Photo courtesy of John Quimby
“Super Al Mitchel” on first leg to Cooper Landing in the Soggy Bottom 100 backcountry bike ride.
Photo courtesy of Paul Flahive
Six Mile Festival participants and event creator Tim Johnson at the mic.
By Shyla Malone
In the past week the berries have ripened and the mushrooms have popped up. With the current rains it makes it hard to want to get out there and take advantage of them, however locals do love it.
The Federal hunting season for moose and caribou opened on Aug.10 and the state-hunting season starts Aug.20. If you do not have a license or a moose/caribou tag you may pick one up at the Alaska Dacha store or HHH of Hope. For Federal licenses and tags please contact the local forest service office. It’s so great to live in a town and state where we have all of these natural resources to utilize to our best needs.
Soggy Bottom 100
The Soggy Bottom 100 is a non-competitive backcountry bike ride that has been going 10 years strong, 8 of those years have been in Hope. I’ve heard that this is a top 100 most difficult human powered endurance event in the world.
The event started at the Seaview Café at 9 a.m. Competitors rode over Resurrection Pass Trail to Cooper Landing then back over the pass to Devils Pass where riders went down and back to return to the pass trail and finish back at the Seaview.
It is advertised as a 100-mile ride, but is actually 110 miles from start to finish. A maximum of 40 riders and 5 teams left downtown in relatively decent weather, but by that afternoon it was pouring, making for a difficult messy ride.
Coming in first for the teams and overall was team Speedway Cycles, consisting of Greg Matyas, Brent Gorman, and John Lackey, with a time of 8:55:49. Greg Matyas, owner of Speedway Cycles, has been doing this for 11 years and Resurrection Pass is one of his favorite trails. Talking with him at the finish line, he said that “ It was typical sloppy wet trail conditions.” He was covered with mud from the ride.
The first solo rider in was Tim Bernston with a time of 10:23:47. People came from all over including Portland, Ore., also two 3-person teams and 2 solo riders drove from Whitehorse, Canada. Olympian bi-athlete, Rachel Steers, was also in the race, but could not finish this time. The ride organizer was Carlos Rio, who did an exceptional job and was very informative. We hope to see everyone back next year, hopefully with better weather.
Six Mile Festival
With good weather and a motto like “if you don’t have a good time, who cares it was free” made a great start to a very entertaining festival.
A wide variety of people, young and old, mingled together under the beautiful Chugach Mountains and the rim of the Boston Bar, for the 4th Annual Six Mile Fest. The event started at noon when everyone from the event grounds drove to the bridge over Six Mile, located at the Hope junction. From there, a head to head whitewater race started, racers were judged on the first canyon’s rapids, which go as high as a class 4.
Coming in first was Tripp Kenney, who just moved to Alaska from Colorado. Second place went to Jeff Sheldon and third to Tom Federicks.
Rankings in the pack raft were: first place Tim Johnson, second Luke Mehl, and third Todd Tumalo. The carnage award, an old kayaker and rafting tradition where the winner has to drink from a worn, used rafting bootie and receive three spankings, was Adrian BeeBee.
After the race people were pretty tired, so the rodeo was canceled. At 6 p.m., the raffle and bonfire party started with free micro beer made by the Moose’s Tooth. The smell coming from the caterers of the event, AJs Bbq, was amazing. Owners AJ and J.A were busy cooking away, but had a few minutes to comment on the event. “Glad to be here, awesome time,” said J.A from the barbecue grill. AJ remarked, “good turnout and it’s our first time to the area, hopefully not our last.”
Freestyle kayakers put on quite a show on the rapids in front of the main event area, even dogs joined in the whitewater fun as a black lab swam down a few times. Down the shore was the flying yogaists, Jill and Mark Hughes, putting on an interesting demonstration. Jill laying on her back, would “fly” her brother on her feet in yoga type movements. It was entertaining.
Up the trail from the bonfire was a campground area with great views and easy access. The event creator, Tim Johnson (not the winner from the race), said his first choice was always Six Mile Creek for this festival, having hiked it as a kid, and rafting it while he worked for Chugach Outdoor Center. He wasn’t sure how many people showed up this year, but said last year there were an estimated 300 spectators. “Always gets better,” Tim said, as this year was the first time food and a band were available.
