Dave Kendall Of Tiekel River Shot Up His First Alaska Christmas Tree With a .38 & Dragged It Home To Dinner

"We Were Really Greenhorns When We Came Up Here" - Dave Kendall Of Tiekel River, On Bringing Down His First Spruce Dave Kendall, o...


"We Were Really Greenhorns When We Came Up Here" - Dave Kendall Of Tiekel River, On Bringing Down His First Spruce

Dave Kendall, of Marin County, California, came to Alaska in 1961 with his wife, Neva. They bought Kendall Cache at Mile 56 of the Richardson Highway near the Tiekel River. Kendall Cache was well known for its cookies. One winter, Dave (who loved to tell stories) shared the following Christmas tale of his first struggle with a black spruce. It was printed in the Copper River Country Journal.
 
Billy Mitchell Mountain at Tiekel. (Journal file photo)

"Back in 1961 when we started, we were putting all our available money into getting the business going at the lodge, which we called 'Kendall Cache.' Of course, being the first Christmas, it was very hard for us because this was the first time we had been in cold country. 
 
"When Christmas time rolled around, we thought the best way we could find a tree was to go out and cut one. Not having a chainsaw, and also the problem of about 3 feet of snow on the ground, I traipsed off into the wilderness and found a nice little tree, which I attacked with an ax. 
 
"Being a real Cheechako, I found that an ax and frozen trees do not mingle when it's 20 below. Finally, in desperation, I went back home and grabbed a .38 (this really happened) went back to the tree and blew the top out of it with 4 shots, and took it triumphantly home. 
 
"But it had to be trimmed at the base after it thawed. We were really greenhorns when we came up here. As the years progress, we do get smarter and wiser. And use conventional means of getting a tree now!"  
 
 

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