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  • The Salmon Sisterhood

    Ashland woman heeds call of the wild
  • Auburn-haired, angular and animated, Ann-Britt Malden sits on the sofa's edge in her Ashland cottage. She's resumed her "normal" life as a product photographer, beginning printmaker and cosmetology student, but it's clear where her heart lies: Far to the north, on the shores of the Yukon River, where she spent a month last su...
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  • Auburn-haired, angular and animated, Ann-Britt Malden sits on the sofa's edge in her Ashland cottage. She's resumed her "normal" life as a product photographer, beginning printmaker and cosmetology student, but it's clear where her heart lies: Far to the north, on the shores of the Yukon River, where she spent a month last summer at a remote fish camp filleting salmon, tending sled dogs and communing with the vast Alaskan wilderness.
    "It's my third year in that little canyon, moving with Mother Nature," Ann-Britt says. "The red of the wild raspberries, the muddy colors of the boulders and water, the gorgeous orange of the salmon and blue of the sky " and I saw wolf tracks bigger than my hand!"
    Ann-Britt first met fish camp proprietress Linda Johnson seven years ago, when she ended up at the home of Iditerod dog musher Joey Reddington Jr. as part of a family trip to Lake Minchumina, Alaska. The braying of 90 sled dogs drew Ann-Britt to the dog yard out back.
    "Linda is their neighbor and when she came over, we started talking," Ann-Britt recalls. "She immediately became one of my woman heroes: She is single, 61-going-on-40, and has been living the bush life since her teens."
    The two women corresponded regularly and, in 2007, Ann-Britt asked Johnson whether she might need some help on her fish camp that summer. She did.
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