My Bush Background

My father, Richard H. Collins, was station manager for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at a bush villiage called Lake Minchumina. When I was 8 he retired, and we moved from FAA housing across the lake into a homestead my Mom had bought before she married Dad. During the first few years living there we spent the summers working on a new cabin, and the winters traveling in an old school bus which my Dad had converted into a mobile home.

My father has a cabin in the southern Brooks Range (on the Kobuk River) near a Eskimo villiage called Shungnak. Up through the time I was about 12 we took frequent summer vacations there.

This made for a pretty idilic childhood. Of course since there was no school in Minchumina I took correspondence courses up through high school. The summer before I was to start 9th grade we spent in Fairbanks, building a house. Then, during the winters, we moved into town and my sisters and I went to a 'normal' school until we graduated high school.

After I got out of high school I took a year off and went trapping for a year. A year after I got out of college I spent 4 months out in the bush near Talkeetna building a cabin.

I have always been interested in self-sufficiency. As such I have often had large gardens (see hobbies). I also did a lot of berry picking (my personal record is 5 gallons of blue berries in one day) and hunting (I have gotten a moose every year I've tried).

The current copyright laws protect this page, even though not specifically copyrighted.

However if you want to use portions of it feel free to do so, though I would appreciate it if you would acknowledge my authorship.

This page last messed with spring 1999.

 Ray's Home