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Whales chased my dinner

Whales chased my dinner

We were fishing for salmon off the west coast of Vancouver Island a few days ago, trailed by a lone sea lion who was looking for an easy snack-on-a-hook, when I spotted a plume of mist on the water about a mile south: killer whales, spouting. About 20 orcas were moving north at speed. For me, this was cream in the coffee at the start of a great day on Pacific water. But you could practically see a shudder ripple down the 15 or so fishing boats strung out above the underwater ledge where sockeye, coho and spring salmon linger. For big, fat, juicy fish, the arrival of orcas triggers the equivalent of the “Dive! Dive!” response in old submarine movies: they vamoosed, pronto. As the whales approached we saw a wavy dorsal fin, likely that of the famous J-pod orca named Ruffles, who is thought be almost 60 years old. An adult and juvenile whale swam right under our boat.

And yes, the salmon strikes dried up for a while, until the whales cleared a distant lighthouse and the fish resumed their biting.

It was a pure lesson in the sacred importance of sustainability, and a thrill to realize that, on the ocean, even with depthfinders and an experienced boat captain, you’re not at the top of the food chain.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Heimabakari (66.045259, -17.341660)

Having breakfast out was definitely a nice break from our usual routine. Heimabakari offers a wide selection of freshly baked goods and coffee, so it took me quite some time to decide on the pastries.

The bakery is also located very near the harbour for whale watching, so we dined inside the bakery while waiting for time to pass.

Opens Mon – Thu 0700 – 1700 Fri 0700 – 1730 Sat 0800 – 1400 closed on Sundays.

The Ghost in My Kitchen

My mother was a legendary Party Girl our house was often filled with intriguing people, especially during the holidays. Poets from the local university, senators and bankers, gay rights activists, struggling musicians, career criminals, vegetarians. That guy who landscaped the lawn, because he talked to the plants to make them grow.

Always on the search for hacks in the kitchen, her favorite Thanksgiving trick was to cook the turkey upside down, so the breast wouldn’t dry out. This proved deliciously effective — as long as she remembered to defrost the turkey.

One cold Thanksgiving morning, long before the existence of microwaves, she woke up at the crack of dawn to stuff the turkey and get it in the oven … and realized it was still in the freezer, rock-solid. Ever resourceful, she popped the frozen bird into the dishwasher and ran it through the heavy-duty cycle a couple of times. Worked like a charm.

Mother rarely planned ahead or followed recipes she could open the fridge, pull out a bunch of random ingredients, and put a delicious meal on the table in 45 minutes. Ask her how she made it and she couldn’t tell you — she just threw it together as she went along.

I’m sure she meant to teach me to cook, eventually. I’m sure it was on her endless, ever-growing to-do list, between saving the whales and ending world hunger once and for all. But she died suddenly, on a warm June night, and took all her Thanksgiving secrets with her.

Reality drifts away from you when your mother dies. You lose track of the simplest things. Even decades later, news events that occurred around the same time are foggy to me. I know they slow-chased O.J. Simpson in a white bronco, and I know Jacqueline Kennedy lost her battle with cancer … but I simply don’t recall. Everything was meaningless jibber-jabber in the background.

I don’t remember waking up the next day, and the days and weeks after that, but I must have. I must have poured the kids’ cereal and made the coffee and walked the dog. I must have gone to work and paid my parking tickets. I must have watched the fireworks in July, and bought school supplies in August, and sewn up costumes in October. I must have.

But it was November before a pin of light broke through the fog. 6 am on Thanksgiving morning, standing in my mother’s kitchen, with not a clue what to do or where to begin.

Other family members had offered to host the dinner that year, but I’d declined. Thanksgiving was always at our house.

My father stood helpless in the doorway he was still as weak as a kitten from burying her, like a man who’d lost too much blood. “Everyone is coming,” he managed to say. My aunts and cousins and brothers and nephews. Everyone was coming, because it was Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving was ours.

The phone rang, loud and shrill. It was one of Mother’s closest friends — the one who minced no words — and she didn’t bother with pleasantries.

“Wash your hands, Kiki,” she said sternly. “And pre-heat the oven.”

I moved to obey her automatically, as I had all my life.

Awkwardly, I rinsed the turkey. Mixed the cornbread batter. Caramelized the onions. I tried to break down the steps in my mind for each dish — boil the macaroni, make the bechamel sauce, do we have enough cheese? I couldn’t think clearly enough to have two or three pots cooking at once, so I had to make them one at a time. I would accomplish a task or two and stall out again, standing in the middle of her kitchen.

“Aunt Bibi’s on the phone, Mom!” my youngest pounded her crayons at the kitchen table while I chopped potatoes.

Bibi was the sentimental aunt. “Use your mother’s good china,” she said. “It’s in the upstairs hall closet, along with the wedding silver and the gold tablecloth.”

I sent my boys to fetch the dishes and start setting the table, and returned to my growing piles of food.

My mother had one sister and a bevy of sister-friends — women who, despite their own raging grief, linked their arms around me and tried to gather me close, tried to mother me for her, since she was gone.

These amazing women had grown up in the 1930s and 40s — they knew how to hide their steel spines under soft words and gentle smiles. But I never learned the trick of doing that. I was then (and still am) prickly about my emotional space. I pushed them away and grieved alone in the dark. When I showed my face in public, it was tear-free, and impeccably made up.

By any external measure, I was already a grown woman when Mother died. I was 33 years old, with a divorce under my belt, kids of my own, a career and a mortgage.

But you don’t know what a child you are until you lose your mother. You don’t realize how much you’ve been playing dress-up, until the day comes when there’s no warrior woman standing behind you, ready to comfort you, protect you, scold you, no matter what you’ve done (or undone). When it’s just you, alone, standing against the wind.

“I’ll bake the apple pie,” Aunt June said when she called. “You need to put the collard greens on now, honey. Use a lot of salt — but not too much.”

Aunt Lily weighed in on the candied yams. “Use the superfine sugar, Kiki, not the regular sugar. How much? Well, until it’s enough, I guess.”

Bit by bit, phone call by phone call, I prepared the entire Thanksgiving dinner in my mother’s kitchen, until the only thing left to do was to actually bake the turkey. I opened the oven door to slide it inside when I heard one last directive.

Turn the turkey over, Kiki. Breast side down.

It wasn’t the aunts or the sister-friends or some voice on the phone. It was my mother. I rolled the turkey over as instructed, and set my timer.

Then I took Aunt June’s second piece of advice and poured a shot of Jack Daniel’s.

Most of Mother’s kitchen shortcuts proved successful. Except for that one Thanksgiving when she was too tired to wash and pick the turnips greens in the sink, and decided to dump them in the washing machine instead. Gentle cycle, of course.

Next day, while the plumber labored to clear the clogged drain, she mused, “I know! Next time I’ll put the greens in those little lingerie bags!”

This year is my twenty-fifth November without my mother, and I’ve acquired a few cooking hacks of my own. I’m no longer the grieving young mother or the awkward cook — somehow I’ve become the matriarch.

I teach my daughter my tricks, a few at a time. She’s 33 this year, but I’m still here, and she doesn’t have to know what I know.

Guest Reviews

Thanks again for another great week in Alaska! Your hospitality is always top notch and personal. The little touches are the things that keep us coming back- being able to smoke salmon while we are there, crabbing, ocean fishing or river fishing, grilling oysters. And no matter what Mike told you Trish, the raspberry pie was to die for-perfection! Thanks for all you so to make the week a success.

I just want to thank you for an outstanding experience on my first trek to hunt Alaska. For a do-it-yourself hunter, your facilities and staff are absolutely perfect and provide just the level of attention needed to have an enjoyable trip, but with plenty of room to “figure it out myself!” From the truck, to the cabin and the meat processing facilities, everything was absolutely first class and made the logistics of travel all the way from Virginia and back absolutely painless (with a little more freight on the way home too)!

I spend a lot of time in the fields and marshes of Virginia, and I have been blessed to hunt in some pretty neat places all over, but everything I have seen so far pales in comparison to Prince of Wales Island. What a majestic landscape and wonderful culture! I was honored to hike its grounds and harvest a pretty awesome animal. I can assure you my hunting partner and I will be back, next time with our wives. They have had to hear so much about it since we got home that they are ready to join us next time!

Special thanks too to Steve, James, Rita, and our good buddy Rosey up the hill!

On the flight home, Kathy and I decided our trip to Adventure Alaska was the best vacation we have ever taken! It is not often you can say your expectations were exceeded. On this trip, they were! The accommodations, vehicle, and equipment were first-rate the fishing and deer hunting were outstanding and the weather (which I am fairly certain you can’t control) was incredible.

Beyond that, you and your staff were genuine and pleasant. Our time there felt more like staying with family or friends rather than being a “customer”. Our questions were always answered with a smile and you took time to make sure our trip was one to remember.

Our vacation with Adventure Alaska was so wonderful we have booked again for 2015 and will be bringing my son and daughter to experience Prince of Wales Island and Thorne Bay. My brother and nephew, as well as Kathy’s sister and brother-in-law, will also be joining us. After hearing about our trip, they were not about to pass up an opportunity to come with and see it for themselves!

We look forward to seeing you again soon and thank you for everything.

Dear Jason and Staff at Adventure Alaska,

This was my first trip to Alaska and I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had on any trip, for hunting or otherwise. We were met at the float plane by Jason and driven up to our awesome condo with all the amenities of home. There was not one discomfort or time when I wished I had something more. Everything from the facilities to the gear was top notch and in excellent condition. We set our crab pots with our skiff, drove our 4ࡪ all over the island in search of bear and deer and relaxed in our comfortable condo each night after our long hunting days. My hunting partner and I were lucky enough to draw 2 black bear tags and we purchased deer tags. By the third day we were zeroed in on the bears and we both tagged out by our 4th day of hunting. We decided to begin fishing and deer hunting in the afternoons. We caught some delicious salmon and dungeness crabs every day for dinner and chased the bucks in the alpine areas of the island. We did not fill our deer tags but we had an awesome series of deer hunts and the scenery was amazing. We are already talking about returning to deer hunt in 2015 and we can’t wait to see everyone again.

Thank you all for an excellent experience.

Jason- a couple of photo’s from our trip that Tony took, if you are interested.

We really enjoyed our stay at your lodge. The ‘cabin’ is more like a home. It was spacious and new. The full size truck you assigned to us was in like new condition. Everything was clean and in great shape. You offer a nice set up- everything we needed was either on hand or a short drive to the store in town.

The fishing was great. We were easily able to get to good spots in the 16′ skiff. Next time we will reserve your bigger boat to explore further. I was surprised to see how nice your halibut and salmon rods are. We really did not need to bring up our own. Your tackle store makes it easy to put down the gear that will work. We ate like kings every night: salmon, halibut, crab. It was hard to leave.

Thanks, and hope to see you next year!

Tom and I want to thank you for providing an unbelievably refreshing vacation haven. We’re so fortunate to have chosen Adventure Alaska.

By the way, when we stayed at the Klondike RV Park in Soldotna, AK, for 7 days, we told the owner about how great your place was. So now I’m telling you…he runs a super place, too!

P.S. To anyone who is planning a trip to Prince of Wales for fishing or simply for exploring the island, you definitely need to stay with Jason and Trish at Adventure Alaska…first class accommodations and friendly services from all. If you’re used to a typical fishing cabin, you’ll find this to be more of a “condo cabin” with a huge living area, plenty of storage, and all the conveniences you could want!

Just wanted to take the time to thank you both for another GREAT time and trip to Adventure Alaska.

Everything was perfect again! It was my step brother Richard’s first time in Alaska and his first bear. To see the smile on his face everyday was priceless What a great way to pay him back for getting me started in the hunting world, some 35 plus years ago. He was not disappointed and can not wait to come back!

As for myself, it was my largest bear ever. He is over 20 inches and perfect hide. We saw something new everyday. I am still falling in love with Thorne Bay and the people that live there.

Thank you so much. I will see you again, Hopefully with my wife Debra on her first trip to Alaska, as we look for a lot in Thorne Bay to build on someday. I cannot thank you and your staff enough. May God bless you and your family with favor always.

Thank you very much again for your warm hospitality. We all had a remarkable time during our stay. Your fully equipped facilities made us enjoy our trip much more. And, it is always good to meet with the nice people like you & your family. James was also nice and helpful.

We would not hesitate to recommend your place to our friends and family. In fact, some of our friends and family members already ask us to organize another fishing trip at your place. Therefore, yes, it is a big chance that you will see us again. Although it will be our third time at Adventure Alaska, I am sure we will still enjoy it very much and more feel like home.

By the way, please do let us know if you come to Hong Kong or Shanghai(China). We would love to show you around. Please send our warmest regards to your children.

Thank you for your hospitality while being your guests. Adventure Alaska Southeast’s family and employees are all wonderful people. Though my husband had stayed with you before, I had not, and my expectations were surpassed! Your lodging is top notch and the hunting and fishing was amazing! Where else can you spend a week with such great people, have a nice truck and boat, harvest two 20″ black bears, see amazing whales up close and personal while in the boat, canoe, and take in all the beauty of Alaska? We highly recommend your establishment to anyone! Thanks again for a wonderful week and we will see you soon!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you both (and James & Rita too) for providing a top notch place for me and my crew to stay while Hunting Bear in Alaska. I was very pleased with the Cottage and the Equipment and amenities. Your facility and people really turned a vendor/customer trip into a once in a lifetime hunting experience that all of us will remember fondly the rest of our lives. There wasn’t one us that wanted to leave and everyone was as excited about the trip going home as when we were leaving for Alaska, and that is very difficult to pull off.

Thank you for a wonderful week at Adventure Alaska. I could not have picked a better venue for my first ever hunting trip. Everything was great, from the initial orientation by Trish to the final trip to the plane by Jason. The total experience was unforgettable, getting my bear was just icing on the cake. I will recommend Adventure Alaska to all of the hunters I know. Once again, Thanks!

We had a great trip with you and Jason and definitely will return ! I have made several trips to Alaska over the years and stayed at different lodges/camps-yours is by far the best of the best ! I have given your brochures to two of my customers who are planning Alaska next year. Will definitely continue to be your unofficial local sales force !

Thanks so much for making my first Alaskan fishing week truly an adventure! The manner in which you familiarized all 14 of us with your equipment, transportation–boats and vehicles, services, facilities, and daily updates of fishing locations was truly the mark of professionalism. I’ve been lots of places during military deployments throughout the world but never welcomed as you & your staff did for us 20-27 August 2010. Especially noteworthy was your daily availability to all departing groups each morning, regardless of the hour. I had heard many laudatory comments reference your operation but was totally blown away to see my expectations greatly exceeded! Best to you & family and thanks again for the great support.

We would like to thank Trisha, Jason, Jory, James, Rita, and Amy for making our stay in Alaska one to remember for a long time. Enough cannot be said about the accommodations at Adventure Alaska and the friendly people of Thorne Bay. For many of us this was our first trip to Alaska and truly a learning experience. Your website was very helpful in preparing for the trip. Good rain gear is a must. We were greeted at the pier by Jason even though we were early and things rolled smoothly from there. Everything from room and board to the Lund boats equipped with 4 stroke motors and GPS speaks to your professionalism. We chartered the Alpha & Omega and Jory treated us to some very fine fishing (see pics). I had a huge halibut on and managed to get it close enough to see before it decided it liked the bottom better. The day was complete with a scenic ride home including whales playing in the kelp. I caught the 3 largest fish of my life in the matter of just a few hours. We found everything we needed in the tackle shop equipped with anything from halibut jigs to the tiniest of flies for stream fishing. All of our fish were cleaned, vacuum packed, and frozen for the flight home. I will definitely be seeing you all again next year in hopes of landing the grand slam of Southeast Alaska fishing with a few salmon thrown in for good measure. My recommendations started on the flight home from Ketchikan as I was sorting out pictures and had given your website to several people by the time we made Seattle.

Thank you for all you did for us to make our recent visit to Thorne Bay very enjoyable. Our charter trip aboard the Alpha & Omega was successful due to Jory’s commitment to satisfy. On a day that Mother Nature threw some very nasty weather at us he put us into a limit of Halibut in calmer waters and we also had some bonus rockfish. Jory also shared some great advice with us when I asked him about fishing the Thorne River as that was our plan for the next day. Not only did he make tackle suggestions for both fly and spin fishing, he also told us about some good locations to try. We used that information to hook several fish the next day including the the one in the attached photo.

The way you set us up for our last day of fishing the saltwater of Thorne Bay with skiff and gear rental was the perfect finish for a wonderful trip. Even though we had no offshore rods or tackle you helped us with everything we needed (even to the extent of a dot on the map) including the right tackle and techniques even how deep to fish. We turned that advice into a 13 Salmon day that will always be a special day in our memories. We hope to return for another trip of memories in the future.


Bramboráky (Czech Republic)

Bramboráky– pan-fried potato pancakes made of dough from shredded potatoes– is one of the most popular traditional dishes in Czech Republic.

The dish is common throughout Central Europe, but each country has a slightly different recipe. In Poland it’s called Placek ziemniaczny, and is usually eaten with sugar and cream. In Germany, they call it Kartoffelpuffer.

The Czech version of these potato pancakes is unique, adding marjoram and garlic to the mix. Bramboráky can be served plain, or as a side dish (usually with cabbage and/or meat). This way of serving it is called Cmunda po Kaplicku, and is available in many Czech restaurants.

