I just assumed the booms yesterday morning about 5:30 were bear hunters across the river. It is brown bear hunting season, and there are  a handful of guiding outfits in town, and it takes a big rifle to stop a big bear.  A guide told me once that if a bear is charging it can take up to six shots to stop him.  I also have heard of bears shot that already had bullets in them, old ones, all healed over. But they say these booms were heard all over town. Hmmm. It is  mystery. Maybe it was part of the same meteor that fell on the house in Paris? Maybe it was some of that tumbling space debris that was in the news? Then again, it still could be a jittery southern sportsman not used to Alaskan brown bears, on the great adventure of his life. In other news,  the new college grads living above the garage (my son and his friend) are  driving south Friday for jobs at the Mt. Baker ski resort which pay 8.50 an hour but offer free lift passes. They found a room to rent in a house for 250.00 a month and it has bunk beds, so they'll each pay half that. As soon as they make sure they have jobs and housing set, they are heading to the skateparks of Oregon until the snow flies and they have to start work. This is what you should do once in your life, especially when you are 22. Although for his 50th birthday my friend Tom rode his bike through Europe. He titled the slide show he gave at the library Monday night an "adventure" explaining that when you travel you have plans and know where you are going and staying and what you hope to see. An adventure is an open atlas. He also said going alone left him much more open to new people and places. All he knew when he left was that he had about seven weeks and was flying in and out of Amsterdam. He did want to see the WW I battlefield in France where his grandfather "lost an ear and most of his mind." He did that, and drank a champagne toast (with a bottle of the real stuff) to him. He told us that his grandfather had been a lousy a father, what with all the war trauma, and so Tom's father became a great one, which was why he wanted to thank his grandfather, in a backward kind of the way, and toast to the battlefield where he was changed forever. Tom traveled light- he only carried a small pack with a tent and minimal clothes, and bought a used 100 dollar bike there, but brought his own 70 dollar seat.  He loved pedaling around cycle friendly Europe and sleeping in crowded little city campsites. When I told him about my son's adventure he said next time he should bike in Holland. Haines is where I do all my biking, and it is also where my son learned to snowboard. I do think it is good to see the world, to have adventures as Tom would say. I am just glad I don't have to leave home to. Maybe it's enough for me to live in a place where other people have great adventures-- from cyclists to hunters to extreme heli-boarders and skiers -- once again, our steep slopes are featured in the Patagonia catalog.



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