July featured hot sunny weather in most of Alaska, breaking all sorts of records. The weather put people outdoors having fun, perhaps too much fun in some cases. Take Grant Fairbanks, for example. He was so overcome by 80 degree heat that he went skinny dipping at the Angstman cabin in the mountains. Without a telephoto lens, the quickly snapped photos are not worth showing, so readers will have to fantasize about what they missed.
Despite all the sunny weather, ALO managed to settle a modest car crash case. An elderly cab driver pulled out of the Bethel hospital lot without noticing an approaching car, injuring the cab's back seat passenger. The insurance company involved didn't want to pay money defending a driver who was over 80 years old, and paid quickly.
Speaking of elders, a colorful figure from Bethel's history passed away in July. Balassa Nicholai was a well known feature of the Bethel scene for many years. She was more or less a street person in Bethel until some agency decided to build her a small home near the river. Before that she spent a lot of time at the local sleep off, the court, and the jail. She was often lightly dressed and always seemed to be outside. When intoxicated she was very aggressive, and that was much of the time in her early years. On the other hand she was a very strong person, and seemed to subsist on a minimal amount of resources. Most everyone from the 1970's and 80's can recall encounters with Balassa on the street or in the stores. Time caught up with Balassa and in recent years she had a grandmotherly way about her that caused some to wonder how she could have been the same person described by old timers. Happy trails, Balassa.
Minnesota folks like to complain about their bugs. These two photos,
while possibly a little worse than average for Alaska, show there really is nothing to complain about down south. This polar bear was perhaps trying to avoid the bugs on this little stroll.
There are two mandatory moose shots, found here
and here, for this month because they keep showing up. Obviously the heat got to them as well.
Finally a note about technology. The Angstman cabin in the wilderness comes equipped with solar power and internet, but not many repair people live nearby. That leads to this. John Wallace finally had to fly up and fix the problem.