Bramboráky are best accompanied by local Czech beer. It’s also a very popular street food at festivals and Czech Christmas markets.

Bramboráky are also easy to make at home with an authentic bramboráky recipe. You only need to shred potatoes, add milk, egg, and seasoning, and then fry that mixture in oil.

It’s quite a carb-heavy food, but that’s the nature of Czech cuisine. Most traditional Czech dishes are delicious, but you shouldn’t eat them every day! -Adriana Plotzerová of Czech the World

Escargot de Bourgogne (France)

There’s not really one national dish of France, but many. One of France’s most popular foods is the humble Helix pomatia, or snail. Its prepared form is properly known as the Escargot de Bourgogne– the snail from Burgundy.

Snails have been eaten in France since the hunter-gatherers of prehistory. But their present incarnation dates back to 1814, when Talleyrand (a senior minister under Napoleon) invited Czar Alexander of Russia to his home for dinner.

His chef, the renowned Carême, devised a dish of escargots seasoned with butter, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. The basic recipe for Escargots has remained relatively unchanged over time.

But there is another story of origin: It would seem the (same) party was in Burgundy and late for dinner at a restaurant. The chef, who found his larder empty, rushed out to the yard and scooped up some snails, stuffed them, and threw them into the oven.

Either way, once the Czar returned to Russia, he raved about the escargots until, eventually, word got back to France. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the species has grown so scarce that it is protected, so it’s not always easy to find authentic Burgundy escargots. If they’re in the shell, just be sure to use the proper utensils– a special two-pronged fork and a pair of snail tweezers. –Leyla of Offbeat France

Schäufele (Germany)

Schäufele is a traditional pork roast that is very popular in the south of Germany. Pork roasts are one of the main staples in the German diet.

They are often served with skin on, resulting in a fatty-crispy layer of pork cracklings around succulent meat. This cut of meat comes from the shoulder of the pig, and includes the shoulder blade bone.

The Schäufele is roasted in the oven and basted with German beer until the meat becomes sweet and tender and the skin crispy.

Side dishes are usually potato dumplings or crispy roasted potatoes with lots of dark brown beer gravy, and some sort of cabbage (either Sauerkraut, Red cabbage, or creamed Savoy cabbage).

The best Schäufele can be found in the northern part of Bavaria– a region called Franconia– at a traditional German Wirtshaus. In some restaurants, this is only offered on special occasions rather than a daily menu feature.

Use a traditional Schäufele recipe if you want to try making the dish at home. It’s perfect for any meat lover who is not too worried about their waistline. -Maria Haase of Maria Abroad

Moussaka (Greece)

Regional variations of this popular Greek dish can be found all over the Balkans and Middle East. But the most famous of all is Moussaka, the national dish of Greece.

The original recipe for Greek Moussaka was created in the 1920s by a French-trained Greek chef, Nikolaos Tselementes. His recipe consists of three layers, which are prepared separately and then assembled in a large dish before cooking in the oven.

The bottom layer is comprised of sautéed slices of eggplant and potato. The middle layer is ground lamb or beef cooked with chopped onions and tomatoes, seasoned with cinnamon and black pepper. The top layer is a creamy béchamel sauce, flavored with plenty of nutmeg.

Moussaka is then baked until the sauce is golden brown. The dish is left to sit for a few moments before serving, accompanied by a big bowl of Greek salad.

The most delicious moussaka can be enjoyed in family-run traditional tavernas all around the country. -Chrysoula Manika of Athens and Beyond


It may surprise you to learn that Ragu Alla Bolognese, not pizza or lasagna, is the national dish of Italy. Ragu is the term used for all meat sauces, while alla Bolognese means from Bologna, a town of the Emilio-Romagna region.

The history of the dish dates back to the late 18th century, when it was created by master chef Alberto Alvisi. But it wasn’t until 1982 that the Academia Italiana della Cucina officially registered the recipe in the Chamber of Commerce.

This “original” Ragu Alla Bolognese recipe contained soffrito (a blend of celery, onions and carrots) mixed together with ground beef, pancetta, tomatoes, milk and white wine. The dish has been adapted countless times since, but the authentic recipe remains the best.

Traditionally, Ragu alla Bolognese is served with tagliatelle or thicker pastas like fettucine or pappardelle. But expert chefs and purists would never serve it with spaghetti.

As time passed, tourists asking for spaghetti Bolognese gradually changed demand, and many restaurants in Italy now offer Ragu Alla Bolognese with spaghetti. Just don’t ask for that in Bologna itself, or you may be chased out of the city! –Dave Chant

Dry Cod Bacalhau (Portugal)

The national dish of Portugal isn’t just one dish, but rather an ingredient that’s cooked in hundreds of different ways and used in every major celebration.

Dry cod– or bacalhau as it is known in Portugal– is such an important dish that it is nicknamed “the faithful friend.” But note that traditional Portuguese cod is salted and dried, not fresh.

Portuguese have been eating cod ever since the Vikings first introduced it throughout Europe. But it became especially relevant during the 20th century dictatorship, when cod was considered the “bread of the tides.”

If we had to choose the most traditional cod dish it would be “Bacalhau com todos” (cod with everyone). This dish is made with boiled cod, potatoes, eggs, Portuguese and/or Galician cabbage, sometimes carrots and chickpeas, and drizzled with plenty of olive oil.

It is very simple to make, but it’s a Portuguese favorite for celebrating Christmas , New Year’s Eve , and most other special occasions.

You can find cod in every Portuguese restaurant. In fact, cod is so important that sometimes it is not even considered fish, but has its own section in the menus! -Jorge & Cláudia of Travel Drafts

Haggis (Scotland)

Haggis has a texture a bit like coarse crumbled sausage, with a delightfully peppery taste. But it is what’s actually in the national dish of Scotland that puts some people off trying it.

The people of Scotland often quip that Haggis is actually a small four-legged animal that lives in the Highlands , with two legs shorter than the others so that it can run around mountains more easily.

But in fact, Haggis is a centuries-old dish made from sheep pluck (liver, lungs, and heart), oatmeal, onion, spices, stock, and suet. It’s all stuffed inside a sheep’s stomach and boiled, then most often served with mashed tatties (potatoes) and neeps (rutabaga).

It’s considered the national dish of Scotland thanks in no small part to the beloved Scots Poet, Robert Burns. His “Address to a Haggis” is recited across the country on Burns Night every January, as the Haggis is brought out to be served.

Traditional Haggis can be found in restaurants across Scotland in its original form. You’ll also find deep fried “Haggis Bon Bons” served with whisky dipping sauce, Haggis on top of pizza or in burritos, and as part of any decent full Scottish breakfast.

Not many folks are brave enough to attempt to make their own, but if you wanted to do so you can find a Haggis recipe here. Otherwise stick to buying the ready-made stuff and create a Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties Stack of your own! -Sonja Bolger of Scottish Scran

PAELLA (Spain)

You can find paella wherever you are in Spain . But, in reality, it is only native to the northeast region that includes Valencia and Barcelona, the heart of Spain’s rice-growing region.

Paella began as peasant fare that was originally cooked for the lunch of field workers. So in the authentic Valencian version you’ll often find rabbit, chicken, sausage, and sometimes even snails.

The Barcelona version of paella is strictly seafood, and will usually include squid, mussels, shrimp, and langoustines. That’s the version that has spread across Spain and all around the world.

The best places to get seafood paella are in the restaurants that line the port of Barcelona, in the neighborhood known as Barceloneta.

Before Barceloneta was renovated (prior to the 1992 Olympics), you could walk past the restaurants that lined the beach and see the catch of the day sitting out front on ice-filled paella pans.

If you want to make it on your own, try this excellent paella recipe from Spanish Sabores. In some parts of the United States, you might have trouble finding authentic Spanish rice. But Arborio rice from Italy makes a good substitute. -Tom Bartel of Travel Past 50

Stamppot (The Netherlands)

The Dutch dish stamppot goes way back.

A potato-less version of hutspot (a variation on stamppot) was eaten at the Leidens Ontzet Festival in 1574, and potatoes were added to the list of ingredients in the 18th century.

Stamppot has been the Netherlands national dish ever since, partly because it can be made to everyone’s taste, and at every social level. It’s a dish for both the elite and the hard-working laborer.

Stamppot is made by boiling potatoes with vegetables– Brussels sprouts, kale, sauerkraut, and so on– then it’s drained and mashed. Milk is added to make it smooth, while cheese and bacon can be added for stronger flavors.

The dish is traditionally made at home much more than it is served at restaurants. My Red Beets Endive Stamppot recipe is a family favorite.

Stamppot is traditionally served with a smoked sausage (rookworst) and a thin gravy (jus). When potatoes, carrots and onions are the ingredients, the stamppot is called hutspot.

Don’t search for this traditional Dutch dish in summer, as it’s really more of a warming winter comfort food. -Cosette from KarsTravels

Joeleen Lambert Skinner, F/V Pioneer

When F/V Pioneer docked in Moss Landing, Joeleen Lambert Skinner could be seen tapping rapidly on her flip phone, making sure the catch from that day would be offloaded to buyers. Joeleen is deck boss on the F/V Pioneer, a light-touch trawler owned and operated by Monterey-bred fisherman Giuseppe “Joe” Pennisi .

Pioneer Seafoods also sells fish direct-off-the boat at Pier 47 in San Francisco.

It’s in her blood, as she comes from a lineage of fishermen and women that dates back to whalers in the 1600’s in Martha’s Vineyard. They chased whales west, trading along the way. Once they arrived in Monterey, they sold their boat and opened a lumber yard. Her mother's side goes back for generations in the Monterey region. As Joeleen put it, "the Lamberts are notorious for their independence. The Tomasini's, my mother's side, for their compassion and wholesomeness of values."

On top of her work on the water, Joleen also runs an 8.5-acre ranch in Carmel Valley with her husband Thomas Skinner. The two raised three children, Lacey, Wes and Reilly who are now adults, on the northern edge of the Ventana Wilderness where they tended to horses, dogs and at times cattle while protecting them from coyotes and mountain lions.

“It gives me balance,” she says about ranching and fishing, living off both the land and sea.

Joeleen is hearing impaired, but is an expert lip reader which enables her to communicate with others on the boat. She’s a combination of kind and approachable as well as tough and competent – ideal on a ship.

She started working for Joe Pennisi nine years ago. She first wired and painted the engine room. These can be loud, disturbing places, but the noise didn’t bother her and she could stay focused. Then she helped with offloading, and brought the crew donuts.

The transition to deckhand was a natural one. She says that she loves being at sea because of “the hard work, the awareness it requires.” Her favorite Monterey Bay fish to have for dinner are shortspine thornyheads and sand dabs.

Whales chased my dinner - Recipes

(from "Whale and Traditions of Diet", 1987)

According to a noted culinary researcher, the late Mr. Tetsunosuke Tada, Japanese probably started to eat whale during the Jomon period. This section will focus on the Japanese traditional diet with relation to the whale since that time.

1) The Jomon Period (7000/8000 to 3000 B.C.): whale as an essential food

There are a few facts that can be obtained as historical evidence which provide an explanation of the Japanese consumption of whale in this period. The first facts can be found in one of the traditional songs of the Kushiro Ainu and in the lyrics of an ancient songs called 'Yuukara' from the Saru Ainu (a group of Japanese aboriginals who have lived in the northern part of Japan since the Jomon period).

The song of Kushiro Ainu described the following story: "There was a standard whale on the Toya coast. A young fellow found it. He shouted the news around from village to village." Although Toya is currently located about 12 km from the shore line, it was on the shore about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago when the Kushiro Plains was still a part of the ocean. Several pieces of Jomon (straw-rope pattern) pottery were found in Toya shell mounds.

In the 'Yuukara', whales are mentioned: "Killer whale, god of the ocean, please bring more than one and a half whales every year. Then, I will be pleased to give my sweet daughter as your bride." As can be seen from this ancient song, the whale was a very important source of food for ancient people of Japan.

The other historical evidence can be found among the objects excavated from shell mounds. Shell mounds have been found all over Japan and provide much information about ancient people's diets. They contain bones of deer, wild boars, whales, dolphins, sea lions, fur seals and so on. This indicates that the people of the Jomon period ate whales.

Then, how did they catch large whales? They were able to hunt most mammals and animals except whales by using bow, spear and gaff. Could they hunt whales with these tools? One picture which was found from a shell mound solved this question.

A picture of whaling in this period was found on one of the bones (10 cm in length and 3 cm in width) excavated from the Bentenjima shell mound in Nemuro City. In this picture there are seven persons in a boat, and one of them is trying to spear down a large whale by using hand harpoons. Two harpoons were driven into the back of the whale and were connected to their boat by ropes.

There are two ways to catch whales: passive whaling and active whaling. By the former method of whaling, people catch weak (wounded, sick or decrepit) whales or stranded whales (chased onto the beach by killer whales). In active whaling, people hunt migratory whales in the off-coast area using boats and harpoons.

The first record of active whaling in Japanese literature can be found in "Geiki" (Record of Whaling), written sometime between 1764 A.D. and 1772 A.D. According to this, it was practiced sometime between 1570 A.D. and 1573 A.D. by people of Mikawanokuni-Utsumi (Aichi Prefecture) using seven or eight boats at a time and hand harpoons. However, active whaling using hand harpoons and boats had existed in the Jomon period (7000/8000 B.C. to 3000 B.C.). Besides the bone from the Bentenjima shell mound, a drawing of seven people whaling on a boat was found in the Suzuya shell mound on the south coast of Saghalien. Why did Jomon people not only catch stranded whales but also hunt migrating whales by using the active method? According to archaeologist Mr. Ryohei Tsuboi, whale was a necessary food during the Jomon period for people in the northern part of Japan. They ate all the edible parts of a whale, including its meat, blubber, internal organs, blood, marrow and fetus. Whale oil was their only source of fuel. They could not survive without whale blubber and its oil in the several cold environment.

2) The Yayoi Period (3000 B.C. to 300 A.D.): as an offering to the souls of the dead

A whale bone was discovered together with Yayoi pottery from the Tanou ruins at Tanounakanotsubo, Amagasaki City in Hyogo Prefecture in 1976. Experts proved this bone to be the root of the third rib of a whale. Many clay dolls of cuttlefish, octopus and whale were found in the moat of the grave of Emperor Oujin. Since ancient times, it has been the custom of Japanese to offer the gifts of the sea to the souls of the dead.

It is a general view that the Tanou ruins are the graves for people of high ranks. Thus the discovered whale bone seems to have been attached to a whale meat offering. This fact implies that people in this period lived in ease with plenty of food since they could afford to give valuable whale meat as an offering.

All bones from a whale's skeleton were not found in the same Yayoi shell mound. This fact implies that several hamlets cooperated in whaling and shared hunted whales.

3) The Nara Period (710 to 784 A.D.): the appearance of the term 'kujira' in literature.

Although it is difficult to discover in what era people began to use the word 'kujira' (whale in Japanese), it is clear that this word was already in use before the Nara period. The term 'kujira' can be seen in the "Kojiki" (Record of Ancient Chronicles), the oldest literature in Japan, edited in 712 A.D. and "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), the oldest authentic records in Japan, edited in 720 A.D. Different Chinese characters of the word 'kujira' appear in these records. Although the pronunciations of these words are the same as the current term, neither character is in use today.

A different Chinese character is used in the "Fudoki" (Topographical Survey of the Provinces), edited in 713 A.D. In this topography, the same Chinese character for 'kujira' as we use today can be found in "Hitachi-Fudoki" and "Iki-Fudoki". This was the first time that this Chinese character was used in Japanese literature. Furthermore, the "Man'yoshu" (Collection of 10,000 Leaves) which is composed of 4,516 ancient poems edited in approximately 770 A.D. has twelve poems using a term referring to whale. This indicates that whale was an important source of animal protein for the nation in this period.

Since several emperors of the Nara period forbade not only the killing of four-legged animals but also the eating of their meat, whale meat became an important source of animal protein in this era (note that whales were considered as a kind of fish).

The Court believed in Buddhism, and the killing of animals was not consistent with Buddhist principles. Therefore, the following Imperial ordinances were proclaimed:

a) the 40th Emperor Temmu forbade the killing of animals and eating of their meat (676 A.D.)

b) the 44th Emperor Genshou forbade the killing of animals and falconry (721 A.D.)

c) the 45th Emperor Shoumu forbade the killing of animals (725 A.D.) and butchering cows and horses (736 A.D.)

d) the 46th Emperor Kouken forbade the killing of animals (752 A.D.)

e) the 50th Emperor Kammu forbade the butchering of cows (three times between 781 and 806 A.D.)

f) the 75th Emperor Sutoku forbade the killing of all animals (1127 A.D.)

g) the 82nd Emperor Gotoba forbade the killing of animals (1188 A.D.)

The Nara period was the most prosperous era for Buddhism in Japanese history therefore, the above-mentioned Imperial ordinances pervaded the nation and animal meat disappeared from the Japanese diet. Whale was not included among the restricted foods because it was called 'isana' (large fish and/or brave fish) in the "Man'yoshu".

4) The Muromachi/Azuchimomoyama Period (1573 to 1600 A.D.): whale dishes on the emperor's tables

Whale dishes began to be served as one of the formal dishes during this period. For example, in 1561, when the Shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga visited the Lord Yoshinaga Miyoshi, the Lord Miyoshi prepared a whale dish and a dolphin dish as a part of the menu for 'shikisankon'. 'Shikisankon', a ceremony of exchanging cups of sake, held on every formal occasion, was truly important for samurai society at that time. Strict rules were set out regarding the order of dishes. Seafood dishes were served first, followed by foods found in the countryside. Among the seafood dishes the whale dish was served first followed by a carp dish and a snapper dish.

