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Blood in the water of a tidal pool between Barrow and Point Barrow. (2007)
Our first day in Barrow we skipped lunch in a rush to catch the first tour. Daniel, the guy who runs Northernmost Tours, is an independent businessman and has to work hard to keep his customers happy. I had been talking to Daniel off and on for the few months leading up to our trip and, because late September is after the typical tourist season, we were expected to be the only ones going out. As such, we were gonna have to pay $300 per trip out.
As it turned out, there was a U.N. (as in United Nations) sub-committee meeting at NARL on (I think) indigenous Arctic people, and the scientists wanted to go on a tour. So the good news was that Bobby and I weren't going to be paying $150 a piece for our first tour. The bad news was that it wasn't going to be just us. A nice bonus was that even though we missed lunch, there ended up being some extra box lunches for the U.N. people and Bobby and I didn't have to go hungry. (Plus with the price of lunch in Barrow that easily saved us at least $20.)
The day before I went up to Barrow, I talked to Daniel on the phone and asked him if there were any supplies I could bring him. He thanked me for offering and asked if I could bring him Huggies. That's right, diapers. Sizes 3 and 5. So brother-in-law Mike took us to this awesome grocery store called Fred Meyer to go diaper shopping.
Getting the diapers was the easy part. Next was figuring out how to carry them with us. Neither Bobby nor I know much about birthin' babies, so I think we were both a little surprised at how much room they take up. We got the two little packs of size 3's in our bags and ended up checking the box of size 5's.
Don't forget about Mike's humorous prediction of our pending encounter with TSA staff on the way up.
So we get into Barrow the next day wearing our boots, carrying our bags filled with snow gear and very visible large box of Huggies. We didn't exactly cut a figure of intimidation to the locals. When we found out we didn't have time for lunch and rushed down to meet the van (diaper boxes in hand), I passed a guy in the hotel hallway who had the temerity to shoot me a glance and say, “Huggies, huh.”
Anyway, Daniel was very appreciative and cut us a great deal on our first outing.
It was on the way back from Point Barrow that Daniel saw something interesting on the southern shore and took us over for a look. It was here that I saw blood in the water.
Lots of blood.
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