Dillingham

Day 14: Wednesday 10/9 | Family Fishing Expedition A place that will always be close to my heart, Dillingham was much of the inspiration for my first book Bristol Bay Summer. This time there was an extra draw; my son Zach Stenson, his wife Rebecca, and their children Ayla, almost 3, and her new little brother, 4-month-old Alder. Zach is the director of the Bristol Bay Regional Career and Technical Education program for four school districts around the region.

Baby Alder in carrier

How can a smile be this big?

Ayla picking berries

Ayla picking berries with Dad

A fisherman at heart, Zach had the rods out. As soon as my plane landed, he and his family whisked me off for a quick change of clothes and out to Aleknagik Lake in their pick-up, small river boat trailering behind. The windshield wipers slapped back and forth furiously. Once there, we puttered through the downpour to the end of the lake. Magically, as soon as Zach’s line hit the water, a rainbow shone through the clouds, lighting up the sky with the promise of  – Ayla’s first fish! A beautiful arctic grayling.  
Annie B with grand daughter fishing

Annie B with grand daughter fishing

Little girl fishing on lake shore

Little Ayla taking a break after fishing

Day 15: Thursday 10/10 | Dillingham Public Schools The next day I spoke to an attentive group of Dillingham Middle and High School students, and was interviewed on KDLG public radio. Dillingham Elementary School Teacher Stephanie Jenson’s hand-picked 5th graders had just finished reading Bristol Bay Summer. I loved my ‘lunch bunch!’
Kid at desk in school head down

5th graders Bristol Bay Summer Lunch Group (They’re actually listening, not sleeping!)

Annie B presenting in Dillingham

Annie B presenting in Dillingham

Day 16: Friday 10/11 | Curyung Tribal Hall Event I gave my final presentation at the Curyung Community Center (pronounced Chugyung) to a full-house. The audience included the Friends of the Dillingham Public Library: local teacher and chief organizer for my visit Shannon Clouse, Susi Jenkins-Brito, nurse and Set the Net blogger, and Deven Lisac. I got to meet Alaska State Representative Bryce Edgmon, and Apayo Moore, whose poster “You Can Do It” was adapted for the cover of Fighter in Velvet Gloves. What a wonderful end to a wonderful tour!  
Friends of the Dillingham Public Library Susie Jenkins-Brito (left) and chief organizer Shannon Clouse raffling off Apayo Moore's

Friends of the Dillingham Public Library Susie Jenkins-Brito (left) and chief organizer Shannon Clouse raffling off Apayo Moore’s “You Can Do It” poster.