Easter, 1990: Harding Ewan At Tok Cutoff Mile 1 Viewing Hundreds Of Caribou In Nelchina Herd

The Coming Of Spring  Mile 1 Tok Cutoff Overlook (Photo by Copper River Country Journal)  Thirty-four years ago this spring the Nelchin...

The Coming Of Spring 

Mile 1 Tok Cutoff Overlook (Photo by Copper River Country Journal) 

Thirty-four years ago this spring the Nelchina Caribou Herd made a surprise appearance on the Copper River at Mile One Tok Cutoff. And Harding Ewan of Gulkana Village brought his binoculars.

Easter is what they call a "Moveable Feast." That means that it comes every year on different days. Christmas always arrives on December 25th. But Easter (though it always comes on a Sunday) shifts around. Sometimes Easter Sunday is in the last part of March, and sometimes it goes way into the middle of April. 

Harding Ewan of Gulkana Views Nelchina Herd On The Copper. (Copyright © Country Journal.)

This year, 2024, Easter is on March 31st. Next year, it'll be really late – on April 18th, 2025.  

Here's a picture taken in 1990, when Easter came on April 15th. That Sunday, part of the Nelchina caribou herd came down the Copper River and began milling around on the ice.  People who lived up and down the highways near Gakona Junction rushed to see the herd from the Tok One lookout. The animals were dense. It was a big herd, far below on the frozen river near the Gakona River outlet. The day was balmy, and there were lots of caribou – not just a few, but hundreds, suddenly shifting directions, dashing one way, then another. 

It was Easter Sunday, 1990, and Copper River people called each other up to come by and delight in the wonder of living in Alaska. All these caribou, after such a long and dark winter – it was a very real sign of rebirth. Spring was back – and with the bright sunlight on the snow you could see in Harding Ewan's face the joys of the country we live in.

Here's a list of Easter Sunday dates from the Web:
Easter Sunday Dates 



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