He is one of the funniest men I know with a humor that sneaks up to take you by surprise. He will tell you a story that sounds like pure drama out of a wilderness survival book, then blindside you from nowhere with a punchline that will split your sides wide open in mirth.
Richard told me one of his famous stories three years ago and I am still trying to figure out if it is truth or wit.
Like most Athabascans, Richard is a man of the river. He knows every braid of the Yukon, every tributary, every backwater slough. Look at this region on a map and it might appear easy to navigate. But as I look at the passing shoreline from Richard’s boat, this place is a maze without answer.
This was a good spot. Richard wanted to check the brush beyond the gravel bar for moose and I wanted to check out those rocks. I am an incurable rock hound and these bars are a feast of delights. Serpentine and agate, jasper and jade. Igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. I got my rocks. Richard didn’t get his moose.