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Only in Alaska

I stepped out the door of my apartment this morning and there was the principal with two rifles.

I live just across the hall from Brett, the principal here in Eek. Today he was just ahead of me in the hall wearing hip waders with one rifle slung over his shoulder and the other in his hand.

“Are you going hunting?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “I’m going up river to check for beaver and places to set traps, but if I see a caribou I might take a shot.”

Brett skinning a beaver

Actually, it’s a good idea to be armed when you leave Eek. From the highest point at the edge of the village all you can see is the vast Alaskan wilderness. In this place an unarmed human is not at the top of the food chain.

Herds of Caribou have migrated within sight of the village. Wolves and bears have wandered to its edge and into the nearby dump.

I didn’t get a picture of Brett as he prepared to leave today, but this is a recent one of him skinning a beaver on the back deck of the school.

Just another day in Alaska.