Our first day in Tok started off rather uneventful. Later we went to the Tetlin Wildlife Refuge InfoCenter to find out about the bugs that had bothered us the day before. After some back and forth we found out what they were. Wait for it. Firebugs. Some bugs that lay their eggs in burning wood and coals – they will even singe their feet off doing so. There sure are some weird animals out there. Later in the day we drove out to 4-mile-lake. The lake is absolutely gorgeous, and even more so because we had a really beautiful day with a lot of sun and a perfect sky...
We also saw several moose out there, at least three of them. Sadly (or maybe thankfully?) they were pretty far away and we had some trouble getting good pictures as our camera lenses only range to 200mm. This told us, that we should take some really big lenses with us for our next stay - no matter what they weigh. ;-)
The original reason for going out to the lake was a different one though. We were supposed to have dinner with the people at „Shen“, a camp for kids that is held at 4-mile-lake every summer. Thursdays at Shen mark very special occasions, the so called ice-cream-drop. Since ice-cream can’t be kept refrigerated at the lakeside cabins it is flown in by a pilot in a small airplane, who will then drop the frozen, watertight packages into the lake. People in kanues will paddle out to retrieve the ice cream. It is then served with dinner.
On our way back to the car we realized that there were bunches of blueberries in the bushes. So we all went out there and picked as much as we could until we had to get back. We got a lot!
Experiences like this are why staying with locals is so different from just being a tourist in a foreign country. With local contacts you get to see things in a different way and you can experience a bit of what alaskan life is all about.