially when it falls on a Friday. Chip has been looking forward to this week all year– five full days in camp– a first for him, what with the lumberyard obligations, and I’m his hunting partner, and determining a legal bull takes two, I think. But Karen Garcia is moderating the semi-debate style forum and I want to answer what surely will be intelligent questions, and hear what the chamber members, guests, and the other candidates think, as well. Until recently Karen was an award winning reporter for the Chilkat Valley News– she quit when her editor – and mine, since I write the obituaries– Tom Morphet also decided to run for the assembly two minutes before the filing deadline. Karen felt it would be too difficult to cover her boss. (I hope Karen returns to the paper after the election.) 

So, I’m hunting until Friday morning, then driving into the forum and back out again. And my plumber friend is fixing a few emergencies today, and heading out to his favorite spot for a long weekend as well, and no doubt not coming back for any reason. But isn’t it amazing that we live in a place where I can be in a tent, up a river, off the road system, with no cell service or anything– hunting moose– and an hour later be in town at a forum? Or a place where we talk moose and exhaust fans in the same breath, and where moose and community issues and ethics are as high a priority as a job? What a world Haines is.