The job of selecting a single winner was also tough, so we added 2 honorable mentions of $100 in Alaska Chicks' gear to the first prize of $350, giving out a total of $550 in prizes.
And the winner is...
Fireweed N. Fields
Her story is the following:
Well, I'm humble but my husband has encouraged me to tell my story. I moved to the remote west side of the Cook Inlet in 1981 when I was 24 years old. The guy I went there with left after a couple weeks to go big game guiding in another part of the state. I was in an area which supported one of the highest brown/black bear populations in the whole world. I was way under powered with my over/under 20 gauge/22 rifle. I was then ignorant to that fact yet do remember him telling me before he left "If you have to shoot a bear, be sure it is very close up.". I didn't have a dog to give a warning bark, so I couldn't go outside at night due to the salmon spawning stream a few yards away where many bears mingled. When he returned he was extremely relieved to see smoke emitting from the chimney for he didn't expect to find me alive. Went 8 months that year with out ever going to town. I learned how to trap/skin/flesh. Most of our diet was moose meat, along with bear, porcupine, fish, and clams. We lived in a 10 x 10 log cabin with a sod roof and dirt floor. In the Spring we had to hike 25 miles to find some one with a VHF radio so we could call out for a plane to come and get us. I continued this lifestyle until I was way into my forties. Raised two girls out there. Home schooled, ran traplines, ate lots of bears (just the trouble makers), canned salmon and etc. we would get our mail about 3 times a year. No electricity, phones, T.V. or now- a -days- standards, internet. Lived many years, even with the kids, in tents and line camps. They thought all children grew up with bear teeth marks in their toys and used iceburgs for a playground. One day I tried to tell my daughter about a machine called a "dishwasher", she rolled her eyes and laughed at me and considered it another Mommy practical joke. Kinda like when I told her about white bread. Moved to town when my oldest wanted to go to a public high school. That experience was a shocker for all of us. Town kids are mean. She was WAY too over read and over educated for them. Now she is 26 and a good human being, despite Homer High. Yes, I still go to my cabin all I can and plan to move back out there ASAP. I also still go there all alone for months at a time, even now in my fifties, despite my husbands angst over it. I'm never really at home except when I'm at my dear sweet cabin at the base of my favorite volcano Mt. Iliamna. Alaska chicks rock!!