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Photos: Beyond the road in Quinhagak

Fall sunset at Quinhagak. This is a small channel connected to the boat launch and boat storage, as well as a fish and game cleaning area.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
Salmon drying in Quinhagak.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
Bryan Jones, 6, plays among the tall grasses behind his home.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
Annie Cleveland gathers berries on the tundra in Quinhagak.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
Wind turbines provide power in the Kuskokwim delta village of Quinhagak.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
From left, Assiqtaq mark, Bryan Jones and Apacaaq Mark play on insulated sewage pipes in the middle of Quinhagak.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
A graveyard in the Kuskokwim delta village of Quinhagak.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
Nick Joshua works cutting on a gill net in Quinhagak.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
Kids take a boat to the tundra for bird hunting near Quinhagak.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
Jason White, 12, shows off the success of his hunt in Quinhagak.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
Paul Trader hunting for birds in Quinhagak.
Wayde Carroll / First Alaskans Magazine
Wayde Carroll | First Alaskans

I'm in Quinhagak or Kwinhagak (Quinn-uh-hawk), a Yup’ik village nestled along the Kanektok River on the eastern shores of the Kuskokwim Bay. Its Yup’ik name is “Kuinerraq,” means “new river channel.” It lies within sight of the Bering Sea coast, 71 miles southwest of Bethel, the area’s main hub of transportation.

One night at the end of dinner, I take a peek out of the window to see if there’s any late evening light I can take advantage of and am stunned to see a jaw-dropping sunset. Deep reds, oranges and yellows blanket this wide open sky for as far as I can see.

“Whoa!” I exclaim. “I’m going to see if I can catch the reflections in the canal!”

I grab my camera bag and tripod and rush out the door. Though the sunsets are lengthy, I manage to miss the height of the show by the time I reach the water. Just a golden band on the horizon remains between the endless expanse of the Bering Sea and the dense blue-gray clouds that fill everything above. Disappointed, I start back up the wooden walk toward the Marks' home, enjoying the smoky smell coming from the smokehouses and drying racks just off the path.

Read more: Akutak, bird soup and a beautiful setting makes Bering Sea village sparkle