Among nobles it was very popular to have dinner parties called 'Shirukou'. In the 'Shirukou' the host family prepared just the soup and the invited guests brought their own rice. This type of party is described in detail in the "Tokitsugukyo-ki", the diary of Tokitsugu Yamashina. According to the diary, this type of party became popular among the nobles because of their financial difficulties. They used mushroom, wild geese, pheasant, crucian and sometimes whale to make the soup. The meat of four-legged were never used.

When Hideyoshi Toyotomi became the chief minister of state in 1585 A.D., he went to the Court and had formal dishes. According to the "Todaiki", there was a whale dish for the seventh dish. By this time, whale dishes were eaten by people of various ranks.

We should recall that there was nationwide use of soy sauce as it should be noted that the popularity of soy sauce played an important role in the increased consumption of whale dishes during the period (see section B).

5) The Edo Period (1600 to 1867 A.D.): the increase of whale dishes in the national diet

People gradually started to eat animal eat as the dislike of eating four-legged animals had weakened. Descriptions of cooking deer, raccoon, wild boar, hare, bear and land otter are found in the "Ryouri-Monogatari", a cooking book edited between 1624 and 1644. There was even an animal meat market in Yotsuya, Edo (Tokyo).

Whaling was established as an industry due to a revolutionary change in whaling methods resulting in an increased supply of whale meat and greater whale meat consumption. The revolutionary whaling method was the additional use of whaling nets. Yoriharu Wada in Taiji, Kishu (Wakayama Prefecture) got this idea from a spider's web. (The right whale was in great demand during this period.) Whalers could only hunt right and sperm whales with the old whaling method of using small boats and hand harpoons because other species swam too fast and would sink after their death. However, with the new method they could hunt the latter species.

This unique net-whaling method spread from Taiji to other places such as Kochi, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka and Chiba prefecture. There were about thirty whaling bases in Japan.

As a result of the increased production of whale meat, it was natural to form a new diet based on whale products. Therefore, the Edo period was characterized by an increase of whale dishes in the national diet.

According to "Wakansansai-zue", a record of special products in the nation edited in 1713, Hokkaido, Mie and Wakayama Prefectures, and certain islands in Nagasaki Prefecture were known to make whale products.

Matazaemon Masutomi wrote a book called "Isana-Toriekotoba" which was a sort of dictionary on whales covering its species, whaling methods, tools, names of the parts of the whale body and cooking methods. The section concerning on the cooking methods in this book was independently published under the name "Geiniku-Choumihou" (Ways of Cooking Whale Meat). Many recipes are described in this book. Seventy different parts of a whale's body were used as ingredients for these recipes. This will be explained in later chapter.

A German medical doctor Philipp Franz von Siebold paid attention to the Japanese's love for whale dishes. He came to Japan in 1823 as a medical doctor for a Dutch business house. He wrote "Fauna Japonica" (Record of Japanese Animals) based on his research during his stay in Japan. He wrote the following about the Japanese utilization of whales: ". the right whale's meat is very delicious and it is a major part of the diet. Whalers sell whales to fish wholesalers. People eat the whale's meat, blubber and internal organs and take oil from the inedible parts. All over Japan, people eat whale meat. The taste of the right whale is similar to the bull or the buffalo, and is hard a little. Although they eat both row and salted whale meat, salted meat tastes better. Salted blubber is eaten sliced. Fins can be eaten. The salted blubber can be used as a medicine for chronic diarrhea, and it is effective for stomach ailments and general stomach health. Powdered fin relieves constipation and oil is a medicine for scabies. " He clearly recorded that whale could be used not only as a source of food but also for medicine.

"I would say good bye after having whale soup." This is one of 'Edo-senryu' (humorous verse of the Edo period) explaining the lives of the Edo people. On New Year's Eve, it was the custom for apprentices to clean their master's houses thoroughly. After they had finished their work, they were offered whale skin soup. They would not go home before they had this soup. It seems that whale skin soup was really delicious and loved by all in Edo.

6) Modern times: the admission of whaling by the G.H.Q.

The modern Japanese whaling industry started in 1899. There was a change in whaling methods from using nets to Norwegian whaling techniques. The whaling industry developed rapidly with the introduction of harpoon guns on the bows of steamships. This development made it possible for whalers to hunt the fastest swimming whales such as the blue, fin, sei and Bryde's whales. These species could not be caught by the old methods.

With the introduction of Japan's first pelagic whaling fleet in 1934, whaling in the North Pacific Ocean and the Antarctic Ocean prospered.

Whale meat production and consumption increased with the expansion of the whaling industry. The total supply in the mid-1920's was approximately 10,000 tons. It increased to 45,000 tons in 1939.

There were five years of inactivity during World War II. The whaling industry was re-established in 1946 in order to help the severe food shortage in Japan. Whale meat was no longer a special food but was necessary to keep the Japanese healthy and alive. Whale meat was rationed all over Japan. People ate whale meat as a source of protein whether they liked it or not. According to statistics of 1947, about 47% of the total animal protein consumption was whale meat.

Until the mid-1960's whale meat continued to be their main source of animal protein. In 1962, the whaling industry recorded 226,000 tons which was the highest record of production throughout the history of the Japanese whaling industry. The percentage of whale meat consumption in relation to the total animal meat consumption was 23% in 1964. The whaling quota has been reduced since this period due to strict international regulations. The present production of 16,000 tons is about the same as the amount of whales caught during the period when net gears were used.

However, a small number of whale meat products which were commercialized after the war are still produced supported by strong demands. It is not canned food such as 'Yamatoni', 'Sunoko' and 'Yakiniku', and bacon are hard to find in stores. Moreover, they have become very expensive.

Fish Sausage made from whale meat and tuna has disappeared. This product, which was good for snacks, was first sold in early 1950's. 190,000 tons of this sausage were produced in 1965. At present, fish sausage is made from cod instead of whale meat. In addition to the rationing system, the provision of school lunches contributed to the increased consumption of whale meat nationwide. Whale meat, which was inexpensive, was appropriate for preparing a large number of meals of the same quality and quantity.

Whale meat was the only meat served in school lunches which began in 1947 and continued until the mid-1950's. After that, pork and chicken began to be served in school lunches and the amount of whale meat decreased. However, until the mid-1970's, whale meat was used more than any other meat. About 15% of the total amount of the Japanese production of whale meat was used for school lunches in 1973.

Several places, especially in the Kyushu and Chugoku regions still adhere to the custom of eating whale meat.

Some people of these regions avoid eating the meat of four-legged animals during the New Year celebrations. They only eat whale meat. Whale dishes are served at weddings, the construction of new houses and launching ceremonies. What would happen to these traditional customs when whaling is banned?

Because woodcutters in the Kyushu region take only salted whale meat and rice when they go into the mountains, they would also be troubled. They slice the meat and pour hot water over it to make a delicious soup containing a lot of protein and salt. Since their work is very strenuous, the salted whale meat soup replenishes the salt they lose through perspiration. Therefore this soup is indispensable as a source of their energy.

Text documents

Chapter EX

[Acceptance Report] Tabloid

Date: -3/06/01
Keeper: Mediocris Containment
Keeper: Nonsense
An excerpt of "Soberer's Daily", 677/12/7. It was stolen from the library, and was soaked with unknown liquid when being found later.
Urban Legends Column:
"Thanks all my readers for your support so far. Today, LEAF would tell a story about the mysterious flower oceans by the center of Bailing City-"
"Once upon a time, when flowers had yet to be introduced to Bailing, people used their bodies and flesh to fill the land, on which flowers have bloomed ever since."
". "
"And that's the end of the story. I wish you like it. Till the next story, goodbye."

[Acceptance Report] Red Bow

Date: -3/06/01
Keeper: Mediocris Containment
Category: Nonsense
A Naive yet cute red bow that pretty much matched the owner. Nothing special.

But the cloth had a faint smell of blood.

[Acceptance Report] Clay Flowerpot

Date: -3/06/01
Keeper: Mediocris Containment
Category: Nonsense
The flower in the flowerpot. Very common if you don't count the fact that it always seems to be dancing at a constant speed even when there's no wind.

It came from the flower ocean in Floor V. The only artificial scenery there was a ceramic artist girl and her potting cabin.

When the flowerpot was handed to him, something seemed to be flowing in her heart.
All of a sudden, the girl was torn apart like a thin piece of paper. The flower ocean turned red somehow, and all could be seen were frenzy flowers waving their hands madly.

[Acceptance Report] Under the Dress

Date: -3/06/01
Keeper: Mediocris Containment
Category: Nonsense
Just when everything is to be swallowed by hell, the flower ocean went back to usual.
Was it all over? Was she saved?
The girl was still smiling sweetly, leaving no reply but picked up the hard-to-digest eyeballs from the ground.
Since the girl had fallen into the flower ocean, no one has been, and is, and will be saved. Bodies became the fertilizers for the flowers, while souls witnessed every single death in inane.
The flowers captivated the girl's shadow, carefully packed the symbol of soul, and headed to the next prey, flowerpot in hand.

Waves of flowers form a tide, two shadows stand, on the ground with smiles.
"We made it."
"To be exact, you made it." The mask glued his eyes to the eyeballs beneath the girl's dress. They're moving curiously as if the man in front could be their next companion.
"You came to pick me up."
For countless years the girl spent with the flowers, she was brought up by flesh and blood, and eventually, here comes her destiny. Her body turns into flakes of petals, slowly flying into the bottle. The petals dye the water red, and the reflection of her ego slowly emerges, and drown. It's just like a dead leaf, giving off all its juice and energy, and merely transparent stems are left, to her, through her, and after her.
"After this girl, there are . "
This masked man quickly turns the pages of his documents. On almost every page, a big, red X was drawn. His fingers finally stopped at the page on which pasted an old photo two young girls. They are the next targets.

[Announcement] 17's Treasure

Date: 2091/06/29
Keeper: Sparkle_17
Category: Main
Hey guys!
Congratulations goes first, as your 2091 summer holiday has started! Have you decided what to do during the holiday? Part-time? Clubs? Neither? That's hard for me to guess.
Wait, do you mean that you haven't made up your mind? Why not join us in the adventure of finding 17's Treasure?
I've prepared lots and lots of presents for you

Special hint! All presents serve as hints to the final jackpot - 17's Treasure! Let's collect clues right now!

Pigeon Assembly

Date: 2091/06/29
Keeper: Aquinn
Category: Main
After Team Pigeon successfully signed up for "17's Treasure", a copper trumpet solidified from the system, whose inside was inscribed the names of 3 members and 2 instructors of the team.
"This is Team Pigeon: Aquinn, Huo, Yeeh. Two instructors, Ya'akov Randommann and Yueying Wu, hereby swear the oath of professional ethics, and assist Team Pigeon to learn through practice during the activity."

Three-tailed Lucky Fish

Date: 2091/06/29
Keeper: Xpeng
Category: Main
After Team Monsoon successfully signed up for "17's Treasure", a ceramic xun (a musical instrument that functions and looks like ocarina) solidified from the system, whose inside was inscribed the names of 3 members and 2 instructors of the team.
"This is: Xpeng, Jora, Verde Frio. Two instructors, Gusbon and Chief Yu, hereby swear the oath of professional ethics, and assist Team Monsoon to learn through practice during the activity."

Challenge Letter to 17

Date: 2/03/20
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Nazo

We are a group of puzzle enthusiasts from NazoGame. Upon completing the four puzzles of the ""17's Treasure"", we have decided to show our appreciation to Pigeon Games for the four puzzle journeys in our way.
Are YOU willing to accept the challenge?

>>> G:NazoPhi Project001 Search_Log 1/03/20
Found 1 record
>>> G:NazoPhi Project001 Show_Log 1/03/20
Signal received by system. Attempting to decode.
Decoding failed. Saved as file.
Geopelia: Let me see, hmm, what is this. Weird, I should run Xandboxie.
Timestamp 7370320 appeared in the sandbox.
Then, the stamp disappeared, and another string appears: ""What is freedom?""
Geopelia: Freedom? Where is the standard start?
Text disappeared, screen turned red, then black, finally showed a question mark.
Geopelia: Interesting design. I might have seen it before in the data base. Let's search, hey, there it is.
Gino: Coo-coo, what are you doing?
Geopelia: My name is not Coo-coo! Coo!
While the two playing around, a poem slowly shoed up on the screen: Civilisation annihilates in vast universe
The hero seeks way through network maze
Answer to riddle needs only two words
And guidance shall appear in thy heart
The truth to be
>>> G:NazoPhi Project001

Roast Burnt Duck

Date: 2092/03/32
Keeper: Alpa
Category: Nonsense
[On the street with bright lit, among people standing shoulder-to-shoulder, the smell of roasted ducks ran out of the constraints of the exhaust fan, permeating the person's pocket, and even shoes or hats, took human like a puppet to the front of the store, thinking about exploring the universe.]
[It will be a little time before dinner. NceS is lying on an armchair chair, with two Taiji Balls in his hand, and feels that his right eyelid is jumping which makes him worried. It may be a bad idea to do business today.]
Wuji: Dude, there is business coming.
NceS: Is that Wuji? What wrong with your head, how did this one change again?
Wuji: Don't touch it, booby, the new head is precious.
NceS: Ahh, Wuji, I am afraid you are escaping from someone. In advance saying, I haven't done illegal smuggling for many years.
Wuji: What should I escape from. Joke.
[Wuji was acquainted with NceS when he wasn't called Wuji before. This time he offended the leadership, the one first time to think of is this old friend, too.]
NceS: What's wrong with you guys? Let the old pigeons scream all over the street. Should I say is, just wage arrears, the nonsense problem at all. They have covered your food and residence, the wage will be paid one day. Can you tell me why add bugs to the game?
Wuji: Alas, the old AI is out of the gate. This time, if don't do it forever, and they won't get paid, let 's breaks up from now! Don't do anything, buddy. The game is over. except giving me wage. Don't take the family press me up! what bastards my brothers are! In order to write the charts, look at my hands, they are just like vulture skins.
NceS: poof! Good joke!
[It's true and troublesome for NceS to say, so he secretly disclosed the news of Wuji to Ash. It is difficult for others to solve family problems. Especially this time it was the neighborhood committee that rebelled, there is no business with the union members. ]
Wuji: I always thought your attention was elsewhere.
NceS: Oh, my friend, just JiangMiTiao and the Ctymax called me through brain call to play mahjong at night.
Wuji: You wouldn't tell them.
NceS: How could I do that? Do you want to come with us?
Ash: Let me try it!
Wuji: Damn it, here comes the chase! NceS, I will find you again tomorrow!
NceS: Bye-bye, welcome at any time.
[What is a peaceful day for our street today!]
TV news: Now an urgent news is broadcast: Cyber virus Rubbishphobia that spread by the music game Phigros has been well controlled. Our city's paving excerpt Sound Souler reminds the public that Rubbishphobia can be healed by hitting the floor with head. When the floor hits five times, the effort of curing is the best.
NceS: What the hell is this?
Wuji- His Chinese name is 無極(Infinite), an evil phigros charter who always creates inhumane charts.

Chapter 1

Stave No.0

Date: 1/05/21
Keeper: Mirror
Category: Main

(Exceprted from Project Phigros)

For once you were a wandering organism,
With no religion and yet received baptism.

Like the green vines the holy stone atop the firmament,
With the order the sword was drawn out of sheath.

How I want, the ice got scattered by the axe from the heavens,
And hunger no longer haunts the abyss.

The elder listened, thought and sighed,
"Build a tower to challenge the sky."

Stave No.1

Date: 1/03/27
Keeper: Deathmark
Category: Main

Now that the rainbow fades,
Where else might it stay?
Where there be
Fragrance inside the posies,
Echoes beneath the memories,
Spirits from the awakened,
Dreams above the illusions,
There be my home.

Stave No.2

Date: 1/02/29
Keeper: Deathmark
Category: Main

Chasing the sun went the birds o' gods,
Beneath the poem shone the lights and howls.
A bird summoned by the spring,
A sword glittered for the win.
Met at the summit, chased with the winds.
Down fell the feathers, in rain they rinsed.
A tongue that twisted, two shadows there stood,
The firmament above touched the recital at foot.
Listen, Mount Sierra, coiled by the wind -
What was she saying?
Why was she crying?
The floods unleashed mercy no being,
The milk spilt needed no regretting.
Should we rest, may we wait,
Not too far the chance awaits.

Stave No.3

Date: 1/03/01
Keeper: Deathmark
Category: Main

Coo, coo, coo,
Bubble, bubble, bubble.

Fine fish skin with boiled white apple, take a sip and let your spirits free. A string twanged as a spur of the moment, wonder why someone would become addict.
For decades long there was no music but the sound of flute near the river.Please just stay at my humble house, and detail what wind blew you here.

Stave No.4

Date: 1/03/06
Keeper: Deathmark
Category: Main

Are our names and fame anything more than being lame.

Whoever lives owns a name,
Whoever dies owns a name.
For fame being live,
For what the dead prolong?
Would they, if ever, revive?

Stave No.5

Date: 1/03/03
Keeper: Deathmark
Category: Main

Never getting the sense of poetry.

Spring, a season when everything wakes up.

