We’re at Kako!

Waiting for a flight at the Anchorage airport

Not our flight, but one just like it. We took Era Airlines to Aniak.

You know you’re in Alaska when you follow the caribou hoofprints across the tarmac to your plane.  Vera’s daughter, Debbie, and her friend Linda are boarding the same plane we’re on.

Kako Retreat Center on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska is like no place else on earth that I know of.

Despite being a lonely little outpost in the wilderness, far from cities and highways, it’s connected to the outside world by small plane, river barges and boats, telephone, and the Internet.

Internet connections are slow…I’m not sure that these few pictures will even send. But we’re here and fully immersed in the exciting little world that is Kako.

The ceiling was 600 feet here this morning, but now I can see the top of the mountain behind us. In a few minutes the two volunteer pilots will be bringing in the first ladies for the annual Ladies’ Berry Picking Retreat. It will be a lot like other women’s retreats, with groups meeting during the day for fun activities, a special speaker, singing and visiting. Volunteers here have been planning and preparing meals, decorating tables with local wildflowers, preparing little gift bags for each attendee, making programs and fancy name tags.

There will be differences too. The 50 ladies expected are coming from 8 or 10 different villages (the first to arrive will be brought from the farthest away communities). All of these villages are off  the road system. And the activity to which women most look forward is the hike up that mountain behind us to pick wild berries. We’ll be up there in the tundra above timberline for much of the day, filling buckets with Alaska blueberries and salmon berries (really cloudberries, which are salmon colored and grow one to a plant only inches off the ground). Those berries will provide treats for their families next winter.

I’m off…want to be on the airstrip with my camera when the first ladies get here!

2 thoughts on “We’re at Kako!”

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