Between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Big Fat Buddha started to play, before they did I spoke with a few of them. Space Alien Pirate Timmy Haren on drums and back-up vocals, said “best amphitheater we ever played at!”
On the bass and back-up vocals was Captain Brad Fidel, who remarked, “Love Hope, most beautiful spot in the world, played 35 shows, this is one of the best spots that we ever played at!” Percussion was done by Senor Jeff Arms , he stated, “Playing here in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever played at, pretty special playing by the river. Brings festival to another level with community, food and good music!”
Lead guitarist and vocalist, Hombre Matt Brenna, was busy doing last minute equipment checks, so I didn’t get to speak with him. With a bluesy-reggae sound, Big Fat Buddha had everyone dancing, and jiving by well into the night. Fire hula hooper Courtney Willis, from Girdwood, put on a spectacular show to accompany the great music.
One festival goer, Katura Willingham, said “There’s a good looking group of people in one of the most beautiful places in the state!” Diane Olthuis remarked that “It’s a good time, great company and good weather!”
I spotted some of our local rafters there from Nova and Chugach Outdoor Center, who seemed to be having a wonderful time. I’d have to say with great camping, awesome views, good food, jiven music and all of the people, the 4th Annual Six Mile Fest was a big hit.
Hope Community Square Dance
Held at Hope’s social hall, there was a community square dance, with over 40 people and their families attending. With the doors wide open, people hearing the music would wander in off the street.
A variety of snacks and coffee was available, the dancers and spectators were very refreshed. Mike Preskitt from Anchorage has been a caller for 43 years and did a great job and had everyone dosy-doing and promenading. People came from as far away as Kasiloff and the Matanuska Valley to join in the revelry of our community.
“I like Hope, it’s a great place for a square dance, nice nature,” said Shirley Stromberg, from Anchorage. Debbie Preskitt remarked, “We enjoy watching other people succeed, and all the smiles and laughter. You can make lifetime friends from this activity. Square dancing equals the three F’s: Fun, Fitness and Friends!
Later that night a bigger dance and potluck was held, which more experienced dancers attended. Everyone had a blast, Mike and Debbie Preskitt and company would like to thank the Hope community for their hospitality and support.
Registration was on Aug. 15 and 16, anyone wanting to register late should talk to the school secretary Ms. Sara Fortin. Alas, school is almost upon us, just a week and a day away, hope all of you youngsters are prepared.
Just a reminder about the Kenai Christian Church women’s retreat which starts on Sept. 29 and goes until Oct. 1. It will be held at Solid Rock Bible Camp, if you would like to go or have any questions please contact Joyce Burgin at 830-5307.
Church is every Sunday at 3 p.m. and the food bank is on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m.
The bunkhouse was full with almost 20 people listening to George Darrow’s lecture on the first flights from New York to Nome. He talked about how the pilots only had communication with each other and couldn’t talk to anyone on the ground. These little planes had small fuel capacity, so they had to make frequent stops to refuel. One pilot would fly in front of the others and then radio the pilots behind him when he found a suitable place to land. It was a very interesting lesson and the museum would like to thank Mr.Darrow for coming to Hope.
The museum is open everyday from noon to 4 p.m. Starting this Labor day it will be closed for the winter.
I’ve heard they are still running, just not as strong as usual, still good fishing though.
Poem Of The Month
It’s been a long trip,
I’ve gone very far.
It’s been a long drive,
from here to yar.
It’s been a long walk,
from young to old.
It’s been a long night,
from dusk til dawn.
But I am here,
til that day,
when heavens gone.
I’ve made it through,
all the challenges they threw,
and forever I will continue on!
– Deana Shepherd
Congratulations again to our graduating class, Deana Shpherd, Tyler Belcher, and Tessa Samel. Good luck. On your next big journey through a new school this fall, we are all very proud of you!
I would like to Congratulate, Rune and Shelley Christopherson on their recent marriage, as well!