Friday, May 20, 2011

Last Dance For Mary Jane

A couple of state troopers came for a presentation on how to stay out of trouble during our summer adventures. As a lot of you know from watching various shows about the overwhelming number of drunk driving arrests in Alaska it’s far from a dry area. As a matter of fact in the tiny town of Healy there are about ten, maybe fifteen, buildings in the entire area. One of them is a discount liquor and cigarettes store, 3 others are bars. I think that gives a pretty good idea of how much drinking happens here. In fact, so much drinking happens here that it’s illegal to get drunk. Uncanny isn’t it. The troopers threatened a two- hour ride to the nearest jail in Fairbanks for several different alcohol offenses.

There’s a place relatively close to where I live called dry-river. It is exactly what the name infers but it’s also a very popular party spot for minors. If it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that if you have heard about a place (especially within a couple days of arriving) the police probably have also. I was right. The troopers mentioned that going there is the equivalent of putting your name on a list to be arrested for underage drinking or providing to a minor. Yet people still go there. :-/ I know exactly where I won’t be going. The troopers once again threatened a two-hour ride to the nearest jail in Fairbanks.

Also, the troopers told us that marijuana is popular in these parts but despite rumors it isn’t legal. I was interested to hear this from their perspective because I’d already heard a lot about this on the bus ride in. I was told from an Anchorage local that weed is legal on a state level but not a federal one. Basically city cops would make you throw it out but that would be the extent of trouble. Troopers, however, would make arrests. The troopers apparently disagree with the local residents and city cops about what the rules are. The troopers touched on a few other offenses before concluding the talk. All of which, would get you a free ride to Fairbanks.

Evidently, some employees were distraught by the threats of the troopers because they went straight home to get high and relax. Bryce and I saw a circle of girls standing right by our residence, on the side of the highway smoking. It’s a while before our buses will take us to Fairbanks, maybe they just can’t wait that long.

Alaska Word: Dip Netting- Holding a large fishnet on the end of a long pole while waiting for fish to swim in it.

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