Stave No.6

Date: 1/03/32
Keeper: Deathmark
Category: Main

Here we are in the age of exile,
Shall irises bloom, and my mist die,
Lacerated by shafts o' light,
Seeking path through the hazy sky.

Recording Pen Alpa

Date: 1/02/29
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Bold
A pure white recording pen belonging to Geopelia. There's a mope sticker on the right, and "Geopelia" and "Falcon" were carved on the back.
Meowalpa, an AI assistant, is installed in the pen. He in unconscious, which means he cannot think on his own, but he makes strange noises from time to time.

Date: 1/03/03
Geopelia uses it to record her ideas and what she hears Now, alpa holds a rich collection of demos that are hard to understand, as well as stuff Geopelia would never admit were created by herself.
Gino: What's in the pen?
Geopelia: My brother used to tell me secrets that should only be shared between friends. Are you my friend?
Gino: Hmm. Hard to say. What do you think?
Geopelia: He also told me that friends won't pry into other's secrets, so I guess you're not.
Gino: Wow, your brother is truly a logic master.
Geopelia: Sure he is!

Date: 2083/09/03
It is Geopelia's 10th birthday present. She has kept it well ever since, she cherishes it.
Falcon: A bit further. Ahhh!
[Something heavy dropped]
Joiec: You alright?
Falcon: I'm fine, it's just a scratch, I'll take care of it.
[Falcon turned on the tap. The basin reflects alpa's image, sound asleep.]
Falcon: I'm almost. there.

Date: 1/03/06
Meowalpha was one of her brothers' college graduation project.
Meowalpa's intelligence is a bit higher than an ordinary cat, and he usually sleeps in the recording pen. Sometimes pops up on Geopleia's personal desktop.
Geopelia: Alpa's quiet today.
Gino: Probably sleeping. Hey, be quick, newcomer, finish the report or we'll work late.
[Pretending to be serious]
Geopelia: Okay, what for dinner?
Gino: Anything but biscuits.
Geopelia: Roger that!

Date: 1/04/02
Geopelia has developed a strange habit recently, that is, after recording a journal, to modify its frequency and save it in the work. So if you hear a weird noise, might as well try to crack it.

Date: 1/04/03
Goofing off at midnight, Alpa sneaked out the recording pen, and was caught red-handed by Kuzumi who was deawing in the corridor. So the two spent a pleasant fantasy night together.
Kuzumi: where did this kitten come from? So cute

Alpa: Woof!
Kuzumi: . Dog bark?
[Kuzumi was all of a sudden enlightened, hold Alpa up and shouted]
Kuzumi: I understand now, it is all by destiny. You are my inspiration goddess the Lord gifted to me!
Alpa: Meow

[Alpa was pressed against Kuzumi's leg and moaned. What was this human girl saying? Kuzumi was bursting with ideas, her little notepas was gradually filled up with the adventure of the black cat Alpa. Those companions whom the kitten met seem to become real creatures that exist, and naturally appeared in Kuzumi's mind. Kuzumi has a feeling, that this would make a great picture book.]

Date: 1/06/01
The transit sticker of the maze was so pretty, that Geopelia has kept it.

Geopelia: Alpa fancification project initiation!
[Alpa inside the recorder seemed slightly discontended, but the incessant drowsiness sent it back to the dreams.]

[Recording] Wind

Date: 1/02/29
Keeper: Geopelia
Length: 10'32"
The audio records abnormal wuthering winds among the mountains. The howls and whistles echo like the growls of tigers and cries of loongs.
It's long and high-pitched at the beginning, but the tone twisted down to peace minutes later, followed by a tide of stronger sounds reverberating and bouncing around the valleys. Finally everything was brought back to calm, as if the spirits whispering: "Doomsday, doomsday. " The whispers cascades down, accompanied by the wind whistles, created a symphonious verse until suddenly -
- someone broke into the door, and the recording was stopped unexpectedly.

Badge of Team VII

Date: 1/03/02
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: souvenir
A proof of Geopelia joining Team VII, illustrates a silver lotus blooming on a snow plain.

[Recording] Hotpot

Date: 1/03/01
Keeper: Geopleia
Category: souvenir
Length: 5'21"
Inside the copper hotpot, fine slices of fresh salmon rolled up and down inside the boiling oil.
The transparent fish easily brings one into reverie. Grey yet shining, even the scales and skin look delightful with green onion and coriander chopped alongside.
Let the tongue touch the crisp and rich taste of the fish slice as it melts inside the mouth, easily warms bodies up and free the souls fro the chilly weather outside. Take a spoon of soup, even the heart seems to be melting with the fish.

[Recording] Sleep

Date: 1/03/17
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: main
Length: 21'5"
The light was still lit.
I opened the window.
The moon was swimming through the clouds,
the firmament was dyed with slashes of meteors.
The wind was coming from the distant tower, twisted and swirled into my cabin.
The icy weather made me shiver, so I had no choice but to close the windows and crawl back into my warm quilt.
I turned my desktop on and began playing my recordings from the past, pen in hand.
Never was a single word written.Given up on the work, I gazed out of the window again -
there seemed to be something different beyond the mist.
There was a tower - or maybe not, as it was too big to see its end, too tall to find its top. Wearing the clouds, it seemed to be accompanied with flying creatures - or more like whales - looking at my world from the heights.
"How could there be such a tower.
It didn't exist yesterday."

Hearing the constant breaths from Gino, I can't help but follow his rhythm -
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
So peaceful and quiet, with a comforting power within.
"Still awake?"
The rhythm suddenly stopped. Is he awake?
"I've told you not. not to stay up too late."
Gino shakes his bed, making it squeak.
Let me poke his bed.
Yes, peace restored.
Ahh, he talks even when he sleeps -
which makes me sleepy as well. Let's just rest now and put off these things to tomorrow.
That's the end of today's diary. Nighty.

[Recording] Snow

Date: 1/03/03
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
Got ahold of something that feels like cotton candy. They came from the other side of the mountain, and sounds like the bubble wrap being stepped on. It seemed that it was useless except that it can steal the warmth from your body. Gino said that this is snow, and it was a long time since the last time it snowed on this ice land. It is a good sign, because with snow there's cloud, with cloud there's water, and water will bring about warmth, which can defrost the lakes in the mountains. Soon, schools of fish would follow the warmth and swim upwards to breed. They leaped out of the surface, leaving splashes of water beneath. With their skin reflecting lights to form a rainbow, new fish would appear the next year.
"The fish hunting festival will arrive in half a month. You'll like it"

Amphibious Motorbike Trophon

Date: 1/02/29
Keeper: Gino
Category: Bold
Gino's treasured amphibious motor. It is unique to others as it's modified by the team leader Dlyro. It has gliding boards for snow terrain, but can also transform with a press of a button, holding back the boards, and turn into a powerful land motor.

Date: 1/03/03
Geopelia and Dlyro had a great relationship that many members admire.
Carl: The Leader seems to like the new girl.
Theo: Oh, that seems true. I didn't notice that before. Maybe because she's cute?
Carl: Would you also want to be that cute?Theo: N. No, nonsense!
Carl: Do as I say, tell the leader that you love her at the fish hunting festival. Everyone knows you have a thing for her.
Theo: I••••••
(Theo quickly glanced at the leader, Dlyro was chatting and seemed to be in good mood. Theo thought to himself for a long time, and seemed to have made up his mind.)

Date: 1/03/06
The patterns on the side of the motor has a significant meaning to the patrols. Gino thought about it for a long time when he first joined the patrol, but it's so well designed that nobody was been able to decrypt it.

Date: 1/03/32
During the escape, the two rear-view mirrors on Trophon were swallowed by the black hole.

Date: 1/03/32
With the help of scavengers, the rear-view mirrors and wheels were fixed, and a broadcasting system was installed.
Kouma: Test, test, Trophon do you copy?
Geopelia: Roger that! Awaiting your order sire.
Kouma: Engine - start!
Geopelia: Top gear!
Gino: Hey hey, you're too up.
Geopelia: Accompany me for a lap, Gino!
Gino: Okay, hold on tight, don't get blown away!
[The engine of Trophon roared, Geopelia feels the growls from the giant underneath her, the sudden acceleration made her lose balance, she wrapped her arms around Gino tightly, and secretly closed her eyes. Then, they vanished into the hoodoo.]

Date: 1/06/04
Because Trophon was stored at the cargo, it arrived at the third floor ahead of time. Unfortunately, it became a guinea pig of Branda, the warehouse manager who is also keen on investigating new stuff. Trophon was modded and now it has a new ability - fly. However, it's extremely unstable.
Gino: I told you it's my motor, and I am having all the docs here, why can't I take it back?
Branda: The rules are that for items stored in the warehouse for over two months, the warehouse master's signature is required, and an overtime charge must be paid. You have to wait for the master, I don't have the right to give it back to you.
[Branda hides himself behind the newspaper, peeking Geopelia secretly, but have no idea what's the girl thinking about. It never occurred to him that someone would actually come and withdraw it, and if they found out about the mod, he may lose him job, or even worse.]

Airdrop Biscuits

Date: 1/03/04
Keeper: Patrol Team VII Storage / Geopelia
Category: Main
Compressed biscuits that taste very nasty. They arrive weekly to the camp via unknown means of transportation, and look like a part of the supplies. They even come with chili sauce, said to replenish vitamin C.

Date: 1/05/23
On the third day of entering the sewer maze, Geopelia found a package of biscuits, and absorbed by the thought of whether to eat or to eat it. Eventually the two at the final supplies with the chili sauce.

Chinese Piccolo

Date: 1/03/03
Keeper: Gino
Category: Bold
The only musical instrument in Glaciaxia. It is a treasure from Gino's cometown.
Geopelia: Hometown. Isn't Gino's home on this ice land?Gino: Instead of hometow, I prefer calling it a patrol team nearby. Mankind has stopped making instruments since Glaciaxion. The Chinese I have here is about 700 years old, one of its kind.
Geopelia: Treasure as it is, why is it in your hands?
Gino: The master said, if a piccolo isn't watered enough by emotions and melodies, it would fade out on the ice land like many other musical instruments. He demanded me practice it whenever possible, and that's the only way to protect the piccolo.
Geopelia: Is it so?

Date: 1/03/03
Clue given to Gino by 115. It is actually a piccolo similar to those in the Tower.

[Recording] Oriole

Date: 1/03/03
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
Length: 3'42"
With the virtual flame dancing slowly in the fireplace, the musician took the flute out from the case and said, "on such a smooth day, I'd like to play some soothing melody."
Along with the treble, the spring sun rise,
Inch by inch the world revives.
Oriole tweets, oriole flies,
unrolling her feathers o'er winds she rides.
"Here it comes, my dear friend,
spring wakes everything up to life."
Oriole glanced with rapid eyes,
twigs look green and plums don't hide.
Stood in the rivers is melting ice,
above the streams the fish jumps high.
Oriole flies, oriole smiles,
Down scraps the snow and up chases the kite.

(Oriole, a bird symbolizing spring and happiness.)

Dorm Key

Date: 1/03/01
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
Geopelia and Gino's dorm key, Geopelia usually clip it in her hat.
Gino: Geopelia, open the door. I need to take some stuff to shower.
Geopelia: The user you are calling is changing equipment. Please redial later.
[From the room came a loud bang, as if something heavy has been dropped. Following up was a groaning sound. Gino can imagine what a mess Geopelia has made of the room.]
Gino: Coo-coo, you're definitely not changing clothes, aren't you?
Geopleia: I'm not Coo-coo!
[The door opened. Geopelia, who only had a shirt on, looked around to confirm that there was no one else before throwing Gino a pile of clothes, like a dealer at the back alley.]
Geopelia: Go take a bath, and don't come back before tne.
Gino: You're checking my closet? [Gino looked closely, Geopelia was wearing his work uniform.]
Geopelia: Hmph. Coo-coo wouldn't be interested in your pieces of cloth.
[Geopelia closed the door pretty hard, the wind from the door made Gino squint. Did she expose herself a bit?]

Ghast Horn

Date: 1/03/07
Category: Soubenir
The cuticle from the ghasts that come from the bottomless abyss. It's the essence of all ingredients for food on the ice plain, and is the skin of crystal fish dumplings.

Electromagnetic Shotgun

Date: 1/03/07
Keeper: Gino
Category: Souvenir
Team VII's symbolic weapon. Its arc shape barrel design is beloved by many team members.

Fish Basket

Date: 1/03/17
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
Geopelia's equipment that she acquired from the fish hunting festival.
Made from ghasts' bones, it has very strong water resistance, and is one of the must-haves on the grand harvest day.

[Recording] Fish Game

Date: 1/03/17
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
Length: 5'21"
Baits are set, hooks are right, fishermen are standing by.
In no time the fork alight, in splashes, a fish closed its eyes.
The river was dyed, bloody red, symbolizing the string survive.
Why, why, and why.
If harvesting is the nature's gift, what is it for the prey?
Is it its fate that cannot be twisted, or a disaster that cannot be predicted?

Date: 1/03/23
Keeper: Dlyro
Category: Souvenir
The only proof that Theo had existed before the ghasts took him away. It was handed to Dlyro, the leader, before Carl died.
"Run. before. it's too late. They. They're coming. from the deep well. "

[Recording] The Black Hole

Date: 1/03/32
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Main
Length: 1'1"
Desperate water, desperate wind. The ripples won't come before it's too late.
Hard as you search in the pile of waste, the new world is never in your fate.
"Record: On the last day of March, the ice land met a disaster like never before. Ashes from the tower lit every warrior on fire, a huge black hole rose from the horizon faraway, sucking the cowards away. We rushed towards Mount Sierra, as according to the leader, only the path towards Sierra is protected by the tower."

[Image] Fat Ball

Date: 1/03/32
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
During the escape, Geopelia took some special photos, what seemed to be black balls of fat coming out of human bodies, leaving weird marks on the snow. It seemed a bit unrealistic and creepy, but Geopelia thought she might have met this before.

Silk Purse

Date: 1/03/26
Keeper: Gino
Category: main
Dlyro gave Gino this purse, inside which was Dlyro's last order for him.
"To where you met Geopelia."

Patient Uniform

Date: 1/03/23
Keeper: Findstr
Category: Nonsense
One of the worst designs if you ask Findstr. When he first received his the patrol uniform, this one from the clinic was thrown away.

Decorated Mini-Knife

Date: 1/03/23
Keeper: Ash
Category: Bold
When Ash woke up, he found himself lying on the snow, knife in hand. According to Ash's own words, he had been cooking at home with his wife before he met Findstr.
Findstr: I think I understood your situation.
Ash: Really?
Findstr: Yup, Just follow me.

[Image] Deep Well

Date: 1/03/27
Keeper: Ash
Category: Souvenir
On the fifth day of their aimless journey, they encountered lots of Glacier Ghasts. If it were not the steep cliffs under which they had hidden themselves, they would have been dead. Everything was completely quiet and still when Ash finally sat down. Above him was an enormous army, beneath him was an endless abyss. Ash looked around to find another way out, but all but darkness was what he could see. The pond at the bottom of the abyss reflected Ash's face. It looked just like the old well at his hometown, he thought. Even the moment when he was pushed down the well, it looked so, so alike to the surroundings. The only difference was the size. The well was too small for a child to crawl in, the abyss is too big for even a soul to endure.
"I found a way out."

[Recording] Hikari

Date: 1/03/32
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
Length: 1'13"
The legend goes, when fragments of the stars are lit on in the exosphere, they will form a beautiful arc, and when countless fragments pour down altogether, they'll become a door of light, bringing about messages from afar. No one has ever entered the door of light, but if you do, you will find a new world beyond the door.
"Let's go, Gino,"
"To the new world!"

Login Permission: Saturn

Date: 1/03/32
Keeper: Gino
Category: Key
The communication permission that belongs to Limbo. It's left by leader Dlyro before he was sucked into the black hole.

Date: 1/02/28
[At night, patrols that weren't on shift are chatting in the lounge, the leader and Gino were sitting on the sofa. The leader suddenly asked:]
Dlyro: Is this the reality, Gino?
Gino: Pardon, sire?
Dlyro: You may not understand what I'm talking about, but did you not even notice?
Dlyro: Those expressions and phases that shouldn't have existed in our memory, along with the poems, the legends and the past. Don't you ever doubt where they came from?
Gino: I can't answer that.
[Gino couldn't sleep that night.]

Suppression Order 0327

Date: 1/03/26
Keeper: Dlyro
Category: Souvenir
In order to deal with the outburst of ghasts from the abyss, the elites from the patrol team joined the raid to fight them off as soon as Dlyro received the mission. However, Gino and Geopelia were not appointed.

Ghast Skin Paper 337

Date: 1/03/28
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Main
A skin of Glacier Ghast was fully written with illegible words. Geopelia could only recognize "337", the rest was handed to alpa for analysis.

Date: 1/03/31
[Analysis Progress: 3%]
[Words identified: Tower / Puppet / Awaken]


Date: 1/03/09
Keeper: Dlyro
Category: Souvenir
Famous gourmet magazine in Glaciaxia. Its editor team has members from all over the world. Its chief editor is "an interesting novel chef" (according to Dlyro) from No.1 Circuit Rescue Team. Because subscribing to the e-magazine for a full year rewards the subscriber with 5L of camel oil, Dlyro used his subordinates' accounts and purchased 10 subscriptions of Glaci'o'Food. Much cheaper than ordering camel oil alone.
Geopelia: Jr. Gino, did you notice -
Gino: Jr. Geopelia, what?
Geopelia: Every time the magazine organizes a lucky draw game, you're always on the list.
Gino: How could it be? If I did win that game why wouldn't I know?
Geopelia: Just look.

