Favorite thing: I have some corrections to make....
Bethel is 90-100 miles from the mouth of the Kuskokwim River. It is a deep sea port with 60-80 feet deep water close to Bethel.
The Sewer Lagoon is beyond Bethel Heights (ASHA Housing). MacDonald Lake was often called honeybucket lake because people used it for disposal before the city system came into being. Running water and sewage are in use in all homes now.
Fondest memory: When I used to live in Bethel and travel away; the first thing I would do when I got back to Bethel and to the airplane door was BREATHE!! It was hard for me to be away from the open air, because in a city, you couldn't SEE anything because of the tall buildings; tall trees and mountains! In Bethel I could SEE everything. I loved to see the morning sunrise and the evening sunset. It covered the whole sky; and we could see it all. The night sky was another story! The Orion; Big and Little Dipper; the Milky Way and fantastic Northern Lights. Once I saw the Aurora Borealis do loop-de-loops! And the color was all green. My friends didn't believe me til they went out and saw them too!
- Adventure Travel
Brown's Slough Music
Favorite thing: Local songwriter Michael Faubion has an album called "Paris on the Kuskowim". Faubion's music is often his lyrics set to familiar tunes from the 1940's. The article says you can learn a lot about Bethel geography in "Bethel Cab Driver." You hear of the Brown Slough bridge (where these pictures were taken) and Louse Town, where Datu's house is. In "Brown Slough Boogie" you learn about the Sewer Lagoon (Honeybucket Lake?). I don't know about Bethel being a "Paris on the Kuskokwim," but Brown's Slough is definitely part of the unique history of Bethel.
- Sailing and Boating
Historical House on Brown's Slough
Favorite thing: A student Science Fair paper tells us that the original site of Bethel was located around the mouth of Brown's Slough. Datu used to live in this house located between the river and the present-day bridge. He lived to be 100 years old. He must have been one of the original settlers. Maybe watching TV was the secret to his longevity (notice the modern antenna). There is now a restaurant in Bethel with his name.
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Port of Bethel
Favorite thing: Bethel is located about 40 miles up the Kuskokwim River, the longest free flowing river in the United States. The Port of Bethel is the northernmost medium-draft port in the United States. Boats are the primary means of local transportation in the summer, since there are only ~16 miles of roads. Believe it or not, that huge, fast-flowing river becomes a 150-mile ice road to the upstream and downstream villages in the winter. Barges transport petroleum products and freight for the whole Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta out of Bethel. There is some commercial salmon industry but I think it is on the decline due to decreasing local fish populations.
- Business Travel
Above Ground Plumbing
Favorite thing: Bethel is built on tundra, i.e., the ground below the surface is frozen year-round. Some people have piped water. Those pipes must be insulated and run above ground.
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