Two friends from two widely separated places to meet for first time

While you are leisurely enjoying your morning cup of coffee and reading today's Outdoors page, three of us (yours truly, Elaine and her mom, Mary) are on an Alaska Airlines jet flying via Seattle to Anchorage for a vacation trip in Alaska.

Then, sometime later this afternoon, there will be a highly-unusual, long-anticipated meeting by two friends from two widely separated parts of the world.

Those two friends are Don Quilici of Carson City, Nevada and Brian Drury of Old Crow, Yukon.

Brian works for the government and Susan is a teacher at Old Crow.

Brian and I first met one another, electronically, at the sportsmen's Internet Website, and have been friends for several years.

Most interesting, we have never met in person, until today!

That meeting should be a blast for everyone involved.

Especially, since neither Brian nor Susan have ever tasted a Manhattan cocktail, and I promised to buy them one, at our first meeting.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with a tiny dot on the map known as Old Crow, Yukon, here is some fascinating information:

The town:

Old Crow is located at the confluence of the Crow River and the Porcupine River.

It can only be reached by either plane or boat, and it is the only village in the Yukon Territory which does not have road access. No traffic jams, there!

It is the only Yukon community located north of the Arctic Circle.

It is a small town of about 300 aboriginal people; known as the "Vuntut Gwitchin."

As you might have already guessed by now, the people who live there, enjoy long, leisurely 24-hours-of-sunshine summer days and then, the reverse: The long dark days of very little or absolutely no sunlight in the winter.

The people:

The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation extends throughout the Yukon Territory, the northwest part of the Northwest Territories and parts of Alaska.

For thousands of years, their ancestors have used and continue to use the land and its resources.

They have a vast Traditional Territory, approximately 50,000 square miles, which is located mostly in the Northern Yukon region from the western border of the USA and Canada to the Peel River and Richardson Mountains, and from northern Ivvavik National Park to the Ogilvie Mountains.

The food:

The residents of Old Crow do not have the luxuury of a super market or a corner grocery store, and rely heavily on the land and on the Porcupine Caribou Herd for their food, shelter and medicines.

It would be safe to say that they need to shoot or catch almost all of the things they eat.

Those food sources include such game as bear, caribou, duck, geese, different types of fish, muskrat, porcupine, ptarmigan, rabbit, etc.

The recipes:

At their website, they have a list of unusual recipes including: Gravy Fried Caribou, Stuffed Caribou Heart, Boiled Caribou Ribs, Caribou Roast with Gravy, Ch'agwat (Boiled Caribou Leg), Porcupine River Sausage, Roasted Muskrat, Rabbit Pie, Stuffed Ptarmigan, Black Duck Soup, Oven Bannock, Cranberry Muffins, Grease Bannock, Hudson Bay Bannock, Oven Biscuits, Fried Bannock, Wild Blueberry Pancakes, Ch'itsuh (Pemmican) and Bone Grease.

The Gravy Fried Caribou, Rabbit Pie, Stuffed Ptarmigan, etc. all sound yummy.

However, I'll take a pass on things like the Boiled caribou leg and Roasted Muskrat.

Thanks but no thanks!

Geez, those rank right up there with liver, heart, etc, for me.

The prices:

Hold your breath, while you read what the poor souls in Old Crow have to pay for the following food items (in US dollars):

Cucumber: $5.00

Ear of corn: $2.45

Small tomato (3- 4 inches diameter): $2.35

Small watermelon (on sale!): $34.95 Wow!

2 liters milk: $7.49

2 liters Bryers ice cream: $12.49

Loaf of grain bread: $5.69

Rolled oats (5 pounds): $14.95

Note: Now you know why they rely so heavily on the land and water for most of their food! Those prices are downright scary!


Website: is where you will find much of the information in this column, plus much more. Visit it today!

-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you what Brian and I will be doing on June 21.

If he grins and says, "The two of them, plus Susan, will be Halibut fishing at Homer, while Elaine and her mom go sightseeing," he could be one of my fishing partners.

-- Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.


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