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A Village Trip: Kids, Fish, Trees and Bears, oh my!

Last weekend, I got to go on my first village trip–and relive the glory days of elementary school.

I visited Unalakleet (YOU-nuh-luh-cleat), a community of 800 nestled on the Bering Sea. Laureli, the News Director, came with me, to show me the ropes and show me around her hometown. I travelled there to do a profile on the Unalakleet Elementary School fifth grade class’ salmon incubation project. And on Friday morning, I tagged along on their outing to the North River, where they saw the habitat of spawning salmon and watched biologists take eggs from a female salmon. I had a blast seeing the egg-take and talking to the kids, teachers and biologists.

All in all the village trip was awesome.  Check out the photos for more!

Exterior of Plane

We flew to Unalakleet on Bering Air, a local airline.

Interior of Plane

Just the pilot, Laureli and me, 10,000 feet above the sea.

The North River--and a real-life forest!

We drove to the North River, where I got to see a real-life forest! Nome is too cold for trees, so it was a treat to see thousands and thousands of trees together.

Fish printing

After the field trip, the fifth graders, biologists and I headed to the school cafeteria, where we made fish prints on Unalakleet Wolfpack t-shirts. We started by massaging fabric paint onto the slippery, scaly salmon.

Fish Print 2

Then we carefully laid the t-shirt over the fish, patted it down for a minute or so, and finally, pulled off the t-shirt.

Fish Printing 3

The results of our hard work! We laid the t-shirts out to dry on the cafeteria floor.

Black bear

Laureli and I stayed the night at her dad’s house in the hills of Unalakleet. We had a great time with her family–and her brother, a hunter, caught a bear the night I was there!


All in all it was an awesome trip. On the flight home on Saturday morning, I could see our final destination, Nome, through the pilot’s window–and it felt good to be coming home.



  1. Joshua on September 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    What an adventure!
    I really wish I had one of those awesome salmon shirts…

  2. Laurie on October 1, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Bear! And I hope you made a salmon shirt for yourself… too cool for school.