Childs glacier, blue groaning snapping roaring incandescence and a secluded campsite on the opposite side of a river churning with floating ice and deadfall. The Diamonds have spent the night in their RV, which likely entailed serene contrast to the dervish raving flailing against mosquitoes whenever I entered or exited my tent.
In the morning we relax, shielded behind coffee mugs from the cold blast off the frost, exclaiming and gesticulating when the bigger chunks let go. Diamond is from Homer, he recollects his 10 year old self with an animated easy cheer, in the late 1940’s his father had heard about homesteading on Kenai, leading to an exodus from Indiana culminating in a harrowing — landslides, tree cutting, truck repair — three day drive on the one lane dirt road from Anchorage, in turn leading to a life in the 49th state: seasonal moose or grouse or caribou hunts, the 35 fish allowance plus 10 per member of household locals receive, finding a secret backcountry depression era cabin near Devil’s Creek accessible only by snowmachine, an allocation of board feet for building a home, which Diamond did by hand a number of times. A career building more ambitious things for oil companies and fisheries, and then he waxes into frustrations against industrial netting.
Yesterday. A woman apologizes for all the smoke her car is giving off, “can’t afford a new one,” her two sons helping to set up their sister’s walker, macular degeneration wobbly unsure gait, and they’re saving up to visit as many places as they can, Chicago then Panama next, so that the girl will have in her mind’s eye, mom explains, enough images to be able still to see when she’s completely blind.