Yukon River Quest - Page 7
I got a ride back into town and looked for something to do. FEMA was set up in the school
to help with the flooding, and they had free food, so I thought that might be a good place to
I had a pretty good chicken sandwich and asked if there was anything I could do to help.
They said I could go help Ray clean out his basement. Ray is a 70 year old man whose
basement flooded. FEMA had sent several people over to clean up Ray’s basement in
the past, but Ray really just wanted to talk about cleaning it out and how it should be
done. Ray really isn’t a man of action.
I got there and Ray started talking and nothing was happening. I finally said, “Ray, what
needs to happen in your basement?”
He said, “Well, everything needs to be hauled out and put on the curb.”
So, down I went, and I spent the next three hours hauling wet insulation, boards, boxes,
and junk to the curb. Ray left after about ten minutes.
I went back to the school and got a shower and a hot meal. The FEMA folks were happy I
got Ray out of their hair and want me to help again tomorrow. I probably will for a while
since I can’t make it to my next mail drop before the weekend, but I do hope my gun is
The people of Eagle have been super nice to me, and it’s been the best stop on the
Yukon so far, but I should warn any paddlers that might find themselves stuck in Eagle –
It’s a dry town, but there’s plenty of beer in Dawson. I would love a cold beer right now.
I’d finished writing last night and was lying in my sleeping bag when I heard a car honk. I
looked out and saw an old Dodge pickup parked above the boat ramp. It was Daisy, who’d
been showing me around town earlier. I need to state for the record that all of Daisy’s kids
are older than me. Anyway, she was headed over to the old village to check on a friend who
was dying of cancer, and wanted to show me the destruction there.
Eagle, like most towns up here, is segregated. The natives have their half, and the whites
have theirs. The natives stay out of the white side. That’s just the way it is.
We drove along a bumpy makeshift road made of plastic slabs through the devastated
Eagle Village. Houses were pushed into piles, and cars were flattened. There wasn’t a
tree standing. Giant icebergs were everywhere. Daisy pointed out what was left of her
cabin. It had already been looted.
small and frail lying on her couch. She had no hair left after the chemo. She was slowly
dying, and until we arrived, she was alone. Daisy started making her some macaroni,
and I talked with her about the Yukon.
Her brother and his wife stopped in for a few minutes. They were both so drunk they
could hardly stand. Daisy called several of her family members, but they were too drunk
to come over. We had to go, but on the way back to the boat dock, Daisy stopped at the
tribal elder’s house to see if he could help. He was passed out on the couch with a bottle
of shisky next to him. He didn’t move when we knocked on the door.
The sun was still bright in the sky when I made it back to camp at 10:30. I didn’t sleep
well. Cancer scares the hell out of me.
The mail plane doesn’t come to Eagle until noon, so I hung out at the school and ate as
much as I could until then. I asked one of the hazmat guys if the water in the Yukon is
safe to drink downstream from Eagle, and he said it should be fine once I filter it.
I walked down to the post office after lunch and was told Terry had picked up a package
for me. I started walking up to Terry’s, but I saw Daisy at the gas station and got a ride.
Again, for the record, all her kids are older than me.
Terry had my gun, but some important paperwork hadn’t come with it. He wasn’t worried,
though. He gave me my gun, sold me some ammo, and sent me on my way.
We got back down to the boat ramp where two canoeists were unloading their boat.
Daisy already had them in her pickup for a tour of town when I set out on the water. I think
she’s found her calling in life. (continued on next page)
| Message from Adam's Spotter
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Time:06/16/2009 03:07:58 (GMT)
Here's where I am.