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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Buying Local

Dawn begins around 3:00am. The sky is noticaebly light by 4:00am. Though the day broke with clouds, by mid-morning the sun had once again claimed the sky. Though the weather is marvelous for humans from north central Illinois, it has not been so favorable to salmon. The river levels are reportedly low, too low for the fish to navigate and reach their spawning grounds. Their time is limited, and if rain doesn't come soon, next year's supply of fish will suffer.

The pleasant weather has also encouraged the bears to come out. There is a good crop of berries this year. The lack of fish is also forcing the bears to look for other sources of food. And this morning as we set off through the national park, there was a sign posted that bears had been confirmed within the park. We met a ranger along the way who said a bear had been sighted the night before where the river empties into the sound. They had also found evidence, such as droppings and markings, earlier in the morning. The bus driver claimed there are eight bears for every one person in the city. Bear in mind (no pun intended) that the city encompasses large expanses of national forest. We hope not to see one up close.

Our first goal today was to shop the White Elephant, a popular resale shop. We arrived shortly after opening. They had a good selection of books, from which we found about a dozen worth purchasing. We also found an inexpensive sweatshirt, which is a far more economical way to buy a souvenir than from a main street shop.

Next we headed to the local farmer's market. This was located inside and outside the building of the Alaska Native Brotherhood. There were lots of tables with jewelry, some photography and other crafts, a few with plants, and many with fish. Not really the baskets of produce we are accustomed to seeing in the midwest. We purchased a jar of jelly.

After dropping off the books, with more sunlight to be enjoyed, we headed south beyond our inn for the first time. We did not hike far, and decided against exploring the nearest trail, mostly because it was a steep uphill climb, and after ten days of hiking through the city we needed a rest. We harvested some wild berries along the way, and had a view of the other side of the bay.

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