Kristine and I had an absolutely perfect flight on the Penair Grumman Goose from Unalaska to Akutan. It was so smooth that Kristine’s window didn’t even get wet in the water landing. Pilot Steve Hakala is one of the best anyways. I told Kristine that I really didn’t know that many people in Akutan, but it seems that everyone we saw, I knew! April came to meet our plane, (Akutan- Village Life on the Rocks for you blog followers) then got us checked into our rooms at the Akutan Bayview Hotel. Dimitri Tcheripanioff brought our bags and equipment on a 4 wheeler which was very much appreciated.
We invited folks to come to our workspace, provided by the Akutan Corporation at the Bayview, and we were happy to get 2 people signed up for sessions. Hugh Pelkey came in first and spent 40 minutes talking with me about his life, with 2 amazing stories of survival. His descriptions of the events, as well as his discriptions of life in general, were vivid. We hosted Hugh’s bother Darryl Pelkey later in the evening. His story took us from Akutan, to the West coast of Washington, and back again, leaving us with a clear understanding of his appreciation of life in the Aleutians, and how you can make a difference in the lives of those living around you.
Our morning started with a trip outside to look at the calm beginnings of a new day. Yikes! Another gorgeous day. Our first session was a conversation with Mayor Joe Bereskin. Joe talked with me about Akutan and the importance of becoming involved to make where you live the best it can be for it’s residents. We touched on topics of politics, fisheries, hydro power, geothermal power, education, and the absolute beauty of Akutan’s boardwalks!!
Several of our conversationalists were unable to attend, so Kristine and I took a walk to the Trident plant. Oh my goodness. That trek was long and had a bit of mud involved! We hadn’t really planned on the trek, so we didn’t have our brochures with us. We had to come all the way back to town, eat our scrumptuous soup dinner and trek all the way back with our brochures in the hopes of getting some folks from the plant to participate tomorrow. Kristine and I were amazed that the Penair Goose made six trips today!
We are eagerly awaiting April’s and her husband’s conversation tomorrow morning. CB, if you are reading the blogs while you are on vacation, just know that April is enjoying some sea salt caramels from Unalaska!!!