Saturday, August 2, 2008
Tour of the Town
Grayling Native Store
Friday, August 1
A fresh shipment arrived at the Grayling Native Store this morning and everyone who was available was put to work opening boxes. This store carries about anything you might need, as well as a few surprises. Who would have ever thought that I’d find an ample supply of my very favorite Safeway Clear Soda in the middle of the Alaska bush? But I did, and as I write, I am happily sipping a cup of Blackberry/Raspberry. Inspired by this, I thought I’d take this opportunity to show you around the village.
The Mission House where I am staying is located on what the map calls C Street, but which is really just the road to the river. Across from me is the Community Hall.
Community Hall with School in Background
Behind the community hall is the school. Built in the early ‘70’s, it currently serves 38 students, K through 12, with4 full time, 1 part time faculty. One of the teachers also works as principal.
Behind the school you find the water treatment plant, the post office and the Grayling city offices.
Water Treatment Plant
If you like to carry a water bottle, Grayling is the place to fill it. We have some of the best water on the Lower Yukon. The city offices have a computer room where residents may use the internet, send faxes and the like. To the left of the city offices and slightly to the rear is the clinic.
To the right and across the street from the post office is the gas station, which is open for a shift in the morning and one in the afternoon. School, gas company, water plant, post office, town hall and clinic all circle a central common. There are two other businesses in town, the air service, located on Third Street on the way to the airport, and a Native company, just up Third from the clinic.
The Village's Single Gas Pump: Left nozzle, diesel, Right, regular
The bridge on the way to the airport is the only paved piece of road in all of Grayling. The airport itself sits at the south end of Third Street. It's much simpler than the miles of strip malls, shopping complexes and freeway auto rows that I see most of the time, but as Wendell Berry said in his poem “The Wild Geese,” what we need is here.
Airport Bridge: Note the engineered creek bank
Saturday, if all goes well, I’m off to pick blueberries with Sandy. Sunday we celebrate the Loaves and the Fishes. What we need is here.