Glaci'o'Food No.88's Cover: Peppered Camel Mince
"The dish was inspired from a discovery during an expedition. We found an enormous amount of tier-1 whimified bush near the resting place of camels at camp 47. According to the documents, these types of semi-ligneous plants, with alternate, simple leaves, should be pod peppers, an extinct vegetable. It's now being revived by whimification. I recalled that once my old master told me, during ancient times, pepper and salt are the best additives to make dishes. Rediscovering the pepper ignites my spirit to recover the ancient recipe. During the nighttime break, I bought a camel from a local camel hunter and experimented my dish. It was a tastebud-buster. Sliced pepper wove perfectly into the minced camel meat. Next, I added some peppercorn and rosemary and decorated the dish. And that's the cover dish of the month."
As usual, we'll pick 5 lucky readers and present you our cover dish. Their names can be found on the back of the magazine.
According to "the back of the magazine": "Congratulations to Gino! Your dish would be served within 3 days, delivered to your camp."
Geopelia: See? I pick at random.
Gino: Yea, I know this. It's the only time that I received the prize.
Geopelia: So lucky me? Let's just browse through the backs of these magazine.
Geopelia: Gino, Gino, Gino, Gino. Wait, what's this?

Glaci'o'Food No.93's Cover: Garlic Ape Eyes
"In theory, whims should be brining disasters to the world, and thus should be eliminated. However, ape, a useless species of whim, is not hostile to us. When I say useless, I mean apes aren't doing anything good for us either. They're usually seen lying on the river bank, with little amount of meat that could be eaten. If they were not tier-3 whimified, they should not be on the elimination list. When the editors received a cuisine that uses ape as its main ingredient, they're quite shocked. But when they scrolled down and found that the cuisine is actually made by ape eyes, they turned their shock to praises. The idea of the dish came from the suppression act against the ghast tide days ago, when the chef of the dish was clearing the battlefield near the river. He stopped his steps at a branch of the river, where he found hundreds of apes dead on a layer of ice. The river bank has marks of wolf claws, and rumors are such a soil may have garlic grown beneath. The chef managed to harvest several garlics, which were then blended with apes' eyes to create this delicious cuisine. Tip, with a slight hint of vinegar, the dish would taste even better."
The back of the magazine reads: Congratulations to our lucky reader Gino! Your dish would be served within 5 days, delivered to your camp.
Gino: .
Geopelia: Ha, eyes.
Gino: I have no appetite for those nasty eyes. I didn't eat that.
Geopelia: It's said that all whims have glittering eyes. Are the apes' eyes shiny?
[Gino looked at Dlyro's collection desk, in the middle of which was a glittering specimen of an eyeball.]
Gino: I think there must be something about this issue.

Glaci'o'Food No.45's cover: Grilled Mule Tongue
"Today, when the techniques to tame and control a ghast horse is at the edge of being lost, it's our pleasure and luck to interview the last hero with the ability of "Inter-action", Dlyro. She's also the leader of Team VII."
[Video Clip] * Dlyro is displaying the skill of commanding a ghast horse.
[Alert: File incomplete. Attempting to fix. ]
[Alert: File corrupted.]
[File rollback and resetting completed.]
Dlyro mentioned grilled donkey, a famous cuisine that only existed in ancient recipes. The mules found this time near the camp of Team LXXXI should be a crossbreed of donkey and horse, which could replace the donkey meat in that recipe. Their outrageous speed of production lit the urge of Dlyro to make full use of their meat. Dlyro also mentioned that the essence of mule meat is its tongue, and that's how the dish was invented.
More than half of our staff came from Team LXXXI. In fact we all believe Glaci'o'Food literally originate from the patrol team. In order to express our gratitude to Dlyro's cuisines and hands-on-help, we decided to reserve a seat for lucky reader every month for Team VII, and present him/her a monthly-featured cover cuisine.
Geopelia: Well, the mystery seems to be solved.
Gino: Yea, and shall we head for lunch right now?
[Something flashed into Geopelia's mind]
Geopelia: Hey, the magazine updates today!
Gino: I've has a bad feeling about it.

Chapter 2

Stave No.7

Date: 1/04/01
Keeper: deathmark
Category: Main
Has it started?

Awoken from dream, as returning of three elixirs
Room felt warm, yet mood still anxious.
For the diva perished unaccounted, spreading rumours flooded the net
The masses enraged, yet information suppressed
In grief the officer mourn, young sheriff to unravel the fact.

Stave No.8

Date: 1/04/01
Keeper: Deathmark
Category: Main
Child of hoodoo, why don't you go home?

Hoodoo, oh, hoodoo,
My hometown that haunts my mind.
Here runs the shining river,
Here lives the glorious past.
Drumbeat is its theme,
Joy is its promise.

There are
Peristele splashed by oil paints
Towering over all the seas
There are
Wildman with disheveled hair
Singing freely

Electromagnetic rail inlaid with bricks flaring like bright sun
Remainings of machinery fly slowly without instruction
that is the fortune as if from heaven
Holding the last hope

By now my elder generations
Frocks taken off
Guarding the fortune bitterly
Like salt status.

I know they are perishing.
Human can not reside over trash,
So is the world

Stave No.9

Date: 1/04/03
Keeper: Deathmark
Category: main
Acknowledge cannot change destiny
Once truth neighbored with fiction
Truth honored fiction with the superior manner
Fiction refused and take the inferior contrary
Thence the two never meet yet in the same room
Both know the other, yet hold their tongues

Merchandise - Judgement Line Pillow

Date: 2019/02/08
Keeper: YOU
Category: Souvenir
Soft, and squishy

One of the unknown merchandise that is still PGS's planning

Sheriff badge

Date: 01/09/10
Keeper: Gino
Category: Bold
Work credential of Sheriff Dino. The Gino on the ID photo is much less mature than him now.

[Image] Tower

Date: 01/09/32
Keeper: Gino
Category: Key
The illustration strip hung on the wall of Pigeon Bar, displaying a giant upside-down tower.
According to the bar owner, it was the practice work by the bar tender Ms. Sakura

[Image] Field investigation report - Summer Grass

Warning! Contains gory description!

Date: 01/09/27
Keeper: Gino
Category: Souvenir
Identification confirmed, being a famous female singer surnamed Zuo.
[Contain unpleasent contents, viewers discretion is advised]

The victim's head had been gnawed beyond recognition by rats the solution that kept the organism operating and the sewage water in the dark alley of the bar mixed into a dirty dark red stream. The keratin filaments were floating like seaweed in the water the sewage dyed a gradient of colours along the edge of the clothing, attracting colourful birds pursuing the dreamy fantasy, pecking the reflection of the rainbow. Smelling its scent, it was strikingly similar to salted roast organ, with a bit of sweetness in the raw smell. There is no seasons in the crypt, and this level is warm as spring. If left unattended, by February, stems and leaves would have grown out of her soul and flesh, consuming the wine of life, swaying in the air.

Star Fragments - Winter

Date: 1/04/01
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Nonsense
Mysterious stone picked up by Geopelia when passing throught the light gate. It seems to make some strange noises by touching its top left corner.
[Means of acquiring of 'Winter ↑ cube ↓' SP chart]


Date: 1/04/06
Keeper: Fuli
Category: Main
The radio which Kuzumi asked Fuli for help to repair. Seems to be the same model as the one Geopelia had when she was a kid.

Date: 2079/09/06
The teen's hands were covered with dirty grease. He took out a brand new radio from his waist pack, handed it to his young sister.
'Geopelia, happy brithday.'

Date: 1/04/07
Fuli: It's gone.
Geopelia: Is it very hard to fix?
Fuli: Actually I still haven't figured out where is the defect.
Geopelia: Can I have a look?
Fuli: Emmm. [lost hope]
[Geopelia strokes the mainboard of the raido, as if absorbed in thought. She remembered that brother used to show her, 'Radios of this brand has a weak spot in design. As long as you re-solder it, the weak spot disappears, it will no longer break, even better than other radios.']
Geopelia: Try and weld this spot?
Fuli: Here?[She did it doubtfully. It can be redone even if it was a mistake.]
Fuli: It actually worked! You are amazing, Geopelia!
Geopelia: Huh-huh, my pleasure. You're welcome,
[After coming here, the memories about the past with brother reemerges from time to time yet Geopelia still could not recall the actual look of that person in the memory, so was the reason about where she came from, and how she ended up here.]

Date: 1/04/07
Fuli: It has been repaired, but I got work these few days, can't send it to Kuzumi. [Sad]
Geopelia: I can do it!
Fuli: Love you, Geopelia!
Gino: Emm? Give you what? What do you want to do?
[Gino just came back from intelligence gathering. It was a windy night, and Gino's hair was in a mess. Geopelia could not stand it, tried to tidy it but messed it up even more.]
Gino: C'mon, kids should behave just like kids. Time to go to bed now.
Geopelia: Sobs

Fuli: Kuzumi is not in a hurry. You can just pass it to her when you drop by District Six while going back to District Eight. Normally she would be at the Perchnest County train station around that time.
[I didn't see any train station on the map, Gino absorbed in thought]
Fuli: The station is at the northwest corner of District Six, throught the Sunchase tunnel, walk five hundred meters then turn east.
Geopelia: Just like how a guiding NPC would say

Fuli: Of course not. I only told you in such detail because I worried that you would find your way.
Fuli: By the way, you wanna add me to your friend list?[Hinting through
[Gino facepalmed, wait no, Geopelia still doesn't know the existance of limbo yet]
Geopelia: Friend list?
Fuli: Just turn your eyes three rounds to the right, one round to the left, and swipe from top to bottom, then it pops out an interface. You see there is an add friend button on the left? Enter my ID there.
Geopelia: Ohhhh I see it now!
[Isn't it the same as on the terminal]
Fuli: Now I send you the radio, then it can be saved in the system.
Geopelia: Fully understood! You are indeed a worthy guiding NPC Fuli!
Fuli: Why can't you just get over this?
Geopelia: Gino, come here, I add you as friend.
Gino: Go to sleep after this then.
Geopelia: Understood!

[Recording] Drum of Peace

Date: 1/04/01
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Main
Length: 5'23""
Dance and ring with eighteen tunes, Peaceful Drum would sound for peace, Deep in mire, yet still make merry, Song along route, concord with earth.
[Following the singing, Geopelia and Gino came to the mountain of rubbish. Countless electronic devices were dropped to the top by the magnetic track. Standing by the foot of the mountain, Geopelia saw scavengers beating the drum in their hands on the far mountainside like ants, paying their tribute out loud with words that no one could understand.]
[Suddenly, a giant machinery fell from the top, landing right on top of the scavengers. Yet the musice did not stop. Perhaps due to the rubbish around, their lives were temporarily not under threat.]
[Gino thereupon went to help. He rushed towards there, to him the scattered footholds became the tempo of rhythm. The more intense the scavengers' drum beats were, the faster Gino jumped and moved around. With that magic touch, Gino arrived in front of the scavengers in no time. He dragged the nearby I-beam over, pivoting to remove the machinery that knocked down the scavengers. Geopelia took some more effort, moving slowly from the slope on the other side. By the time Gino had finished half of the work, Geopelia finally emerged from below with her butterfly ornament.]
Gino: Coo-coo, why did you only watch me do it?
Geopelia: I believe that Gino pocesses such great strength, that even without Coo-coo, he could still accomplish his mission. [Geopelia opened alpa, sat down in a corner with some leatherware, sniggering at Gino sweating all over.]
Gino: Then why do you come up here if you don't work?
[Annoyed half-heartedly]Geopelia: To fulfil the task from the Coo-coo organisation to hear the voice of the working class of course.
[The trapped scavengers turned to look at the newly arrived Geoplelia, then Geopelia started the chat by responding to their questions. After a while, the scavengers really began to like the girl. One of them even gave her some sweets from his pocket. Gino had a very complex emotion watching this. If she was not his family, Gino would be blinded by jeolousy.]
Gino: Sigh.

Magic Wand

Date: 1/03/29
Keeper: Kuzumi
Category: Souvenir
The magic prop Kouma found in the rubbish dump. Kuzumi is trying hard to practice, hoping to put a smile on everyone's face through magic tricks.

Hoodoo Map

Date: 1/04/05
Keeper: Gino
Category: Main
The dynamic map Gino made by utilising the Saturn permission. It recorded people's activities within the Hoodoo for three days. As expected, the trace of scavengers were following the norm, just as what he would have guessed.r

[Recording] Beggar's Chicken

Date: 1/04/03
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
Length: 3'35""
Beggar's Chicken is a traditional Chinese cuisine. The whole chicken was marinated, then covered with soil or flour, wrapped with lotus leaf, then finally grilled in a stove. This would secure its juiciness entirely, ensuring the chicken to be fresh and tender, as well as a crispy golden skin. The original recipe is very strict about the ingredients. Due to the geographical restrictions, Gino used the wild green-haired chicken, battery soil with excessive metallic contents, and tin foil instead.

Searching for decilacies seems to be the mission I was born for. Wherever I go, I would always be indulged in the local cuisines. All around the world, every cuisine cultures, from luxurious dishes to refreshing desserts --- where there is the delicious food, there is me. That's me, Geopelia the super gourmet. Welcome to my Tasty Food Review channel! [background: yeah. ]
Now let's interview our special guest today, Cheif Gino!
You have anything to say to our audience, Chief?
[Crunching, Gino held the 'giant rock', focusing on crushing it onto the ground, totally ignoring Geopelia.]Hmm. Chief, what dish are we making today?
[Gino looked up at Geopelia, remembering that he still had a chisel in his mouth, then signaled to Geopelia to take the green juice beside, and made a drinking gesture.]
Asking me to drink it? [It tasted a bit bitter] What is this thing?
[Relaxed his bite and spoke] 'Antidote.’
The chicken was quite tasty though.

Green Mutant

Date: 1/04/03
Keeper: Gino
Category: Sounvenir
The strange species found by Gino and Geopelia in the landfill of District Eight. It has eight legs and six wings, also known as the green-haired chicken. Now it is generally believed that green-haired chicken is a GMO mutated from the genetically enhanced chicken by some famous fast food enterprise.
[Limbo Wiki] : The soup made with feathers of green-haired chicken has the effect agianst heavy metal poisoning.

[Image] Water Tower

Date: 1/04/03
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
The life-sustaining device in the Hoodoo. Each water tower is marked with strange patterns and local serial number by the residents. On the joint railing of the District Eight water tower, there is an eight-legged horse and an infinity sign on the horseback. The water tower measures 30 meters in height and 8 meters in width. It has a cylindrical shape arranged in a group of four, three of which are purifying circulatory system, and one is the storage tank. The purifying installation has two inlets and five outlets, the inlets being for air and river water, and the outlets being for purified water into the storage tank, and waste water into the sewage tank. The waste is then again branched into three and pumped up into the engergy network, sustaining the circulatory system.

[Recording] Morning

Date: 1/04/04
Keeper: Geopelia
Length: 53""
Category: main
Awaken by the sound of Gino's flute, Geopelia opens the terminal. Alpa is still analysing File 377. Each faint and strange name in the list so far remains unheared from. She opened the notepad, written down the date and started the voice recorder, quietly recording down the sound of the early morning.
[4th of April, Sunny
It is the fourth day since we mounted up the Tower. With the help of the scavengers, we gradually starts to understand Hoodoo, the new world behind the light gate, and set up a temporary home in District Eight. Hoodoo is so quiet, just like Glaciaxia in the past, and I fear that this would be the calm before the storm. Before we left, the tip from Captain Dlyro mentioned that, the collapse phenomenon is a hound without chain greed being its nature, it would bite on anything alive in its sight. After the fall of Glaciaxia, it would be the Hoodoo soon then, all worlds that exist in the Tower order would not be able to escape from the same fate.
But would our story really end like this?]

"Breakfast is ready. Coo-coo, come and eat."
"Coming coming."

5-Coloured Rock

Date: 1/04/04
Keeper: Gino
Category: Souvenir
Product of the end of the Petroleum river. It has a silky smooth touch, and gives a reflection of a spectrum of exotic colours on a sunny day. Towards south along the coloured rock river bank, Turbid waterfall is found at the end of the trail.
[Limbo Wiki: Turbid waterfall is directly connected to the Justice Voyage from Endless Sean to Bailin. There lives a large amount of whims that swim upstream from the Endless Sea. Adventurers please avoid the Turbid waterfall unless absolutely necessary.]

Rainbow Picture Book

Date: 1/04/04
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Key
A file seemingly to be a drawing book, dropped form Alpa. It vividly depicted a story about a kitten who could bark came to the rainbow waterfall, encountered various magical creatures and went on an adventure together with them.

Metallic Arm

Date: 1/04/05
Keeper: Kuzumi
Category: Souvenir
When it was found, it lay on the bridge connecting both sides of the Petroleum river. Like a fish out of water, it let its morphological top and bottom swing freely back and forth nonstop, until the luminous body of energy reaches the top of th celestial sphere, impelling the fingers, standing upright on the ground, travelling towards farway.
"It seems edible." [Deep_in_thought.png]

Bitter Apricot Kernel

Date: 1/04/05
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
Bitter apricot kernel can assist excreting activities, and is useful at descending Qi in one's body. Best suited to feed depressed Alpa.
[Dangerous action, please do not imitate]
A gift from District Two across the river. As it didn't taste good, after Alpa finished the analysis, Geopelia divided up a bag of nuts and buried them in the wet sandy soil beside the water tower in District Eight.

