Category Archives: Life in Yakutat

What it is like to live year ’round in this VERY small community.

Near-Death Experience

Last week, I was as close to dying as I have ever been.  Was driving back from town about half-way between Ophir Creek and Glacier bear with the window open,  when a bee hit the mirror and bounced into my crotch.  I did the classic idiot bee panic that I make fun of others for and almost went into the ditch at 50mph.  In my defense though,  I wasn’t freaking out because there was a bee in the car,  I was freaking out because there was a bee in my CROTCH and I was just in my gym clothes…  Thankfully,  I survived and the bee didn’t.  But it was a close one…

Interesting Morning

The ACE Air Cargo mail plane arrived this morning at 4:05am.  I fueled,  Teen assisted the flight crew with offloading the mail and UPS.  On our way into town to deliver the 592lbs of mail,  there were two bears in the grass just outside the Pate Construction yard.  We stopped in the road and watched them for about 10 minutes.  One darted into the trees immediately,  the other stayed on the road shoulder,  grazed a little on clover,  then huffed and walked past us toward Ophir Creek.

After delivering the mail,  we headed back to the airport expecting to see the bears again.  Nope.  Instead,  standing on the center line of the Ophir Creek Bridge was a beautiful cow moose and her two freshly hatched calves.  Mom was watching the trees,  while one calf walked around her in circles and the other stayed down in a tiny pile of fur.  She really didn’t care that we were there at all.  Just kept staring and listening for the bears to come and attack her babies.

We watched them for about 20 minutes as they slowly ambled down the road,  staying on the centerline.  Eventually they moved over into the trees on the right and we drove past.

So much life (and death) here.  It is still amazing to see this sort of thing and I hope I never get jaded to it.  Every spring,  there would be tiny moose calf tracks around the cabin on the Italio.  We’d see the tracks for a week or so,  then they would disappear.  Then…  a pile of bear scat with those tiny hooves in it.  This cow sure has a hard spring ahead,  trying to keep these tiny guys alive.

This was a calf we came across back in 2005.  Wandering alone on the Old Italio flats,  3 miles from the nearest tree.  My guess is he didn’t survive the night.

Thank You!

I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and encouragement from all of you.  I was going to privately respond to every one,  but holy cow!  Yakutat is a tough place to try and make it in.  There is so much negativity here.  We’ve been battling it over the fly shop,  over the hangar,  over the fuel facility…  It just gets tiring and even under the best of circumstances,  it’ll wear you down.  A few months back,  locals were trashing me on Facebook over the museum and lack of progress.  People who have never come out for a tour of course…

But how can one stay down with the kinds of friends we have all across the globe.  I’ll take some time off here,  but I promise I’ll be back soon.  Take care and THANK YOU!

Winters in Yakutat

Pretty slow around here and hard to get motivated to do much (including blog).  But tonight is a very full moon rising over the end of runway 20.  And through all my heavy insulation in the hangar office,  you can hear the wolves howling.  They have been doing it for about a half hour now.  Life in Yakutat year ’round can be hard,  but moments like this put it all in perspective and remind me why I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

And on that note…  Chris came back from Colorado about a week ago and immediately went fishing.  Well,  he went hiking anyway…  Hiked about 3/4th of the way up to the closure boundary and did not see a single fish.  Bummer for him,  but good news for the steelheaders coming later in April and May.  There are a handful of fish scattered around (I heard two of the 5 in the bridge hole were landed,  but those fish have vaporized),  but the run is not even close to starting to show.  Nothing like two years ago,  where February was pretty darned good and the run was basically over by mid-April…

Having some sleet and slush falling,  but not accumulating much.  Still a near zero snowpack,  which will make the river temp rise very quickly once we do see the warmth of April.  That is unless we get a big dumping,  which often happens in March.  Last year,  we had more fish in the river in Feb than we do now,  but 3 feet of late snow in March stalled the run and it ended up being relatively close to on-time.

Chris said the river looked perfect for fishing.  Good flow,  decent temperature.  Just no fish to be had.

And message to Doug Pautz and Wesley Reynolds…  Check your spam folders…  I answered your messages,  but I don’t think you got the reply…

Yakutat Land Sale November, 2018

The City and Borough of Yakutat is selling 5 lots located along Ocean Cape Road.  Two are directly on Ocean Cape Road,  while three are back behind on a platted,  but non-existent Water Tank Loop Road.  The “water tank” in question is upland from the Delta Western bulk facility.  These lots are along the road to the Ankau,  less than a quarter mile past The Mooring Lodge,  Delta Western and the AC grocery store.


The deadline for the initial offering is December 3rd,  2018.  Before placing a bid,  check to see how far away basic utilities are from the lots.  My guess is they are within easy reach,  since the West and South Additions are beyond these lots and you can tie into water and sewer relatively easily compared to some of the other properties offered lately.  These look like pretty good lots!  Zoned “industrial”,  you can pretty much do anything you want with them…

Here is the complete packet on PDF:

CBY Land sale Nov 2018 (2)

City and Borough of Yakutat Elections 2018

Our local elections are coming up in about 3 weeks.  We have 7 positions open on the assembly and school board including the mayor position.  Go to the city office to register as a candidate.


If you are looking to declare candidacy,  you have till September 26th at 5pm local to do so…  Election takes place October 16th.


You can be the mayor of the largest city in the world (by area)…

A Glance Back at Steelhead Season

The July issue of the Alaska Sporting Journal had an article on the Situk.  Written by our friend Tony Ensalaco and features a photo of Tanis holding a nice-big-trophy…  beaver.  Also a nice picture of Ryan,  from the Glacier Bear,  holding a big steelie.  The magazine was a month late coming to newsstands,  so it is probably still on the shelf now.

If it is gone from the shelves and you missed it…  Here is a PDF of the article:

Alaska Sporting Journal 7-18 pg54

And some left-over steelhead pictures of Chris and Adam…