And in an era of climate change, break-up has been coming too soon, especially this year. The ice has become unpredictable, creating new, sometimes deadly hazards and a host of practical problems that disrupt the rhythms of everyday life.
No matter where you go in rural Alaska, you will always find a cake mix cake.
And there is most likely no more democratic fishing spot in America than the Kenai — a place where any Alaska resident, from an oil company executive to a carwash attendant, can fill a freezer with premium salmon for only the cost of gas and gear.
Before his story made the Anchorage paper, before the first death threat arrived from across the world, before his elders began to worry and his mother cried over the things she read on Facebook, Chris Apassingok, age 16, caught a whale.
There have been times in Alaska’s history when people have had deep anxiety about foreign threats. Now is not one of those.