Sunday, June 1, 2008

Palm Trees in the North

Grace and greetings.

It is now the beginning of June, and the whaling season is over, even though not all twenty two strikes were used. People are starting to leave for their summer fishing and hunting camps. Some will come and go from their camps on a weekly basis, others will stay in the camps through July or August. But it looks like my family and I will be here until the end of July when I will start my vacation after being up here for the year.

As one gets to know the area in the North Slope, one notices the lack of trees. The nearest tree is over a hundred miles away to the south in the Brooks Range. But outside of Barrow, about ten miles or so, on the far edge of the summer fishing "town", we have Palm Trees, year around, just like in the south.

Well, okay they are not exactly Palm trees in the truest of forms; they are driftwood that are planted standing up, with strips of baleen fastened to the top of the wood, giving the appearance of Palm trees. They must be fastened quite well, for they have survived many winters as well as summers here in the North Slope.

But the trees are not the only representations of the south here; we have a restaurant, Pepe's North of the Border Mexican Restaurant. It is run by Fran Tate, she has been here almost thirty years as I understand it. She has also journeyed throughout the world on account of her celebrity status; including a guest on the Tonight Show, when Johnny Carson was host. Since there are only seven or eight restaurants in town, and Pepe's is connected with the Top of the World hotel, she still gets a lot of attention.

Peace and blessings to All.

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