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Randy Brown, Interview 2, Part 1
Randy Brown

Randy Brown was interviewed on December 30, 1991 by Dan O'Neill in the audio studio at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Fairbanks, Alaska. This is the first part of a two part interview that is the second interview in a two interview series. The first interview (ORAL HISTORY 99-21-42) was conducted on October 28, 1991. In this first part of the second interview, Randy continues to talk about living a subsistence-based lifestyle on the Kandik River in the late 1970s. Specifically, he discusses his seasonal round of hunting and fishing, and his methods of travel in both the summer and winter. During the interview, they were looking at USGS maps (1:250,000) of the area, so much of the conversation can be traced on the map. Since Dan O'Neill, had been a dog musher in Alaska for ten years, many of the questions relating to dogs, gear and traveling conditions are fairly specific.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 91-22-57

Project: Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Date of Interview: Dec 30, 1991
Narrator(s): Randy Brown
Interviewer(s): Dan O'Neill
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Moving out to the Kandik River

2) Trails and winter travel up the Yukon river, a discussion of the practicality of hauling fish up from the Yukon to feed dogs on the upper Kandik River

3) Summer activities when he lived alone in the country

4) Caribou hunting up the Kandik River

5) Carrying and caching the caribou meat

6) Gee poles, and toboggan styles and parts

7) Continuation of talking about the Tim White toboggan sled, racing sleds, and traveling sleds that were used historically

8) River travel in winter

9) Charlie Edwards

10) Winter travel on the river

11) Winter travel, overflow, wet and frozen feet, and foot gear

12) Traveling the Yukon River in the summer

13) Swimming in the Yukon River and the "side creeks" like the Kandik River

14) Safety considerations with a family in the woods

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: Brown, Randy\ cabins - Kandik River\ Gaudio, John\ Beech, Fred\ Able, Seymour\ cabins - Johnson Gorge\ cabins - Indian Grave Creek\ cabins - Judge Creek\ Gelvin, Ed\ cabins - Easy Moose Creek|

Section 2: trails - Kandik River\ dog food - fish\ dog teams - size\ supplies - winter freighting\ winter travel - Kandik River\ Kandik River - winter travel\ fishing - dog food\ fishing - Yukon\ moose hunting\ fish processing - drying\ fish racks - protection from predators\ caching fish\ airplanes - fish hauling\ boats - fish hauling\ dogs - nutrition\ Brown, Randy\ set nets\ suckers\ pike\ whitefish\ grayling\ sheefish\ salmon|

Section 3: salmon - King\ salmon - Yukon River\ Eagle\ Fairbanks\ Sheep Creek\ Nimrod Peak\ lining canoes - Sheep Creek\ Funnel Creek\ sheep\ bear\ caribou\ Hard Luck Creek - headwaters\ Cathedral Creek\ Jones Ridge\ Cook, Dick\ Evans, Dave\ Patton, Sage\ river people - territorial disputes|

Section 4: caribou - Kandik River\ Porcupine caribou herd\ caribou - processing\ Indian Grave Creek - hunting caribou\ hunting - caribou\ hunting - foot\ hunting - snowmachines\ hunting - dog team\ caribou - snowmachines\ winter hunting\ Beech, Fred\ river people - hunting trips\ Gaudio, John\ Edwards, Charlie\ Evans, Dave\ river people - visiting\ "pingo"\ overflow\ mineral spring - caribou lick\ trail - caribou "pingo"|

Section 5: Indian Grave Creek cabin\ cabins - Indian Grave Creek\ caches - Indian Grave Creek\ dog teams - caribou hunting\ caribou - butchering\ trails - hunting\ winter hunting - day light\ winter traveling - darkness\ caribou - skinning\ caribou - human nutrition\ moose fat\ dogs - size\ dog teams - riding|

Section 6: toboggans\ gee poles\ curl\ wheel dogs\ sleds - inadequacy\ winter travel\ trail conditions - winter\ toboggans versus sleds\ winter travel - side hills\ White, Tim\ trail breaking\ trails - snowmachine\ "pseudo-toboggan"\ sleds - "tracking"\ toboggans - length\ Yukon River - side hills\ toboggans - skags\ toboggans - dog harnessing configuration\ trails - toboggan\ toboggans - dimensions|

Section 7: White, Tim\ basket sleds\ tracking\ sleds - length\ sleds - steering\ racing sleds\ dog racing\ sleds - historical\ Brown, Randy - sleds\ wood hauling\ freighting|

Section 8: winter travel - rivers\ winter travel - Yukon\ river travel - winter\ trail breaking\ overflow\ wind\ trails - winter travel conditions\ Brown, Randy\ dog mushing\ Nation Bluff - wind\ Cathel Mountain - Kandik River\ Montok Bluff - wind\ Sheep Creek\ Yukon River - winter travel\ river ice - hazards\ Trout Creek - open water\ Edwards, Charlie\ "butterfly ice"\ sleds - overflow\ toboggans - overflow\ toboggans - tapered width|

Section 9: Shade Creek\ Logan Creek\ cabins - Trout Creek\ Fourth of July Creek - mines\ Nation Townsite\ cabins - Glenn Creek\ "lower 48"|

Section 10: winter travel - river ice\ river ice - travel\ islands - tops\ islands - bottoms\ sandbar "trail"\ river - knowledge of\ river ice - hazards\ Kandik River - open water\ 70 mile River\ Yukon River - open water\ Eagle bluff - open water\ dog mushing - darkness\ O'Neill, Dan - story\ Salcha - open water|

Section 11: Bell, Ray\ river ice - travel\ travel - winter\ winter travel - rivers\ Gaudio, John - story\ shoe pacs\ mukluks\ cabins - Indian Grave Creek\ cabins - Big Sit Down Creek\ frozen feet - story\ foot gear\ bunny boots\ hand gear|

Section 12: Brown, Randy\ Yukon River - summer\ high water\ swift water\ life vests\ children - life vests\ spring run-off\ Johnson Gorge - story\ Coleman canoe\ Colleen River - story\ water temperature\ Grumman canoe\ Yukon River - wind\ dogs - canoe transport\ canoeing with dogs|

Section 13: swimming - Yukon\ Yukon River - swimming\ Eagle swimmer - story\ Cook, Dick\ "side creeks"\ Kandik River - swimming\ "bottom walking"\ swimming - importance of skill\ children - swimming\ drownings - stories\ Copper River - dip netting\ silt - stories\ water safety|

Section 14: dog mushing - children\ children - dog mushing\ dog teams - control of\ safety considerations - children\ accidents - stories|