The following was submitted to The McDuffie Mirror by the family of Staff Writer Kristopher Wells after he was recently found living off of wild salmon on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. He is currently in his Dearing home recovering from this horrific ordeal.
They found me today. I'm not happy. I like it here on the island, but now I've got to head home, clean up and go back to work. I'll miss living in the wilderness.
Sure, the mission trip to Coffman Cove went well. We had about 20 kids - most of them from the town of 150 - show up for the first Vacation Bible School they've had in a long time. We even got to know and share Jesus with many of the locals through walking around town as well as a huge kickball game one evening.
On top of that, the team installed windows in the church's trailer and built bunk beds so that other mission groups coming through will have a place to stay. We even had time to finish a fire escape for the back door, which was made difficult by the 12 foot drop and loose rock.
But once all that was done, I couldn't deny the call of the wild any longer. Even two hour hikes to fishing holes through swarming bugs, huge poisonous plants and slippery logjams couldn't deter me from "getting lost" in the woods and staying there.
I didn't have much of a shelter, but I was still wearing rain gear to keep me dry. Soon I learned to fend for myself, going back to the roots of prehistoric man. I could call for deer with just a simple piece of grass. At the same time I could avoid the inevitable followers, black bears - which taste great if you roast them just right.
I learned how to snag trout and sockeye salmon, but I have to say that king salmon is my favorite. It's so much better than the frozen junk they try to pass off as fish back home. I even flirted with catching the elusive halibut, but they're more difficult being that they're at the bottom of the ocean.
All in all it's been a great trip. It's just too bad that it has to end. Returning to the 100 degree weather will be a shock after standing outside for much of the rainy 50 degree days near Coffman Cove and Hollis.
Now that I'm headed back to Georgia, I'll have to get reacclimated to a lot of things, namely civilization (at least that's what people at home like to think they have). Me, I think Prince of Wales is the height of civilization.
Please read Mr. Wells' first official Ridin' the Pine since his Alaskan adventure in the July 14 edition of The McDuffie Mirror. Once in his right mind, he will discuss in detail the actual mission part of his recent trip to the last frontier.