AKA 7000 Penguins Die in Mystery Stampede – from the personal journal of The Thinking Viking during a summer in Alaska
What follows and in following posts in this category are excerpts from my hand written journal, cobbled together with hazy and sometimes crystal clear memories. It’s a view into life in 1990 from my own youthful pencil and my current mind commenting. 

You really should start from the beginning – no really, you should.

Summer, 1990 Petersburg, AK – Mitkof island

At this point, I’m not having much fun.  No regular work, broke, hanging with others in the same situation in Tent City. Bunch of 18-30 dudes hanging out in a camp in the muskeg. Handful of women, handful of Mexican migrants.  Bears. Bugs. Cheap beer and long days, Northern lights – the sun sets behind one side of the mountain across the strait and rises on the other side. Every morning a chorus of travel alarms starts up as those who have started work wake for their day’s labor.

“July 1 1990 – Sunday – beer and a valium last night, thus my dreams and late sleep. It rained all night, too. Not much else to report. Erica is dead (ed: Erica was this HUGE spider plant I had left with Mom to care for. Mom “kinda forgot” to water it. I had just heard the news)  I’m not in a very good mood. I have a sign on the tent saying “GO AWAY” and I mean it. Queensryche will have to do, Metallica got eaten (for my younger readers, cassette tapes would sometimes get fouled in the tape deck  and ruined hence “eaten”) . Watch the news. I am finally unhappy with my lot.

<skipping the rest of this day, except to note, I did fifty push-ups and Ted showed up with beer>

July 2 – Monday -Nothing to do. slept in.  Still at Day Labor. applied at Chatham Straights today w/Ted. Fuck it. Goodnight I’m very tired.  Dammit my tablet is wet. Why? (writing is very faint – pencils on wet paper don’t do well)

July 3 (skipping – two  pages of weird dreams, but I will point out that I was upset that my alarm interrupted dreamtime)

July 4 – Wednesday Good morning you bum!

7:00 PM dined on an apple, rice, two well baked potatoes. there will probably be some  big festivities tonight down at the beach – do I join or not? Knowing myself,  I probably will.”

That night we had a bonfire on the beach, northern lights for fireworks, fresh fish and clam bake, PBR and Raineer flowed freely. A chick with a shaved head drunkenly and very boldly propositioned me.  I won’t elaborate.

Anyhow, on to the next day….

“July 5 – restrained myself ..to some extent. Got a job today.  I’m washing dishes at the Homestead Cafe – not a bad place but…forget it, I need the money.

Ted says”Today I’m some, tomorrow I’ll be more, and the next day I’ll be richer than poor.” Say WHAT? Well, that’s Ted.

July 6th- 6:00 AM gotta work at 7:00 slept like shit


Got a $15 advance at work today bought food, glory be!  “Nothing is ever really gone, only absent for a while” – says Bruce. Once again, I’m in the Homestead Cafe, sitting down – finally with obviously bruce, Steph and Ted. Bruce says he just got God’s autograph and told me to fuck off.  Just found a cold, unopened “Lucky” in the john on the window ledge – 1st time I’ve really checked the beer up there for some possibly drug-induced reason…NO MECH BEFORE BED  Axyl has “found them” whatever that means.”

( sometimes my text trails off  into gibberish – I often finished entries in the tent as I fell asleep, pretty sure that happened here.)

July 7 Overslept and I am no longer working. Hell, still I’ve made $55 it should tide me over. Cooking rice on a campfire  promises to be time consuming process, but it should result in excellent rice.

Where’s the beef? It remains a vital part of the sacred choa, yet still the beefeaters consider it food for thought about the unreal halibut steaks. Steak? Did someone say steak? God, a fucking steak would rule of thumb  is ten minutes to hand-bail and I bailed those fuckers for almost twenty four hours in a day and has them one-thumb and that is the main, out of sight out of mind I always say when it gets dark and I can’t see, I have not brought my specs with me to Mars.

July 8 – slept – happily until after noon, is now near 8 PM, I’m having a peanut butter and jelly – did nothing all day. It’s fucking raining again.Ben’s sitting here making a hammer handle, he has used two quarts to wedge the hammer handle . Marilyn is also writing something in some sort of book, much like this one. Some stupid fuck who I have seen before is incompetently splitting word and fire building. Someone else just split a bunch of wood and did a muck better job. Joe’s smoking a cigarette. Ted’s babbling at another fire about his schizophrenia as usual – sex, drugs, D&D and schizophrenia is all he talks about. Fire’s seriously starting to burn. Joes smoking again “Whenever I feel like it” he says. ”

– end

The rest of the page is a truly insane dream I had. I still have this super-vivid dreams, but I no longer write them down.  I’ve since learned I am a “lucid” dreamer and that I am partially awake when they get weird like that – sleeping in broad daylight with activity around spawned most of it while I was in Alaska that summer.  I read a little ahead, things are going to get interesting – about to meet my girlfriend-for-the-summer.


Previous Journal

  1. mark says:

    Dropped a load of salmon in Petersburg in 96, went to the Eagle beach north of town while laundry was drying for a little escape. Ventured up to the boardwalk style tent city to check it out. It was a ghost town as everyone must have been hard at work in the cannery. Think it was Kitos Kave that night and then steamed out at 5am the next morning, Wrangell narrows, low tide in the dark, oh boy.

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