Posted by: Bonnie & Hans | May 16, 2010

Break up on the Yukon (the river, not us, although there were times…)

The last day of school was Thursday. We celebrated with an all-school/community barbecue out on the deck.

The cooks

The kids

The community

An hour after we finished eating (1:36 p.m.) a call went out on the CB that the ice had begun to move. It was very important to keep track of the time since the school had a pool to see who would guess the closest.  One of Hans’ students guessed 12:01 p.m.–the closest winning time. She was pretty happy and will receive a fine prize.

Everybody heads down to the river

Ice first starts moving

Big ice

So for the past three days the ice has continued to flow. No flooding here this year, but high water and lots of ice passing by.Yesterday the big pans had all broken up and it was like one big slushy.

Can't resist throwing a few rocks

We go back and forth between watching the river and closing out school. Next year we’ll be farther north in Shungnak; the place we started our Alaskan teaching more than 30 years ago. We’ll be teaching the kids and grandkids of our former students. Although it was hard to leave here, the pull to return was strong; we got married there, Hans C was born there, it’s our original Alaska home. Next fall we will have come full circle.



  1. What a fitting way to end your year and send you off on the next leg of your adventure! Grayling is really going to miss you two. I hope the blogs will continue from Shungnak.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to post a blog each week. It was a wonderful way to chronicle your year in Grayling and to keep in touch with you. It’s easy to see how the ice flow is such an important spring event!

  3. It’s been so much fun to follow your year in Grayling. I also hope you’ll continue next year in Shungnak–lucky them!

  4. What a great way to share your experiences! I love the video of the ice break-up. You can read about the break-up till your eyes drop out and never really be able to visualize how it is. Thanks for the video.

  5. Hans and Bonnie,
    Thanks for the awesome blog… and for the great T-shirt for Jack. Believe it or not, it will fit him soon. He is a fat and happy little kid!
    Love, Joe and Sarah

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