[Image] Fuli Auto Shooter!

Date: 1/04/09
Keeper: Fuli
Category: Souvenir
Mountains, depressions, tussocks, woodlands, and underneath its dress every place that can hide, every melancholy of a peaceful afternoon, exposes their true colours. Smoke and bullets are her prelude, with shells and electric current strike through the horizon. One by another the uncontrolled fell, then more autonomous machines joined their troop. Fuli extended her arms, and the World Gate appears in front. This is not a good place to stay. Bullets would eventually be run out, yet enemies would never cease. The only way to survive, is to leave.

Barrett Shell

Date: 1/04/06
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
A large amount of bullet shells of various types and calibres, picked up by Geopelia on her way to visit the District Three manager Fuli.

[Image] Perchnest Station

Date: 1/04/07
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Main
An ordinary station in the countryside, with floral decorations that can be seen in nowhere else, seemingly yet so odd in this world. Kuzumi stood on the platform, waiting for a train. She had been awaiting it for so long. In the mornings and evenings for decades, whenever the sun intersets the horizon, she had been here waiting, silently. In her memory, there was someone, let go of her hand, boarded a train, and never turned back. She was still waiting for that train, hoping to show him the picture book she drawn, hoping, to see him again once more.

Date 1/04/03
Kouma is standing on the platform above the stone stair, seeing countless enormous columns straight into the sky and nine red suns are taking turns around the circle. Once there was a time where ten suns hung out together, bathing everything with burning sunlight, resulting the death of crops, grass and trees, and people had nothing to eat. Now people are not what they were, so are the days, keeping reversing and changing. He feels sadness.
Geopelia didn't sleep well anyway in the scrounger colony for she was unaccustomed to the bed. So she happened to get up early to catch the sunrise, and decided to set out earlier after Gino waking up.
"Good morning Kouma."
"Young lady came for sunrise?"
"Yeah, Kuzumi didn't show up today?"
"She's out. For you, would you take it seriously to settle down in District Eight?”
"No, once we find the entrance to the third floor, we'll leave."
"Alas, just like Kuzumi and her brother then, they didn't return after leaving. Don't look at me like that, lady ,hoodoo has few livings after reversing."

[Image] Graffiti

Date: 1/04/02
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
The true reason why scavengers run into trouble: lose their way while searching for paint for refurbish the graffiti wall.
Outcome of refurbishment: streets stacked up with colour lumps, human figures that has lost the outline, meaningless words and irritating emotions flooded the entire painting
Comment: Even more abstract now, might as well don't refurbish

HQ004 Train Ticket

Date: 1/04/07
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
The only train passing through Perchnest County. After seeing Kuzumi boarded the train, the two of them also went to purchase the ticket, then searched in the train, yet not finding Kuzumi anywhere.

Hydraulic Agent

Date: 1/04/07
Keeper: Gino
Category: Souvenir
Reagent in red cylindral container, resource found by Gino at the cyborg factory in District Three, with a "Cyborg Only" label on it.


Date: 1/04/03
Keeper: Ash
Category: Souvenir
Ash floated on the sea. The hundred-storey-high anchor blocks the blinding sunrays. The giant "JUSTICE" intaglio was covered in dark oily stains. He looked at the tangerine-coloured sky, contemplating how he came down to such a situation. The reality did not give him the time to comtemplate. Findstr reached towards his hand and came to the anchor, his overly pale complexion and hair reflected a blush under the sunlight. He reminded, "Don't relax yet, danger is still lurking in the darkness."
"When can we eventually be safe on the run?" Ash was tired, pushed aways Findstr and sat up.
"No idea. But," Findstr stood up and left, said, "I suggest you not to turn around."
After feeling a frightening chill, the push of the wave behind softly riffled his fingers, then climbed up his wrist. Ash dared not to look down with a hot pricking sensation. He staggered and rushed towards Findstr's direction. The notion that those hot pricks disappeared after he left the sea water, frightened Ash even more. He ran so far, until caught up with Findstr, that he saw the anchor again, with Findstr's profound smiling eyes beside.
The oily stains slowly melted away from the top, like a human-shaped skin leaving its host, fiddling with it on the sea, with a wriggling cloth made of countless muddy hands.
Findstr said, "There is nowhere safe in this world. The powerful evils would still dance unbridledly even under the sun."

Stave No.10

Date: 1/04/01
Keeper: deathmark
Category: Main
Bon Voyage

From Mount Yan, water jade alike Ying stones extinct at the north
At Mount Dai, dragon alike rivers stop, going towards the wild no more.
To the world afar there lies a long path,
In boat we sail to ship the paper kite, are to forget not.

Stave No.11

Date: 1/04/07
Keeper: deathmark
Category: Main
Why can't I get in?

On spiral track radius a kilo long, train slowly passed
A monster wanders in empty void, with engine its breath rhymed
Law of physics cannot be evaded,
Upon the innocent, disasters cascaded
Steam has gone roared and swirled,
Gear and lever fell apart forced
Then pipeline bursted, and gas was freed,
Went on a journey wherever is pleased
People with mouths and noses covered,
Rushed away, for the outer air they craved
Hearing the cry of the creature echoed,
In the eye of the monster, she saw
A ruin in purplish blue

[Image] Fortress

Date: 1/04/03
Keeper: Gino
Category: Key
As we were driving in the central territory of District Ten, a fortress in the size of a city appeared in front of us. Different from the concrete honeycomb-shaped pillar complexes in many regions, its giant main arch stuck horizontally on the valley floor, with hundreds of signaling towers hanging on the cliff. The distress signal we received shows that, people who sent the signals were slowing moving outwards from the fortress gate. My instinct was telling me not to act recklessly. Firstly we were not clear about the fortress's internal environment secondly the level of emergency of the signals sent was rather low, so they should not be in danger of life.
While waiting, Geopelia took a ton of random photos of the fortress. She stood on the motorcycle, saying with a smile that she got a nice angle. Geopelia only developed the habit of photography after arrived, in Hoodoo. Sceneries, people, still objects, anything except herself is within her range of capturing. It was meant to be the materials for the new album, though I do not fully agree with. Since camera can see further, I asked her to check whether anybody had come out as well. Geopelia paltered with the promise, looked up into the rust-coloured sky, and the shutter flashed.
"Gino, something came out."
"From the sky."
She pointed faraway. A black dot flying towards us, stretching and restoring its shape nonstop. As the black dot appeared, the previous distress signal dissapeared instead, countless distress signals appeared on the map, like black birds pouring out of the mountain cliff, escaping the cage.
I grabbed Geopelia onto the trophon, and left the scene at full speed. The vehicle was speeding, yet I could not feel the temperature of Geopelia. In the rearview mirror, the girl was looking up at behind, capturing the scene of the flock of birds. "Stop taking pictures! You are gonna fall off!"
"Alright alright, we are getting further anyway."
The bird flock counld not seem to leave the valley where the fortress is, and we did not dare to deccelerate until we left District Ten. I asked Geopelia what was on her mind.
She looked throught the pictured, suddenly stopped after a while, and turned to look at me, said, "Real people are still better."

Scavenger Token

Date: 1/04/05
Keeper: Gino
Category: Souvenir
Scavenger Token can be collected by registering at District One central recycling station. It seems that such identification exists in every level, just as the stamp collection book in theme parks.
If it was a theme park, there should be a way to quickly escape then.

Fuli Statue

Date: 1/04/06
Keeper: Geopelia
Category: Souvenir
Fuli's house is built under the giant statue of herself. The statue is a gift by District Five, for the help offered to them by Fuli in the past.
""Even so, this is still too over the top!""


Sarah Kramer

Oh my gosh! You’re going to run in the NYC marathon for sure? That is awesome! What is your mileage built up to now? You got this, girl!!

I did a donut race like three years ago, that’s probably why I haven’t had a donut since!!

Snow is blahhh, but definitely fun to run in!


We have a 14-miler this weekend….so we shall see how it goes. I am definitely GOING to NY but who knows if I will actually run it:) YOU DID A DONUT RACE….how many did you have to eat?

Sarah Kramer

It was a dozen! I shoved them all together and tried to make a sandwich out of them to get them down faster! But, I felt them all sitting right in my stomach waiting to come up. Yuck! I had to slow down to like a 10 minute mile because if I ran any faster, there would be trouble!! Haha.

[email protected] World Through My Eyes

Every year, the Bolder Boulder has people along the course with any type of food/drink imaginable. It’s not required but it’s fun, so I’m pretty sure I’ve had cupcakes, beer, swedish fish, pretzels, etc while running that 10k. Oh, and done a slip and slide!

I LOVE the snow! It means ski season is almost heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere.

Lauren Q (Mrs Q)

Oh, I know someone who did the Krispy Kreme challenge… she told me much puking is involved. Ew.

I think I’d still try a few eating races though… I love running, I love food… makes sense to do them together, right?

I’d love to try a plain old eating competition too. Nothing too major, maybe just an old fashioned pie eating contest. I could definitely handle any sort of dessert. Or burgers. Or tacos.


I love snow, because living in Fl, I have only ever seen it in other states. I don’t think I could combine running and eating, I have a weak stomach…lol

[email protected]

Yikes, that race sounds awful (but I don’t eat hot dogs, so that’s prob why) —but I’d do a race if it involved eating bagels, waffles, or a huge salad. Or fro yo!

I am a fan of snow when it comes at the right time and when I am cozy and warm during it!

Kari @ Running Ricig

I think the scarier part of the snow isn’t snow, but “avalanche range.” YIKES!

I’ve never done a race that involves eating because I’d probably end up throwing it up. I usually can’t eat for like 2 hours after I race.

I didn’t realize the NYC marathon was so close. Maybe I”ll convince Mike to take the train up with me and come watch you run!


I would love to do a race with food, I actually want to organize a short winter run race with chocolate at every station! Not for 2012, but maybe 2013 :)
I say I hate the snow, only cause we have it 6-7 months of the year but who know maybe I would miss it! I actually hate the cold temps more than the snow though.


I will SO be at your race! Chocolate at every aid station. SIGN ME UP!!


That race is here, in Raleigh NC. Run 2 miles, eat a dozen Krispy Kreme’s, and then run the 2 miles back. But it has become so popular (and so many people were vomiting) that now you just have to eat one and can take the rest of them with you.
I have seen another race that is a relay and each leg eats some different, and strange.
LOVE snow. As I watch it fall from in front of my fireplace. Not to run in.


Oh my goodness…that sounds CRAZY! Do they eat the rest of them as they run?

Taylor @ Crumbs Don't Count

I didn’t USED to like snow when I was up at James Madison Univ. in VA because I was always so cold…but now that I live in FL I MISS the cold weather a lot! And I especially miss the Fall.


I have always wanted to run the Chicago Marathon as well… what do you say we do it next year?! :)

I don’t mind snow as long as the nice plowmen clear the roads and sidewalks so I can run thank you!!

Peaches on pancakes = heaven on Earth


LET’S DO IT…seriously!! I hope you aren’t kidding and we can eat peaches on pancakes to carb load.


I have never run a race that has involved eating while running.

I ran Chicago last year when it was 90 degrees and pure sunny. Good times.

Eh, I love snow for Christmas and when we go snowboarding. I enjoy a good snow storm so I have an excuse to stay in and watch movies all day!


90 degrees….OUCH, that sounds painful! I love having the excuse to stay inside all day long when the weather is awful:)

I think I would have a HUGE stomach ache if I did a race that involved food, but I have ALWAYS wanted to do the Chicago marathon someday…just don’t know when! Thoughts on snow, I LOVE snow from Thanksgiving to New Years…then after that I am ready for spring, sunshine, and flowers :)


I actually did the krispy Kreme challenge 2 years ago. I did it for fun though and ate 2 donuts because I was hungry. My brother in law ate all 12 the year before and puked at the end. It’s a fun race because lots of people dress up like donuts, but if you are really there to eat the dozen maybe not as fun!


YOU DID IT…that is awesome. Your BIL did 12….I can’t imagine. Okay, I really might have to do that race someday.


what a random dinner!! but i’m the queen of random so it doesnt really seem all that crazysauce to me…i did laugh at your last post about using the flaming hot cheetos as croutons..i’ve been sneaking those into my meals daily TOO LOL!

I read about that krispy kreme donut race a while ago back in a runners world issue..all I can say is the thought of it made my stomach hurt :X

i would LOVE to run the chicago marathon one day!

I love the first couple fallings of snow in December..and then after that i’m completely over it. the past couple winters here have been brutal, snow bashes us over the head for a while and everyone starts getting sick of shoveling their cars out and traveling to work..ugh!

I forgot you are coming to NYC! we should have a fro-yo or carb loading date together! i didnt get into the marathon this year but I can at least pretend right? :)


Wow snow already huh? Well at least it is really gorgeous to look at! Never done a race that required eating, not sure my stomach would be able to handle that. Maybe if it was SPK’s or gummi bears, but not real food. I can’t believe that in 48 hours I will be 1 hour into the chitown marathon. So excited that I want to run it NOW!


In DC we have a race called the Burrito Mile where you get a huge Chipotle burrito, and one you start eating, they time you for that and then you run a mile. I think most people throw up afterwards…


OH MY GOODNESS….that sounds KILLER, I can’t even imagine doing that race.

We’re still having 90 degree days down here. I’m super jealous.

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List

Great idea for a race set-up…I see it drawing alot more runners, so the charity profits more!
LOVE snow! Miss Colorado for that reason!

Britt @ Runwithbritt

Have you heard of the Krispy Kreme race? You run to the Krispy Kreme store eat a entire box of doughnuts and then run back. I think it sounds insane! I might puke, but hey it would be an experience. I can’t believe there’s snow already in October! Crazy! I like snow for a few days, but I’m a Texas girl so I love my hot weather. :)


I’ve never done a race with food and I honestly don’t know if I would ever want to. You can keep your snow, I don’t want it here. I agree its too early. Finally, I am running Chicago this year!!My first full. I’m excited but not happy that its supposed to reach 80 degrees.:(


AHHH I am SO SO excited for you Kayla!! You are going to rock it. Hmmmm 80 degrees….what are you going to wear?


lol oh that is random!! Just a quick question…it could be a dumb one…but…are you planning to definitely run NY? I don’t know if I missed it in a post and I am too lazy/should be working to look back….I just want to know because I havent done much running in the last 7 weeks, and I am still planning on running my marathon next Sunday…my Dr. said cycling and cross-training should be fine while I am injured to keep my aerobic up, but I still feel like a crazysauce for still planning to run….I just want to know if more people/Dr.’s/athletes have done this or don’t think it is completely crazy…


HEY GIRL. I am GOING to NY for sure and I am trying to get in some quality runs and I think I might decide the night before. My doctor has said the same thing as yours and I think that if you kept your aerobic up and your doc okayed it, you should be fine. I am definitely going into it knowing that if I do run it, it will be a personal worst but I am okay with that. GOOD LUCK and I will be thinking about you!


Thanks for the confidence boost, seriously! I am doing the same as you…I am going to the marathon no matter what, because I have close friends running the marathon and half…but I am going to decide the night before, and I might even start the race (hey I paid for it!) and just go into it knowing I might not be able to finish, or the finish will not be ideal…but I am definitely planning on at least starting it (hopefully finishing fingers crossed!) I will be thinking of you out in NY in a month!! woo hoo.

Hannah @ PalmBeachRunner

Snow is so pretty! I like it for the first week when its fresh and glittery. But then living in it isanother story!


pretzels and cottage cheese?? Hmmm, actually sounds really good but have never tried it! Guess I’ll have to give it a try…


You have to try it and let me know what you think:)

I HATE snow. HATE it. And I live in Michigan so I have to deal with it quite a bit.


BOOO, I am sorry. This may be a stupid question but are there ski resorts in Michigan? Do you ski?

There are ski resorts here but I don’t ski. I don’t participate in any winter sports. Perhaps if I embraced the snow a little I would enjoy it more… NAH. I’ll just continue to hibernate and complain about it. :)

Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries

Snow was crazy, right?! My work (church) is in SLC, and it looked like a winter wonderland in the valley! I was like, “WHAT?!” I like snow, but not THIS early!!


IN THE VALLEY….NOOOO!! I swear it has never started this early. Utah has gone nuts.

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen

If I saw snow at this point, I might pack my bags and literally be in the car to Florida within 10 minutes. Thankfully, it’s supposed to be 80 again this weekend here! Ugh, just the thought of snow is making me cringe!


80….can I please come visit you…thanks:)


My brother and I always joke we’ll do the Krispy Kreme one as a team. I’ll run and he’ll eat. :)

and I HATE snow. Ugh. I’m dreading the day it starts up here in Boston!


BAHAHAH I think my brothers would also love to do the Krispy challenge as a team…our brothers sound a lot alike:)

Cat @Breakfast to Bed

I am so excited for you to see my city. Bring some snow.


ME TOO, can we play. I really well, it seems to follow me everywhere I go:)

Cat @Breakfast to Bed

I’ll bring mittens. I have lots. I’ll also bring swedish fish, they’re better frozen.

Lauren @ What Lauren Likes

I lovee the snow! But I get sick of it really fast :D


YES. so glad to hear the Chicago marathon is on your to-do. If you are ever in a 100 mile radius of me we must meet up…..ok??

