Friday, August 14, 2009

On the Edge of Nowhere

I just finished reading a book about James Huntington as told through Lawrence Elliott, called On the Edge of Nowhere. Huntington grew up along the Koyukuk River and eventually settled in Huslia. One of the original "Huslia Hustlers" he ran dogs in a number for sprint sled dog races in Fairbanks and Anchorage during the early 50s. Before that he lived off the land hunting and trapping as a very young child with his father and brother and then as a young adult by himself.

Very interesting to read his point of view of growing up in such a rural setting, surviving off the land, traveling long distances in the winter, surviving in a larger community without many resources. What really struck me was what a hardship it was for this young man to come into fairbanks from the rural area. Where it was second nature for him to stake out his dogs pretty much where ever he wanted to, make a shelter to sleep in, or build a fire to make tea water, when he arrived in Fairbanks choices were limited and he had to come up with cash in order to survive.

I know that Jimmy's brother, Syndey has also co-authored a book and I'm anxious to get to this one too, Shadow's of the Koyukuk.

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