In the summer there is normally something going on down at the Kanakanak Beach. Subsistence fishing nets line the beach, so you might see locals catching salmon to "put up" for the winter. People picnic down at the beach. You'd need 4x4 to go too far down the beach, but it isn't that far to walk. In the evening some people even just go for walks down there.
On the bluff behind the Kanakank Hospital the cliff is starting to give way and some people have found recently exposed unmarked gravesites. The graves came from years ago during big cannery boom when an epedimic hit and a handful of unidentified Asian workers passed away. I was always glad I was not the person to discover the bones sticking out of the cliff, I'd get spooked out.
This small restaurant in the PAF Boat Yard near the small boat harbor and downtown Dillingham has a great Chinese buffet most days for lunch and some days for dinner. They do not do the Dim Sum thing that is part of this category on VT. They have standard American fare like burgers fries, and from time to time I heard they do Mexican, but I never wanted to try that so always ate the Chinese buffet.
You can't make reservations, it's first come, first serve. It gets really crowded in the summer time when all the fisherman are in town, and normally crowded during lunch. It's a family-operated business so if they are out of town or under the weather or fishing, the place is closed. Call ahead if you don’t have transportation.
When you enter the restaurant you'll pass the coolers where you can just grab your own pop on way to the table. I took this picture one day just having fun with camera, my friends thought I was a little nuts but I like it.
Favorite Dish: One time I tried a steak for dinner because they had a special and it was GOOD! One of the best steaks I've had in a restaurant ever. That was under $20 too if I remember right, so it was cheaper than steak house in Anchorage.
Once a year the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited puts on a fancy dinner and auction to benefit the organization. It's a popular event. The tickets run something like $50. The dinner is great! The company is good.
Dress Code: People dress up for this one. Normally at the Willow Tree anything goes.
There are only a few miles of paved roads in Dillingham, and the roads can get very icy in the winter - particularly this corner. In every town there are bad sections of road, and in every Alaskan town I've ever lived in there are always more accidents after a fresh snow. If you travel anywhere in Alaska, be cautious during and after "snow days"...more
Being a hub community in Alaska, Dillingham gets regularly scheduled jet service by Alaska Airlines, and smaller commuter planes such as Pen Air and Frontier out of Fairbanks. But we still end up in small planes when we want to travel beyond Dillingham to smaller communities in the region. Too many options when it comes to air taxis. Everyone...more
The locals try to shop in Anchorage. Our complaint is the prices. A bag of goceries could cost $50 and last only a couple days. I have friends who won't even walk into the local stores, they buy everything outside of Dillingham and freight it in.
Many commercial fisherman "grub up" in Anchorage before hitting the Bay each summer.
What to buy: Stuff that is on sale is sometimes a good price, so some of us pay attention and shop around even here. There are normally "barge" sales and those items are cheaper. So rather than offend any store owner I chose to use a Boyer Alaska Barge Line (BABL) container as a demonstration of where to shop. Somone filled in an "E", and made this container BABE.
What to pay: 75-100% more than Anchorage - which is pretty average for the United States when it comes to cost of feeding a family. But, the good side of the higher cost of living is when you go to the store there are probably only 2-3 people in front of you in line!
Aruvak was the name of one of the dance groups founding elders. In the mid-80’s there was a move to bring dancing back to Dillingham. The group performs around town and around the State at various functions. We practice fairly regularly at the Bristol Inn thanks to their kind donation of their conference room. If you are in town and hear the drums...more
This is a "maqi" at my friend's house. It is one of the local customs to take a steam bath as often as possible. To tell you the truth, I'm not that fond of the custom (nor have I ever learned to pronouce it properly). I got over my modesty long ago, but taking a "maqi" is definitely something one has to get used to. In the winter the waiting room...more
This picture was taken on Kanakanak Beach. Besides having the distinction of being the world's largest anagram, Kanakanak Beach is located approximately 5 miles from downtown Dillingham. This is one of the main beaches where locals subsistence fish for salmon each summer. Not me. I don't have a net. My friend's are usually kind enough to give me...more
In early July 2002, one of my coworker's boys was driving out the "Lake Road" and saw two cubs. The mother (sow) found them right about the same time...
That is a bear bite on the Subaru's windshield.
I took this picture up river along the banks of the Nushagak. It was near another town, Koliganek, one of my favorite towns in Bristol Bay but since I don’t have many pictures I will not create a Koliganek page. There is a lot of fishing and guiding out of the smaller villages along the Nushagak, but other than that they aren’t tourist...more
A 15-mile drive up the Lake Road you will find Twin Lakes. I think it is kind of funny, there are actually three lakes there. On hot summer days you’ll find the locals swimming and picnicking. In August you can wander through the woods and pick huckleberries. You might see a beaver, or beautifully calm water for picture taking. It’s a nice little...more
From Dillingham the journey inland on the Nushagak River takes you to many small villages that the average tourist doesn't get to. I don't have that many pictures of the actual villages of Ekwok, New Stuyahok, and Koliganek that I have gone to so I'm making this a trip from Dillingham - the town you'd get to from Anchorage. Besides all the species...more
It isn't probably a very inexpensive place for people to stay. This won't be a budget travel tip! But they really take care of their guests. I've only been invited up there as a member of the Aruvak Dancers. They have a gift shop, a bar, a fancy cook. It's a lovely building, on a lovely lake. Budget travel to Snake Lake would be like us locals...more