Random eating: isn’t it the worst when you just open the fridge and eat. I find myself going from a pickle to a grape….and think wow this is weird. That pancake looks fantastic by the way.


Can we run it TOGETHER. You know you would be my first priority if I was within range:) Oh girl, story of my life…..Billy thinks I am pure crazy!

Melissa @TryingtoHeal

OMG we got probably the same amount of snow as you guys yesterday. I was dreading watching it fall further up the mountain, about 1,000 ft above me. I’m a fan of looking at snow from afar because it’s pretty, but I had when I have to live in it. It’s just too freak’n cold and slippery. Especially the ICE!


Wow, the snow looks beautiful. I love snow as long as I am not freezing. I’m more of a summer girl. I just like the fall and winter for the clothes.

I love snow for like a day and then I’m over it but luckily it doesn’t snow where I live (good thing because people her can’t drive in it at all). I cannot eat during or after a race but I’ve seen doughnuts at races before as well.


I am running Chicago on Sunday! game time!!



Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled

That would be so nasty to run after eating a hot dog. I’d want to be at the front of the pack, if you know what I mean.

I like snow, but from a distance. I’m totally not a that-cold type of girl. I like your idea of the hot chocolate. That would make it totally bearable but only if it also had whipped cream on top. :)


From a distance…..SO TRUE. Ha, I do know what you mean:)

Alyssa @ Life of bLyss

I haate the cold, but if it’s gotta be cold outside, I want snow in the ground. )

can I have some of billy’s mac and cheese? aaand an eating contest is most certainly on my bucket list.

Amy B.

I plan on running Chicago next year….my brother just moved there 2 weeks ago so I can visit and run a marathon :)


That is AWESOME! Um, maybe I will do it with you next year too:)


snow?! are you serious? i didn’t know it started snowing that early! wow! i live in arkansas so we MIGHT see snow once or twice a year and it will MAYBE equal about 4 or 5 inches. :) but i am a lover of summer, so it doesn’t bother me at all! since we rarely get snow, school and work is always let out even if we get an inch of snow, so that’s fun!


AN INCH….okay, it is official, I am moving to AK!! That means I could almost eat fro yo every day of the year with that kind of weather:)


1. Have you ever done a race that involved eating food as part of the competition? Would you ever?

-No. I have a hard enough time figuring out what I can safely eat BEFORE a race. I can’t imagine eating DURING a race!

2. Who is RUNNING the CHICAGO MARATHON this weekend? Has anyone run it in the past? Is it on anyone’s race wishlist?

-A couple friends from my triathlon training group are running. I plan to do it soon. It is on my list. My list is getting very long. I need to step it up. Maybe 3 marathons a year rather than two?? I need to quit my job. Do you think I can talk our CEO into paying me to train for and run races rather than paying me to manage people’s money??

What are your thoughts on snow……love it or hate it?

-I dislike it immensely. I also despise the cold. Which is unfortunate since I live in Alaska.


Girl, I think you should totally quit and go into full on marathon training/running races for your job…can you imagine how much fun that would be to just travel around and run in the most amazing races in the world. Someday:) ALASKA….you probably laughed at my little snow freak out ha!


Well, the only problem with running races full time is that you need someone to bank roll it. Now, I know you can get sponsorship and all that, BUT you have to be uber fast – and I am not. I just LOVE training for and competing in races.

No, I did NOT laugh at your little snow freak because I totally understand it!! I see the snow creeping down the mountains here and I want to take the next flight OUT. I am quite literally miserable in the cold. We spent the whole summer in South Africa last year and I told my hubby, “I think I was MEANT to live here!” It was 75-80 degrees every day, and it was their WINTER! I am not a fan of running on the treadmill. I am also NOT a fan of running with icicles hanging from my eyebrows and my nostrils….but that is what happens when you run in 20 degree weather. My rule is – run outside unless it is -4 degrees or colder. But you know what? -4 degrees is very, VERY cold. And did I mention the darkness? Good thing I LOVE my children. They were born and raised here so they think this is normal. To them this is home….May 2018 the youngest one will graduate from high school….I have a countdown!

Jerilee E.

The Chicago Marathon is on my bucket list of races to do before I’m 50 :). Someday! Until then, I’ll just watch Spirit of the Marathon over and over and pretend like I am there.
I really love running in the snow- it helps slow me down on my long runs since I am being careful not to slip.

Cara @ EAT. PRAY. RUN.

I’m running I’m running, me me me! I’m totally a spaz this morning. Pre-race adrenaline is running hot through my veins (or maybe just too much coffee this morning). Woop woop.

You have to run it one day – only you and 40,000 of your closest friends!


I AM SO SO STOKED FOR YOU and I can’t wait to hear/read all about it. you are going to rock it. Can I run it with YOU one year?


Yuck snow, I hate it!! Takes twice as long to get anywhere and I hate getting snowed in because there goes my workouts lol. On the flip side it does look pretty and it also gives me those wonderful snow days!
Your meals look so much like mine, I tend to make something sweet and then always eat my veggies on the side.


The sweet is a NECESSITY……plus I usually have dessert after. You are right, it is much harder to workout with SNOW!

Corey @ Learning Patience

I HATE the snow unless I’m snowboarding in it….other than that…I just say NO to SNOW!


Um that race sounds so awesome! Seriously Janae you must make him do it. I must go watch this race.

Your dinner sounds about like mine. Like I seriously had 3 dinners last night. oops!

YL today at 4 if you can come!!

Sheanna Caban

I haven’t lived in an area that gets snow in 5 years now, but I lived in upstate NY and Illinois for the majority of my life.

My thoughts on snow, in chronological order:

First snowfall of the year: OH YAY! SNOW! Look how pretty it is! Everything is magical! Gumdrops and lollipops! This is so great I could vomit sprinkles!

One month in: Wow…More snow. Yep, it’s there.

Two months in: Why is the snow gray and nasty looking? It looks like a big pile of anger on the side of the road.

Four months in: I will poke Mother Nature in the EYE if she doesn’t quit it. This is stupid! I hate snow!

End of snow: YAY! IT’S SPRING! WHOOT! Crap…Bathing suit season is just around the corner.


BAHAHAH I loved how you shared your feelings on snow….I am the exact same wake. The mother nature part, hilarious!

Julia @ Pain, Pride and Perseverance

i think i would be down with one of those doughnut races but i cant even eat hot dogs on a normal day! haha! hope to see you today! if not today…very soon!


Nope, haven’t done a race that involved eating but what a wonderful idea! I need to find such a race!

I know several people running the Chi-Town marathon this weekend. Good luck to you all!

I like snow as long as it is on MY terms. :) I’ll go to Tahoe or Mammoth to ski but when I’m done, I want to pack it up and go back to the beach!


There is a Cupcake Run in Eagle Mountain on Oct 22! You can enter the cupcake division which means that halfway through the 5k you eat as many cupcakes as you can (get minutes off your time for said cupcakes), and finish up the race.
It is done by the Cupcake Charity which helps local families who have been hit with cancer, this year it benefits a 6yr old who is fighting brain cancer.
You should check it out!


SERIOUSLY….are you doing it? I think I might have to!


Yep! I’ll be there! I am actually on the committee so I’ll be running the kids race with another runner pal, but I’m hoping to be able to run the 5k as well!


(when I saw “running the kids race” I mean putting it on. :) Though it would be awesome to win a race, I don’t think it would go over well to win the kids race!)

Oh my goodness, it’s been cold here this week and I am not. Okay. With. It.


i looove snow. i love skiing, but i want to be all bundled up and warm. I’m going to Alaska next week and am so extricated to see glaciers and snow and moose…and hopefully some whales :)

Kate @ Chasing It

hahaha that is the BEST dinner ever!! that pancake looks freakin awesome – and mac and cheese is always a win. :-P

I’ve totally done that krispy kreme race!! OMG your stomach hurts so freakin bad afterward….if you ever do it, don’t drink any water for awhile after or else the donuts WILL expand in your stomach….I learned this the hard way…..

Katherine @ Neon Blonde Runner

Wow I can’t believe the snow formed in such a straight line like that…crazy!

I think Colorado is supposed to get some snow this weekend, what a foreign concept to me here in Virginia!

I can’t believe it is snowing in Utah after the hottest St George Marathon last week. Yes I survived it (after 2 bags of IV fluid for severe dehydration), no I didn’t BQ. Rats. Oh well, time to recover and pick the next race. All I know is I will be picking a cold weather race for sure!


i am running chicago on sunday. just got back from the expo…the excitement & nervousness has officially started…!

Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs

Racing with food sounds a bit interesting, I don’t think I could do it. My stomach is sensitive enough, I don’t do well with doughnuts and hotdogs to begin with, add in running and I would most likely lose them haha.

So it totally snowed at my work yesterday! It didn’t stick and it turned back into slush but still. I had a mini panic attack because I want more Fall! I am loving it though. The mountains look amazing though.


Ummmm…could you PLEASE come to FL & make me some pancakes. Yours looks so good- love the addition of the cool whip- YUM!
Pancakes with a side of Mac & cheese is my IDEAL dinner ) Sounds so good!

Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner

I’m running an 18-mile race this weekend…

Monika @ Monika's Miles

I like the way your mind thinks when it comes to food. Who ever said dinners had a standard layout anyway?? I like looking at snow when it falls, maybe standing outside in it for 3 minutes… this might sound kinda gross but I really like licking snow off the ground (if there is enough) right when it falls down and is all soft and powdery. I think this will be my first year without a snowy winter… kinda sad but I love the TX heat!


I want to do a wierd food race SO bad. Preferably one with chocolate and cupcakes.

I love the FIRST snowfall. Then, I’ve had enough haha.

EmiLee Carter

I ran the PF Chang’s Half Marathon in January the last 2 years and they have a free lettuce wrap half way through… true is sounds good now but when I was running, lettuce was the last thing I wanted to eat : )
The SLC marathon has a “temptation station” set up with alcohol for those that dare.. I’m not again a shot but my lungs and throat are already burning from the brisk air! If I was really struggling .. I might )
Krispy Kremes are not my friend! I could eat them all right off the assembly line!
So NO I haven’t competed in a race where food was the challenge but those were some pretty interesting ones I have seen…

No Races for me this weekend, I’m just gonna train for my Half in January! I like running races in different cities because you get to see a good part of the town/city while running and that’s always a good distraction!

I’m so anti-snow/cold/ anything below 85 degrees and yes I’m born and raised here in Salt Lake City, UT. I have never snow ski’d or snow board’d .. I have been snow tubing, it was fun but let’s get real it still has the word ‘snow’ in it. The “seasons” (ha) are the worse, there is no real fall (if there were one, it would be on the cover of every magazine because the trees are so pretty) and spring is always soggy and then blazing hot (just like I like it)… *sigh* I guess me and my love for the sun will just have to relocate to Phoenix, AZ… where I will soak up the sun instead of shovel it!

To Catch a Whale : With Handmade Sealskin Boats and Snowmobiles, With 19th-Century Harpoons and Cellular Phones, Alaska’s Inupiat Keep Alive the Most Profound Rite of Their Ancient Culture

Finally, after a long arctic winter, the vast polar ice pack cracks and slowly opens up along Alaska’s north coast, exposing a thin ribbon of ocean between two vast frozen plates. Spring is the season of wonder here: The temperature has risen to 5 degrees, the wind blusters out of the east with the distant tease of more warmth to come, and darkness has lifted--the sun bobs in the sky 23 hours a day. Now, as they have throughout their history, Inupiat Eskimos advance onto the blue-white shore ice in a ritual of renewal, affirmation, hope and blood. They have come to hunt the bowhead whale.

George Ahmaogak faces the ocean, the hood of his parka ringed with a ruff of wolverine fur and his almond eyes alive with anticipation. He grips my arm with a heavy-gloved hand and nods toward the horizon.

Agvik ,” he whispers. “Big one!”

Out in the water, a shiny wet-black hump breaks the surface, a spout of gray steam emerges with a hiss, and an otherworldly low-pitched song vibrates the air around us. A shiver runs down my neck.

“That’s a *%* big whale,” says Ahmaogak, peppering his speech, as usual, with the unprintable. A smile breaks out on his ruddy face. A smile with bite to it, the smile of a hunter who has sighted his prey.

At 45, Ahmaogak (pronounced Ah-MA-walk ) is the charismatic three-term mayor of Alaska’s North Slope Borough, the northernmost municipal government in the United States. But more important, at least when the arctic whales migrate, he is one of a select group of men and women known as whaling captains. He and the others shoulder the responsibility of providing traditional food and keeping alive the most profound rite of Inupiat culture: the catching of the whales.

This is hunting on an epic scale. Hundreds of villagers are involved in the chase and conquest of one of the largest animals in the world. And there is no such thing as an observer. You are part of the crew or you are off the ice.

At Ahmaogak’s signal, five whalers and I grab axes and chop a trail through blocky ice ridges between camp and the open water so Ahmaogak’s two boats can be skidded to the edge and launched. One is an umiaq , a paddle craft out of the Stone Age made of laced sealskin, the other an 18-foot aluminum skiff with an 80-horsepower outboard motor. This is all-out work, and the crew breathes long streams of steam into the cold air. As ice cakes my beard, sweat runs down my back under my heavy parka.

Ahmaogak, as befits his captain’s role, supervises. “How long do you think you’d last if you went into the water?” he asks me at one point.

“This whole thing is full of danger,” he says grimly. “And you have to know what the *%* you’re doing.”

I, of course, have no idea what I’m doing. I put my head down and chop.

Another whale--closer this time, huge--surfaces and blows. Pssssshhhh! I chop faster.

“Pretty soon, we go out there. Then it’s boom boom,” Ahmaogak says to no one in particular. He flashes his teeth in another wild smile.

FOR CENTURIES, GEORGE AHMAOGAK’S ANCESTORS HAVE LIVED AND whaled in the land above the Arctic Circle. Anthropologists believe the Inupiat are the descendants, along with other Eskimo groups, of the second wave of migrants to cross the Bering Sea about 4000 BC. Early evidence of their whaling skills dates from at least AD 800. By the 1800s, when Europeans finally ventured through the Bering Strait, these Eskimos were the best sea-mammal hunters on the planet, and their most formidable prey was the bowhead.

Like the buffalo for the Plains Indian, the whale was the stuff of survival and social structure for the Inupiat. Whale meat was their food whale oil, their source of heat and light. The Inupiat commonly lived in separate family groups, but for the whaling effort, they pooled their resources and talents, with umiaq owners and the best whalers as leaders. Their most important social gatherings were celebrations of the hunt.

Today in Barrow, and in seven other villages that dot the 89,000-square-mile North Slope Borough, the Inupiat continue to practice “subsistence” hunting--and the whale remains their most prized prey. The whalers are still the community leaders. During my visit, the Borough Assembly couldn’t muster a quorum at its monthly meeting in Barrow--too many of its members were out on the ice, captaining whale boats. And, as they have through the ages, entire villages still assemble on the ice to haul in a whale and celebrate its capture.

To outsiders, it can seem a curious world. In 1994, these Eskimos take Hawaii vacations and own big-screen TVs. They wear starched white shirts and drive fancy pickups. Some are businessmen, and all of them are shareholders of the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., which was established by the federal Alaskan Native Land Claims Settlement Act in 1972. Thanks to the tax levies they collect on the Prudhoe Bay oil fields, which lie on their ancestral lands, and the corporation’s investments, families of the North Slope Borough have the 29th highest median income in the United States. But they also must spend a lot: A bag of Chee-Toes costs $4.99 in Barrow. And what other jurisdiction with so few citizens--6,300 total, 70% of whom are native--pays its chief elected official $160,000 a year?

For the Inupiat, however, dollar prosperity is no substitute for whaling it is a means to achieve it. Captains pony up thousands for the canvas tents, snowmobiles (which the Alaskans call snow machines), food, fuel, boats, weapons and radios.

More important, in the late 1970s the Inupiat applied their new wealth to scientific studies and international lobbying, beating back angry attempts by environmentalists to eliminate the native hunt along with all other forms of whaling. Now, the International Whaling Commission grants the Inupiat an annual quota of bowhead, based on the number scientists judge can be harvested without further jeopardizing this endangered species.

Today, with their prehistoric skin boats and turn-of-the-century harpoons, with their snow machines and rescue helicopters, with their old razor-sharp pole knives and fur clothing, with their briefcases and stock portfolios, the Inupiat Eskimos hover between the past and the present. Holding onto the hunt, they believe, provides the ballast that keeps them upright in the late 20th Century.

“It’s our food, our culture, our tradition, our heritage,” Ahmaogak says simply.

“Without whaling there would be no purpose to Barrow,” says Glenn Roy Edwards, Ahmaogak’s second in command and a jet-set businessman with the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. “I depend on my job, I like my job. But if it came down to a choice, I’d leave it to come out here and go whaling. I am first a whaler.”


A resupply party is about to depart Barrow for Ahmaogak’s whaling camp, about 10 miles out on the shore ice.

“Might as well learn now,” I’m told.

In coastal Barrow, all the streets are gravel, and those that lead to the ocean are not impeded by stop signs. We have driven off the end of one of them. In summer, we would be on an Arctic Ocean beach. Today our caravan of three snow machines is aimed north on the ice. One of them tows a heavy wooden sled.

I grab the back of the sled and position my feet on the runners. An hour later, after bouncing across fractured shadowy white and aquamarine ice, I have become a sled steerer. Or at least I was able to hang on.

