September is likely the best month in Alaska. Several factors figure in that, including fall colors, great fishing, hunting season, and lack of bugs. All figured into ALO's good times last month. Labor Day has been a traditional weekend outing for the Angstman family and friends for many years. This year family members were joined by Don Lehmann and Dave Price at the family cabin. It was the start of a couple week stay at the cabin for some, and it also marked the arrival of the grizzly bears that come to the lake to feed on the spawning red salmon. Fish escapement in the lake was down dramatically this year, but that just made the bears more active in their search. A fancy new trail cam captured this video of a large bear. Close listeners claim they hear heavy breathing on that clip.
This bear sequence was taken by Steve Olive who along with Corbin Ford agreed to help prepare the cabin for winter in exchange for an overnight stay.
Steve and Corbin have been helping with the dogs this summer, and doing a splendid job. This bear was fishing at one of the favored fishing holes near the cabin, called the second point.
Moose season was in full swing, and Don harvested a dandy bull later in the month.
Don's nice rack
He is pictured with Lonn Hanson on the left, who visited from Minnesota with his wife Jane. Neither hunted at the cabin, but both took part in the traditional first night meal of heart, liver and backstrap. Lonn is a long time nimrod from Minnesota who chose to pursue only fish on this trip, and managed to catch several when the weather cooperated.
This year there was one other camp on Chauekuktuli during the whole summer and fall. For a 15 mile long lake in the wilderness, that fact is hard to fathom for someone living in a populous area. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "getting away from it all".
Lots of legal stuff was resolved between flights to the cabin. ALO settled a claim for a Dillingham family who lost a family member in a car crash near Fairbanks. The driver of the other vehicle was intoxicated, and crossed the center line. A bad accident in the village of Quinhagak also result in a settlement. A village law enforcement officer picked up a group of girls who were out past curfew. He loaded several on a four wheeler and started to drive them home. He lost control and two of the girls were seriously injured when they fell off. One girl settled one of her claims recently, and several parts of the law suit are still pending. Finally, an explosion and fire in a steam bath owned by a business in Dillingham resulted in a settlement for two boys who were badly burned in the fire. The major question in that case was whether or not the commercial insurance policy applied to the accident. ALO argued that the policy did apply, and eventually the insurance company paid its policy limits.
Long time friends Dan and Sharon Boyette abandoned Bethel a few years back for Anchorage, where they now are forced to entertain rural visitors more often than anyone should. Recently their rural visitors included Sue and Myron, who were invited to take a trip in the Boyette's new boat on Prince William Sound out of Whittier. A gorgeous weather day contributed to the already top grade scenery during the day trip, and the Boyettes dropped anchor in a remote bay for a short hike. Myron was the first one to shore, and was walking the rather steep beach where it was noted that the long grass was wet from a recently receded tide. "Pretty tough walking" one elder noted. A minute later, the same elder slipped on the grass and injured a leg in a spectacular fall. A few days later Bill Eggiman staged a medical intervention at ALO, and diagnosed a fractured fibula, prescribing a form fitting boot for treatment, and ordered limited walking for six weeks. The limited walking is more painful than the injury, but at least it only takes one leg to practice law.
Earlier, ALO news promised a video of Mike Hoffman delivering the fisherman's prayer at the Kuskokwim Wilderness camp.
The guests were part of the Marx Brothers crew that fishes there often, and provide the wine for the toast. Perhaps several toasts.
Finally, this video shows the last of the four White Alice towers coming down in Bethel. A landmark for years, the tower was deemed unsafe to stand any longer. It seemed pretty safe on a memorable night many years ago when several folks affiliated with ALO climbed it to get a better view of Bethel.