Got up at 5 a.m. today. Guess why. That's right. Americans vote today! I got up, threw some pants on, (I tried to wear my Carhartt bibs, but Sam said they stunk too badly. Meh.) sloshed some coffee down my gullet and headed to Chatanika. The Associated Press wanted photos of the 'real' Alaska on election day. Which of course means stereotypes. Which is fine. Chatanika Lodge was a polling station for that area and has lots of dead animals on the walls, random dogs inside and hardened, yet uber-friendly locals milling around. I love that place. I think I could live there. But, in a word, it's fucked. But in a good way. The walls are packed with the aforementioned stuffed animals, along with photos, trinkets, and hundreds of christmas lights in every color. It's kind of like walking into an epileptic seizure. And at 7 this morning, loaded to gills with strong coffee and a whole lot of nervous energy, I was buzzing and very, very stimulated. I got some decent shots of voters and then walked around shooting anything that caught my eye. We then headed to Goldstream to shoot some more voters before I filed the photos to the AP in New York. And now here I am, home and ready for a nap.
A poll worker gets ready for the onslaught. Two voters showed up in the 90 minutes we were there.
The bar. Down at the end was Shirley, who, along with her hubby, owns the joint. She greeted us in her bathrobe, made coffee, stoked the wood stove and went back to bed before the first voter showed up.
One of the photos on the wall.
Dollar bills crowd the ceiling.
Night lights for sale.
And mirrors on the ceiling. Oh yeah!
A voter named Elmer. I'm not shitting you.
A dog team parked outside the polling station in the Goldstream Valley.
Rock the vote, y'all!