Winding through a two-story-tall pressure ridge, where shifting ice plates have collided and formed a mini-mountain range, we come screaming into the camp. It is pitched in what might be called a flat meadow of ice, lightly dusted with dry snow. Ahmaogak and his crew set it up a few days ago, when the ice first began to break up. It holds as many as 10 whalers--the crew waxes and wanes with the press of outside business and the presence or absence of whales. At the moment, there are six of us packed into the camp’s one plywood-floored 10-by-12 canvas tent.

Outside, an umiaq and an aluminum boat rest on sleds next to crates of supplies and fuel. Everything is camouflaged white. Whales are known to be spooked by colors. High-powered rifles are slung casually on snow machines and propped against the tent. This is polar bear country, and polar bears aren’t spooked by much of anything.

A quarter-mile away, across much thinner “young” ice, is the crack where the polar pack begins to recede. Depending on the wind and ocean currents, this “lead” of water can grow to almost three miles wide, only to close right back up hours later. Through this lead, the bowheads are migrating northeast from their winter grounds in the Bering Sea to their summer range north of the Canadian Yukon in the Beaufort Sea.

With the ice in front of us constantly moving, the landscape changes as if in a time-lapse movie. Watch carefully and you can see floes tugged this way and that. Ten minutes later, it’s all different. The ice we are camped on could break loose at any time and join this flotilla. For the next seven days, we will rarely take off our boots and never remove our clothes, always ready to dash for safety.

As the newcomer, I am the lowest person in the crew hierarchy never mind that I am also the oldest and city-softest. I am assigned to chop and melt ice for fresh water, make the coffee--endless pots of coffee--do the dishes, help cook, chop trail, steer sleds. Even the children--apprentice whalers--outrank me.

I have lots of questions. Like, how do I get fresh water from a sheet of frozen sea ice?

“That’s old ice there, the salt has leached out,” Ahmaogak points to a nearby jumble of clear ice blocks with slightly rounded edges. “Now that, that is sea ice. No good.” He points to another pile of younger ice farther away with sharper corners and a bluish cast. It is still filled with salt.

With no warning, he laughs--a huge, contagious ha-ha-ha bellow, entirely free of cynicism. I am, as he will tell me from time to time, “a *%* dummy. Ha ha ha.” I always laugh too.

It’s dinner time, and the lead is closed so the atmosphere at camp is relaxed. Ahmaogak’s wife, Maggie, is demonstrating the two recipes in the Inupiat cookbook--animal flesh, uncooked or boiled. She is executive director of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, the Inupiat organization that manages the annual whale hunts and lobbies Eskimo interests before international regulators. Outside the tent, she opens a wooden grub box and gathers an armload of frozen caribou chunks, each a square the size of a fist. Here, the outdoors serves as meat locker, and ice chests are used to keep items such as soda pop from freezing. Tonight’s menu turns out to be, first, slivers of uncooked caribou shaved from the frozen chunks, then caribou soup--boiled, half-raw meat in a liquid thickened with pancake mix because someone forgot to bring flour.

A kerosene heater and a one-burner propane stove keep the temperature as uncomfortably hot inside the tent as it is uncomfortably cold outside. Idle time is passed smoking cigarettes and cigars and making small talk, half of it conducted in the language of the Inupiat, an emphatic monotone that few non-natives even attempt. We sit inside on storage boxes or on polar bear rugs that double as sleeping mats.

Always, someone is outside on watch, for bears, for signs that our ice is breaking loose, for whales. I feel myself becoming lazy and comfortable. Ahmaogak, lounging on a bearskin, detects a shift in the wind and is suddenly worried. If the breeze strengthens from the north, the ice pack in the distance could be propelled our way.

“That big ice out there starts moving, well, *%*. We gotta be ready to evacuate, or we’ll end up in Siberia. Ha ha ha.”

Ahmaogak, like many Inupiat, speaks English softly, like a whisper brought up the register to normal volume, and gives equal emphasis to each syllable and every word, as if they are not to be expended lightly.

In the arctic twilight that passes for night, six of us prepare to sleep together Eskimo style, under shared blankets. Wind rattles the canvas. "*%*. I hope we don’t have to evacuate at 4 a.m., if this country goes to hell,” Ahmaogak says.

The snoring that commences puts me at ease. Better than listening for the ice to crack underneath me. Below that is 120 feet of frigid Arctic Ocean.

ALTHOUGH LEGEND TELLS OF BOWHEADS MORE THAN 60 FEET IN length, most of the large ones documented now are in the 50-foot range, and 30-footers are most commonly caught by the Inupiat. Chunkier than most whales, a big bowhead can weigh up to 100 tons. These days, the International Whaling Commission estimates that the bowhead population hovers between 6,900 and 9,200 in the waters off Alaska, compared with an estimated 20,000 a century and a half ago. But bowheads are increasing in number, and the Barrow whalers have been allotted a 1994 spring quota of 18 whales, including those that are landed and those that are harpooned but lost.

Bowheads are in the family of baleen whales, with giant mouths in the shape of upside-down smiles. Instead of teeth, they have an arrangement of slats, like vertical Venetian blinds. These baleens strain seawater for krill, the small shrimp that is the bowhead’s main food. Bowhead eyes are down by their bellies, just at the corner of their mouths, and their breathing holes are atop a streamlined hump that forms the apex of a bow-like silhouette.

Traveling on the edges and leads of the shifting polar ice, the bowhead has developed the ability to break through ice two feet thick to reach air. (Those were not bowheads but less-well-adapted gray whales that made news around the world when they found themselves trapped under the ice near Barrow in 1988.) No one knows how long bowheads live. But twice in recent years, the Inupiat have found ivory and jade harpoon tips embedded in the blubber of captured whales, which tantalizes the imagination: Such tips were last used on harpoons at the turn of the century.

Like other great whales, the bowhead was savaged in the 19th Century by commercial whaling. In 1848, with other waters exhausted, Yankee whalers finally ventured north, through the strait between Siberia and Alaska, following the oil-rich bowheads. Within four years, there were 220 whaling ships in the Arctic, seeking oil and whalebone and bringing whites into everyday contact with the Eskimo. By the turn of the century, the abundant bowhead was dying out and so was commercial whaling.

Though contact with whites diminished along with commercial whaling on Alaska’s north coast, the Inupiat culture had already been changed irrevocably. Missionaries had arrived, white diseases had taken their toll, and the natives had begun to adopt new weapons and tools.

Today in the Arctic, the traces of the Yankee whaling days are easy to see--in the bloodlines of the Eskimos, for instance, and in the Christian invocation pronounced whenever a whale is taken. Nowhere is the link so apparent as in the primary tools used by the contemporary Inupiat to hunt bowheads.

Unlike the harpoon cannons of the modern commercial whalers, the Inupiat harpoon is unchanged from those of Yankee whalers in the last century. Hand held and hand thrown, it carries a brass-tipped point and is fixed with a brass gun barrel. The harpoons are still manufactured in New England, once the capital of the Yankee whalers.

The attack commences like this: The boat is driven, or paddled, alongside a surfacing whale. In the bow, the harpooner, standing within a few feet of the whale’s back, jabs the animal. Once the tip of the harpoon is embedded in the blubber, it pulls off from the 10-foot wooden harpoon shaft and triggers the firing of a “bomb” from the gun barrel--an exploding foot-long shell on a seven-second fuse. The harpoon tip is attached to 33 fathoms of rope and a large float that can be followed when the whale dives. If the shell penetrates deeply into the animal and explodes near a vital organ, the whale dies immediately. Other times, it can take a dozen or more bombs fired from a supplementary 50-pound brass shoulder gun.

A minimum crew in a motor-powered aluminum boat is three people. With it, the strategy is to strike with speed. Success with the much more commonly used umiaq requires stealth and as many as eight paddlers to follow and stay with the whale. Once a whale is struck, the chase can last for minutes or for hours.

Good. I must have slept after all.

Ahmaogak fills a skillet with Crisco and fries egg rolls for breakfast, a good-luck gift from a Filipino, a friend who runs a taxi in Barrow--one of among the dozens of outsiders who drift here hoping to share in the oil wealth. The coffee is rich and gritty, four handfuls of grounds dumped into a pot of melted ice. The tent fills with cigarette smoke and kerosene fumes. A portable receiver is tuned to Alaska Public Radio and a marine-band radio crackles with “good mornings” as the whalers--there are 44 crews on the ice from Barrow this year--check in with their families. I have never met an Eskimo who did not have at least one electronic receiver on at all times--CB, TV, AM, FM--often several together. And this year, Ahmaogak is experimenting with a new toy, a cellular telephone.

I ask about two Eskimo myths I remember from my childhood. Back in their more nomadic days, I was told, they left their elderly behind in the snow when they could not keep up.

True, says one. Not true, says another.

How about the one where a male traveler was invited to sleep with the Eskimo’s wife?

Used to be, if he liked you. But the missionaries took care of that.

Ahmaogak has been described as “the Eskimo John Kennedy,” a man who inspires his people. He is like no politician I have ever met--confident, authentically magnetic, entirely open, rough-hewn, bawdy and temperamental. It’s a rare elected official you don’t mind sharing a tent with. Ahmaogak boasts of earning three days of “good time” off his 10-day jail sentence after a drunken binge. He is a champion of native rights but has hired plenty of non-natives to keep the town running smoothly. He and Maggie met in high school and married in Los Angeles while she attended MTI Business College and UCLA and he went to Northrop-Rice Aviation Institute of Technology in Inglewood. At home in Barrow, they have a 54-inch TV in the living room and a whale skull and several frozen seal carcasses in the front yard.

At some cue too subtle for me, everyone suddenly leaps up and explodes into motion. We jump onto snow machines and scream out to inspect the lead. In front of us, bowheads break the surface, their heads high out of the water.

“They’re looking around--looking for a trail through the ice. Wouldn’t you?” says Ahmaogak. We listen to their colossal splashes.

Ahmaogak surveys the ice and picks a spot to launch the boats. Whaling captains are years in the making--men, and a few women, who have apprenticed for the job since their youth and who command the respect of enough villagers willing to sign on as crew. They must also be successful enough in their other lives to have the money to finance the endeavor.

We begin to chop trail. Good-natured harpooner Perry Okpeaha is helping so is stoical shoulder-gunner Larry Itta and 12-year-old Qaiyaan Harcharek, a determined sixth-grader who is in his sixth season as apprentice whaler.

By midmorning, we have finished the trail and pulled the aluminum boat down to the water’s edge, lifted it off its sled and skidded it to the lip of ice, which rises white for several inches above the water and descends translucent blue for a foot underneath. But the wind shifts and the lead begins to close. We retreat. At midafternoon, the water opens again, and the boat is launched. By 6:30, the crew has chased four whales but never quite come close enough for Okpeaha to hurl the harpoon.

The routine is typical and repeated often--the crew advances, retreats, rests and then resumes the hunt.

On the marine radio, static turns into cheers. A few miles west of us, captain Jake Adams has caught the first whale of the year for Barrow, a 28-footer. “Bambi,” says Ahmaogak. Once Adams’ whale is secured by a rope to the tail and maneuvered to the shore ice, the crew delivers a prayer of thanks. Then the village airwaves crackle into life, filled with the news. In Barrow and on the ice, snow machines are fired up to carry as many as can come out to Adams’ camp to help pull the bowhead from the water and butcher it into slabs of blubber and meat.

The first whale of the year is always divided up among all the crews in Barrow. From then on, only those who come out onto the ice to help will receive a share. It can take up to 36 hours or more of nonstop effort to land and cut up a big bowhead. A large portion of the food is stockpiled for the year’s many coming feasts.

Something else comes over the radio. Not far away the ice has broken loose and two crews are adrift in the sea. On a big sheet of ice, there is little immediate worry. But big sheets can shatter into little ones by force of waves or in a collision with drifting icebergs, and that can be catastrophic. A search-and-rescue helicopter is launched from Barrow to retrieve the crews and their gear. “Should have watched their back door. Gotta watch the back door,” growls Ahmaogak. Ha ha ha.

We hurriedly check the ice at our own back door. Holding solid, say those who know such things. By now, I’m so spooked I step only in the footprints of someone else. I have been advised to carry a quick-draw sheath knife so that if I fall into the water, I can stab the ice and keep from slipping under until help arrives, if help is handy. I try to visualize the experience.

We spend the evening--which looks almost the same as the morning under the arctic sun--sitting on a boat sled, with a white canvas windbreak stretched behind us, quietly scanning the water for the steam geysers of surfacing whales. Hours pass with hardly a word.

Even here, the primitive landscape of ice and water is clouded by development. With the Prudhoe Bay oil fields now past their peak, oil companies have their eye on expanding offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean to keep the Trans-Alaska pipeline flowing. The Inupiat strongly oppose the idea. Not only would they receive no tax revenues for operations beyond the three-mile coastal boundary, they also fear an oil-well blowout would jeopardize the survival of the bowhead. But they are plenty eager for more onshore drilling, particularly in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the east. Their taxing authority would extend to such development, plus they hold mineral deeds to some of the potential sites.

As the winds pick up, massive ice floes begin to dance across the near horizon. “That is some heavy *%*,” says Ahmaogak. “Imagine wind and current pushing on this--that’s our worry. No drilling rig could stand up to that.”

AS LONG AS THE LEAD IS OPEN, WE SLEEP ONLY INTERMITTENTLY, ON NO schedule whatsoever. Sometimes the tent is too full, and I borrow a bearskin and curl up in an 18-foot skiff. It is hard to keep a grip on time. “I have a feeling it’s going to be a long day tonight,” is the way one of the other whalers puts it.

Whatever stimulates Ahmaogak into action remains a mystery to me. One moment we are sitting quietly. And the next, scrambling.

Ahmaogak and crew launch the skin boat and come within feet of striking a whale that approaches head on. They paddle behind a distant iceberg and I find myself alone on the ice. Just two days ago, a polar bear wandered near camp. Ahmaogak could put both of his oversized arctic boots inside the bear’s paw print. The marine radio has been reporting bears lurking around other camps. Where did they leave those rifles? I wonder.

A bowhead breaches 100 feet from the ice edge, its mighty head rising more than 20 feet out of the water. I look into its saucer-sized black eye, and it emits a ghostly blow.

I take my turn in the aluminum boat as the crew races up and down the lead, futilely chasing whales but coming so near to their submarine-sized backs that my chest pounds. Okpeaha raises his harpoon, once, twice, three times. Never quite close enough to let fly.

Back at camp, our share of Jake Adams’ whale is delivered to the tent, and I cook the traditional uunaalik-- pungent, boiled finger-sized pieces of whale blubber and skin with the overpowering redolence of fish oil that brings the whole crew scrambling to the pot. Recipe: Boil strips of whale in water until the blubber floats, about five minutes. We also snack on crunchy frozen chunks of whitefish dipped in seal oil. One night we break from the native menu and I open several cans of chili, which is followed by a rousing after-supper bout of gas passing, men and women joining in uproariously without the slightest self-consciousness.

“Let’s change our diet!” says Ahmaogak during another lull in the action. We race off to hunt seals, but find none. We do find a new launch site and move our whaling boats from fragile ice to an even riskier location, where we have to leap across a watery two-foot crack to reach the lead. Here the ice is so thin and flexible it undulates to the rhythm of the sea waves. When the largest icebergs I’ve seen bear down on our camp, Ahmaogak laughs. “Maybe tomorrow we have to move camp back closer to town. Then we’ll go have a shot of Courvoisier, a cigar and a shower. Ha ha ha. Or maybe we break off and ride to Siberia.”

Instead, we stay put. Next day, the lead is clear. West of us, the whaling action picks up. Three whales are struck, and the chase is on. A cease-fire order comes via radio for the remaining crews while the pursuit continues. No whales are landed, although they eventually will begin to rot and float to the surface as “stinkers,” animals that can be only partly salvaged.

Again the radio comes to life. Whaling captain Thomas Brower III has caught a 33-footer. I am set to leave soon it’s now or never if I want to see a whale brought in. I set out in a snow machine for the 30-mile journey across the ice to the Brower camp, joining perhaps 90 whalers and villagers who will converge to pull the whale out of the water and divide it up.

Over the course of more than an hour, in a massive tug of war, we use rope, block and tackle to inch the rubbery, lifeless whale onto the ice. Men climb onto the nine-foot-high carcass to slice it, crosswise, into 18-inch strips of skin and blubber that are undercut and peeled off in an assembly-line operation. While the adults work, children bounce and play on the carcass. Finally, the meat and tongue and internal organs are divided up. The baleens will be scrimshawed and sold to tourists, the only cash derived from a whale. By the time the job is finished, a ragged circle of snow near the lead has turned bright red.

WHEN I DRAG INTO CAMP 10 hours later, I’m as tired as I’ve ever been. I begin my goodbys.

Maybe, it is suggested, I’ll come back for the nalukataq feast, which celebrates the end of the whaling season. Then there are the geese and ducks to hunt, as they migrate in their turn. “Boom boom,” says the mayor. And after that the hunt for caribou and moose, and after that, the whales once again, during their return migration.

“It’s something out here, isn’t it?” Ha ha ha. Ahmaogak pulls off his polar-bear mitten, squeezes my hand and turns. He and his crew climb into the aluminum boat. The last I see of them are the backs of three Eskimo parkas, hunched against the wind, fur hood ruffs flying as the captain guns his outboard and disappears into a tangle of icebergs.