"Sat 7/7/07 9:00 PM cental time Wiseman, AK www.boreallodge.com
. proprietor: Scott Schoppenhorst, of BORTH!
So I rode into Wiseman, right? (Imagine I'm telling this story in a bar.) So I rode up to this cabin-place to ask someone about camping because I really wanted to camp up above the arctic circle. Out comes this guy. Tattoos, muscle shirt. I asked him about bear. "We had to shoot one that was old and there were two young ones fighting over a dead caribou but otherwise we haven't had any trouble," he goes. We kept talking and then I go, "Where are you from?" because I recognized his accent. Because he talks like me. "Wisconsin," he goes. So I looked at him a little closer. "Where in Wisconsin?" "West of Green Bay." "Not Poy Sippi?" "Borth." "BORTH?" and it turns out we went to school together! He goes, "Did you know John Rosenthal? You know he died." And I go, "Sure. His brother Gerald kept the front end of John's car in front of my barn for like two years." Which just goes to show you. And when I guessed Poy Sippi, I was close, because Scott went to middle school there. And we both went to high school in Berlin but then he moved. I remembered his name and he remembered mine but it wasn't like we were friends. But Borth- out in the country in Wisconsin, it goes Borth, Eureka, Berlin. I lived by Eureka. He lived by Borth. We didn't live more than 5 miles apart. And then, there we were, 5000 miles and 29 years later!
We're both pilots, we both have labs, and we both ride. Scott has a harley that he keeps by the plane he's building.
Eventualy I set up camp just south of there. Everyone walked around with their bear spray like if we were packing six-shooters. Scott- and everyone who lives there- actually does carry a gun all the time!
Also at this campground were a bunch of University of Alaska students who were studying permafrost. They invited me to go swimming (skinny dipping!) in the stream. Sorry- no pictures. The biggest problem was that this one girl wanted to sneak into my tent, but it never gets dark! No sneaking! We lamented this, and then we fell asleep in our own tents. Some people never went to sleep at all.