Deborah Morel. (Photo courtesy of Deborah Morel)

Deborah Morel. (Photo courtesy of Deborah Morel)

Voices of the Peninsula: The Dream Team saves the day

The story, I believe, speaks to the goodness of humankind.

By Deborah Morel

I felt inspired to write this story and share it with our communities during this holiday season. The story, I believe, speaks to the goodness of humankind and I hope it will lift the spirits of community members at this holiday time.

Our home is a beachhouse on Red Beach Road in Ninilchik. It is a beautiful location, and every day exploring the beach is like a field trip in school — always something new to learn. Recently, unexpected road complications arose, leaving no exit from our beachhouse to the bluff. The only road off the beach was frozen with overflow flooding and glacier ice. The road is steep and became dangerously impassable.

Out of bottled water and our dog food low, I reached out to the Ninilchik community on our Facebook community group, asking if a skilled beach driver would be interested in doing a “Door Dash” to the beachhouse.

Within minutes, an Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities employee, Sean, responded on Facebook that he could help. I was confident Sean had the training to drive in the dark and on the beach to help with delivery.

Three Bears Alaska manager Mike was golden — not only willing to fill a grocery order for us over the phone, but added “care items” in kindness and concern like ice cleats and a huge bone for our dog.

Other Three Bears employees, including Robert, May and Kim helped. May offered her phone number and that she and her husband might be able to help with the glaciered exit road.

Like a shooting star, Sean safely delivered the groceries that Three Bears employees packed carefully. Sean then drove by beach, in the cloak of darkness covering the beach.

Further, Sean took time to explain how, when and where to drive safely on the beach. And, that he would do what he could to make sure the beach exit to Ninilchik Harbor was clear. With this assistance, I was comfortable to use the beach to drive to town. Sean stayed on the phone with me, at the point of the beach exit to the road.

Amid the fluid events, a good neighbor, Jesse Wallace, took time to advise me and to help get tire chains to move my car as needed. I respected Jesse’s opinion. I understood he had expertise. Jesse was my “go to person.” I would see firsthand that Jesse is well respected by many Ninilchik community members as well. I understood why.

Finally, my heart felt thanks to Andy Matthew for his expertise to ice removal; Ninilchik Firefighters Dave and Jeff; University of Alaska scientist Alexandra for her mountaineering expertise that aided fitting a pair of ice climbing cleats and practice on steep, glaciered road; Ninilchik Traditional Council; Bob Crosby; Rosco’s Pizza owner Ross Cameron; sweet Rebecca with Tesoro Gas Station, and all Three Bears employees for your kindness.

Those that stepped up in the spirit of community were nothing short of brilliant — The Dream Team! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, thank you so much for all you did for us.

Deborah A. Morel hails from Nice, France, and returned to Alaska after years working abroad. Before departing Alaska, Deborah worked along side ICWA workers — servicing remote Yup’ik Villages.

Deborah Morel's beachhouse near Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Deborah Morel)

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