Deer Rock: Haines, Alaska

Deer Rock is a place of great significance to many Tlingit. It is a place where major decisions are made and conflicts resolved.

The scene above depicts the disputing parties gathered to celebrate the resolution of conflict. There has been a dance of two Deer that ended in an embrace of peace. They hold their arms to symbolize a vessel of water from which everyone drinks to acknowledge the restoration of harmony. 

Deer are seen by the Tlingit as the most peaceful animals. When a conflict arose among clans or groups, the most peaceful person was chosen as The Deer to act as peacemaker and mediator between the disputing parties. 

The Deer’s task was to carry information to the heads of the houses to help them resolve the conflict. Once a resolution was reached, it was binding and all concerned celebrated an end to the conflict at Deer Rock. 

Deer Rock used to be a single pinnacle that was six feet high. As the road was constructed, Deer Rock was dynamited. The Tlingit protested and the pieces have been reassembled here.

This is why Cultural Resource Management is so important. Before any ground disturbance is undertaken, a literature review, on-the-ground survey, and consultation with interested parties should allow for Traditional Cultural Properties such as Deer Rock, or other cultural materials to have been identified before being irreparably destroyed.

TL;DR - The state government blew up a long-standing meeting place for peaceful agreements between the Chilkats and Chilkoots of southeastern Alaska and then tried to cobble it back together after the fact. This could have easily been prevented.


August 20, 2011

So on Millionaire Matchmaker with Patti Stanger she talks of a Minidate. I originally just wanted to go to a movie but instead I talked this guy into meeting me for a drink. He suggested ChilKoot Charlies and so I met him there a little after 6pm. He said he wasn’t drinking but I ordered a Rum and Coke. He said he was from Morocco,  and speaks 3 lanuages, French, Arabic, and English which he learned when he got here. He has been here 5 years and his family hates America. He said he prefers Europe to America. I didn’t care to ask why. He suggested we go some where else. I said  I am having fun here. He kinda got irritated and started fidgeting. I was getting aggitated then he started talking about movies and brought up the stupidest actor in the world. Jean-Claude Van Damme. Yuk!

I hate all his movies. ALLLL… I said he is an amazing athlete but acting? NO. I don’t even like his body. Yuk.

So at about 740 I left him at the bar and headed to see my little girl. I hung out with Her Auntie Jean and was home before 9pm.

Photo courtesy of Webster & Stevens.

From “Along the Yukon Trail,” National Geographic, September, 1953.

1898 Photograph Shows men Streaming Like Ants Across Chilkoot

From September to June, Chilkoot Pass is solid with ice and frequently racked by storms. Each fortune seeker had to pack his ton of supplies in relays and carry his dogs across. Even with steps hacked in the ice, the long climb was grueling and dangerous.

Despite these hardships, stampeders streamed in unbroken lines over the pass as long as the light of day held out. Sickness, hurry, confusion, and bewilderment marked the trail; time was scarce for eating and sleeping – or for sentiment if a man dropped out of line.

Here men coming up from Dyea in 1898 wait their turn to tackle the summit. Once across, they raced on for Bennett Lake.

Ambitious Dyea dreamed of becoming the main passage to the gold creeks. But Skagway’s wharves lured the steamers, and White Pass offered easier going than Chilkoot. Moreover, the railroad chose the White pass route. So in time Skagway bloomed and Chilkoot wilted.

Fig. I. Kitch-kook. Fig. II. Cou-de-nah-haw.

The Blankets of the Chilkat

George T. Emmons
New York: The American Museum of Natural History Press, 1908.

they have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching, / they have soaked you in convention through and through; / they have put you in a showcase; you’re a credit to their teaching– / but can’t you hear the wild?–it’s calling you. / let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us; / let us journey to a lonely land I know. / there’s a whisper on the night-wind, there’s a star agleam to guide us, / and the wild is calling, calling… . let us go



As you guys know, I attended the Born to Ride 2016, which consisted in a self supported endurance randonnee from Vézelay to Barcelona. I was a bit worried about my condition but I finally did it and we did quite well actually as we rode about 1000kms with approximately 9000m D+, in 69 hours. 

Day 1 (~360kms, 21h)

The first difficulty was to rally the start line, as the train company was on strike for weeks, it was a total mess and everyone had troubles catching their trains. We had to ride a prologue of 50kms to join everyone in Vézelay on time. 
Anyway, we finally got there, enjoyed a nice meal with all the riders and as the clock was ticking, I tried to relax as much as I could and eventually take a power nap before we start. 
Midnight, the rain is on us and will follow us through the night and until dusk. I never rode a whole night, and seeing the ballet of the peloton lights stretching through the silence of the night is a very powerful and emotional souvenir. It is literally galvanizing. 
The sensations during the night were great, we pushed hard with my friend and unfortunately dropped our 2 other companions, but we managed to join a few other guys while on the road. 

At 5AM, I started to feel tired, but decided not to stop for a nap as I know it would be really hard to hop back on the saddle. I took advantage of the sunrise to switch my body into day mode and ride on to Clermont-Ferrand (CP1), where we stopped for lunch at 11AM. The sun finally decided to show up and warm us up while we were making our way to Le Puy en Velay (CP2). The road started to really go uphill but the legs felt great despite the first signs of ass soreness…
We finally made it to Le Puy en Velay after 21 hours on the saddle and about 350kms for this first day.