Thursday, March 28, 2013
"I have never relied on satellite phones for communication, they are an annoyance for me, even as phones in general are considered annoying away from these remote regions. I prefer to be in these distant rivers without any interference from the outside world. It is rare that any aircraft flies overhead, and if they do they are so high I do not hear them. Should my plane not return to bring me out, I face going all the way to the Arctic Ocean and continue west to Barrow before freeze-up. So far all of my pilots have been on schedule and when the day comes, I must be on a suitable gravel bar for their landing and in plain view. One season my pilot did not understand my instructions for a maneuver on a gravel bar to avoid soft sand but he plowed into this softer area with a full load of ivory and one tire fell into a wet trap. I then proceeded to hang on the opposite wing strut to add more weight and he revved up the prop to pull us out of the sand as I flapped in the hurricane force sand storm. We pulled out of the soft area and back onto firm ground all the time spitting sand from my teeth, hair and nose."