When friends come to visit, I like to take them to do things. Like see dead whales.Or go up hills.Carve pumpkins.Make them look at tall things.Make them look at pretty things.Make them go up more hills.Make them take selfies with me.Make them like it here.I showed them some glaciers and told them that the water was cold.I guess that some people need to figure things out for themselves.
We took the family out to Caines Head a couple of times. It is one of our favorite places to visit. We stopped to watch the salmon in the river. The dogs begged for food.The hike through the mossy forest along the coast is amazing.
Once you make it to the beach, you are greeted by views of glaciers across the bay.The dogs love the beach. Some never stop running while searching for birds.The wife always seem to catch fish and look good doing it.
My favorite way to spend time with family involves fishing.
Photos from the amazing Alison Snyder.
After the madness of Memorial Day, we headed south to the Anchor River to see if we could catch a King Salmon on a fly. The patriotism of the bald eagles were in full swing.The night before we fished, we got to spend some time by a campfire doing the usual things. It seemed like a good omen.
The evening was lovely.
The next day, we had a hook up! Hanapa’a.The eagles were vigilantly watching to see what would happen.We did it! We landed one.
That gave us plenty of time to explore the beaches in the area. What a beautiful spot!
We headed up the Parks Highway (names for George Parks, not Denali National Park, even though that is the direction it heads) to follow little blue lines that we had seen on Google Maps. We found a place where the power lines cross the creek. This is usually a good spot to access the water.
Many other places I have fished have lots of private property preventing a person from accessing the water. Here, you really just can’t get to the water. The bushes are too thick, the mud is too deep, and there are no trails. It is perfect. When you do get to the water, you might be on a cliff too high to fish properly. The other side of the river always seems to look better than wherever I am standing.
Plus, there is the added bonus that I am always looking over my shoulder for wildlife. Maybe something to see that is cool, maybe making sure that nothing is going to attack me. Either way, I feel like I am always looking out for something. We found a piece of water that looked like it would have some fish. The water was higher than we wanted though. It was muddy. There were hardly any bugs (except the mosquitoes). There had to be fish here.
It was too early in the season for anything salmon related. No eggs yet. No flesh unless it was left over from last year. These are meat eating trout. It was time to swing some streamers. The bigger and uglier the better.Somehow, we fooled them again. Total solitude. Hungry fish. The fear of being attacked by wildlife overcome. Mosquitoes swatted. Headed home, we felt accomplished. Rugged. Alaskan like. Bear spray safely in the car unused, we stopped by Starbucks for our usual chai lattes. We aren’t that rugged.As the fishing season starts to heat up, my heart races more and more before each adventure starts. Every time that we step outside, I am amazed at what we see.
As I was coming home from work one recent morning, a moose crossed the road in front of me. Luckily, I had plenty of time to stop. Then the moose stopped as well. He stood in the middle of the road and I stopped. Idling the bike, I lowered my feet unsure of what to do. If he charged, could I turn around fast enough and gun it? Probably not. Would we play chicken and I try to skirt around to the other lane? Doubtful. We looked at each other for a while. I think that he realized that I wasn’t too much of a threat. He walked down the road keeping a wary eye on me.He was on the same side of the road as I was, so I was going to have to drive on the opposite side of the road to give him plenty of space. A couple of cars came by. Some stopped to make sure that he wouldn’t charge them as well. Some zoomed by either not noticing or not caring. I slowly started approaching him from behind, but got into the other lane (hoping there was no oncoming traffic) and he stopped to watch as I passed him nervously.
These giant animals are still amazing to me. To the locals, they are like dairy cows in Wisconsin. Big, never trusted, and seen everywhere. Locals don’t take pictures of moose. I still do. I got home and took the dogs on a short walk. A few minutes later, this brute come clomping down the road just like he was when I passed him. He still didn’t seem to have a care in the world. He is a true local.
Just the beginning of the trail. Or I guess it is the end if you start in Eagle River.
When I was in Brazil I hiked into the rainforest and would swim under these beautiful waterfalls. Some local kids were there wondering why these non locals were wandering into the forest on their own. They followed us into the jungle. Communication was difficult as they didn’t speak any English. After a couple different waterfalls I kept inviting them in to swim and they constantly refused. I didn’t think anything of it. Eventually we saw a small snake and through hand signals, I think they said that they don’t swim in the creeks because of the large snakes that could eat you. That made me pause and remember where I was. Holy shit. 20 foot anacondas. Man eaters. I had no thought of that while giddily jumping off waterfalls into unknown pools.