Admittedly the training was thorough. We budding guides learned about the history of the place, the flora, the fauna, etc. Lucky for my pea brain, there are only six trees to remember up here in the boreal forest of the sub-arctic region: white spruce, black spruce, birch, aspen, cottonwood and tamarack. As for the fauna--there is one rock star of Creamer's Field, the sandhill crane. They come by the thousands from Texas and New Mexico each year to breed in northern Alaska and Siberia. Part of me is like: C'mon, guys! Aren't there suitable breeding/nesting sites a little closer to home?!
Anyway, I digress. After training, we are required to give three walks, which happen daily throughout the summer at 10:00 am. My first scheduled walk was smoked out: nobody showed up on this particularly smoke-filled day. My second talk was this week and I had four people, a typical number judging by the visitor log. I had one Floridian, one Oregonian, and a couple from Kansas who live full-time traveling in their camp trailer.
The problem with being a trail guide at a waterfowl refuge is that I'm no birder nor wildlife biologist nor expert on, well, anything. What's worse is that my memory for stuff is failing. (I almost had to look up the six trees for the above paragraph!) So my interest in Creamer's Field is the human history, the how-it-came-to-be story. Now stories, I can remember. In an effort to consolidate my understanding of the Creamer's story, I wrote it up, and titled it: How A Gold Rush in Nome Created a Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks. For me, it's a truly Alaskan tale of adventure, self-sufficiency and creative thinking. Click the link for my rendition of things.