Dipnetting.

As real Alaska residents we are allowed to put a net into the water and scoop out fish. We previously did this for Hooligan. Now it was time to do it for salmon.

ADF&G: This popular fishery takes place from late June through July in the marine waters of Cook Inlet just off the mouth of the Kenai River. Since 2003, Alaskans harvest between 130,000 and 540,000 sockeye salmon annually in this fishery.

The Kenai River is a large glacial system draining the central Kenai Peninsula. The river begins at Kenai Lake near the community of Cooper Landing and flows approximately 82 miles down to its mouth in Upper Cook Inlet, near the community of Kenai. The City of Kenai is approximately 160 highway miles south of Anchorage.

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We loaded onto the boat on this rainy day and stuck our nets in the water.Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.20.23 AM.pngWe held the nets in the water until feeling a thrashing fish. Then you quickly lift the net out of the water and into the boat. Your crew pounces on the fish (or multiple fish if you are lucky) and swiftly kills and bleeds them.

Occasionally, you get a monster!Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.20.45 AM.png

When you get home, the real work begins.Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.21.17 AM.png

The (borrowed) smoker was hard at work.Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.21.26 AM.png

The (new) freezer is full now!

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Birthday Boy.

Birthday bash was bakery, bows, bikes, and burgers. Fire Island is hard to beat for pastries, bread, and cakes.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.35.16 AM.pngBow and arrow practice will now occur in our backyard. Please announce your presence before arriving. It is for your safety.Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.35.26 AM.pngBicycling all winter is a blast. Kincaid Park has skiing and biking trails.Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.35.36 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.35.53 AM.pngBurgers seemed like an appropriate finish to an awesome day. That might be wine and a margarita in the same picture. Birthdays can be trouble.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.36.04 AM.pngOh and pie. Everyone needs pie.Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.36.13 AM.png

Visiting Wisconsin.

We recently took a trip to Wisconsin to visit Amanda’s family. The first stop of the whirlwind tour was out to eat. We love cheese, and I love fried food, so I was in heaven eating fried cheese curds. These Wisconsinites take their cheese very seriously. Almost as serious as they take their beer consumption.

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That night we walked along the water of downtown Milwaukee and it was beautiful. The air was warm and the sky was dark. After our first summer in Alaska, I was surprised by how much I missed the dark skies. I will probably be eating my words this winter, but the dark sky was beautiful at night. Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 8.36.18 PMMy father in law likes to ride motorcycles more than I do. He offered me one of his bikes one afternoon and I couldn’t say no. It was hot out and beautiful to ride by miles and miles of fields. Blue skies with green fields and an orange bike. I couldn’t stop smiling or sweating.Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 8.36.36 PMWe never stopped moving on this trip. I was introduced to the Bugline Trail. It is a fully paved trail that passes by homes, limestone quarries, and railroad tracks. It was a lot of fun on a bicycle built for two.Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 8.37.22 PMEvery ride needs a destination. This ride happened to turn around at a pub that has been around since 1862. We stopped inside for a quick blast of air conditioning. And maybe a beer or two. We definitely had a weasel peter sausage. Thank you Hanson Brothers Pub.

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Hike 1/52 – Hidden Lake.

Starting off this hiking thing. Trying to nail 52 hikes in a year. There are so many hikes near us that I wanted to find a way to keep track of all of them. For Hidden Lake we started at the Glen Alps Trailhead. It was a Sunday and the parking lot had the most people we have ever seen. It was about half full. We left the parking lot at about 1 pm. There was a mixture of snow and mud for most of the trail along the powerline. It was also the busiest here. It was relatively uneventful. We have hiked and ran along the powerline trail a few times. It is the busiest hiking area close to Anchorage. Sometimes there are moose hanging out, but the sheer number of dogs and people usually makes them a bit skittish. About 2 miles into the hike, we veered left. Crossing over the south fork of Campbell Creek, we stopped for our first photo. Lando loved looking in the snow. Obi was off chasing birds.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.32.10 PM.pngThe lower elevations did not have as much snow. The south facing slopes were pretty snow free. There are fantastic boardwalks on the popular trails that help mitigate damage to flora. It also helps keep us a little less muddy.

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As we increased in elevation, the snow became a bit more prevalent. Being Alaska, one we left the parking lot, there were no signs. I feel like every trail in the lower 48 has  at least a half dozen signs. Here, not so much. Maybe that is why this place is called Hidden Lake. There was worn in trail which made it easier to head the correct direction.

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This is a warm spring. There is no snow at our house, but this trail starts at about 2200′ above sea level. Once we got off the busy Powerline Trail, the ptarmigan were everywhere. The dogs loved it. Here is Obi pointing to a well hidden ptarmigan in a tree while Lando looks for something hidden in the snow. Can’t see Obi?Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.23.54 PM.pngLet me zoom in for you. Does this make it easier?Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.24.25 PM.pngEventually, there was lots of snow and the occasional postholing. Sometimes lots of postholing. The weather stayed nice and a sunburn at the end of the day was mildly surprising.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.43.38 PM.pngAbout 4 1/2 miles in, we made it to Hidden Lake. It looks like it will remain hidden a little while longer. We ended at about 3700′ above sea level.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.44.32 PM.pngIt is an interesting time of year. Too much snow down low to ride bicycles on the trail, but not quite enough snow to make it worth dragging skis up to the top. It is also nice enough to hike without snowshoes and only deal with a bit of mud and wet ankles at the end of the day. We were lucky enough to see some mountain goats as we ate our lunch at the lake. This place is amazing. Until the next adventure!

November 28th – Trekking Torres del Paine.

Leo and I headed south from his house on the beach. We ended up in Ushuaia, Argentina. This is the starting point for trips to Antarctica. Being too poor frugal for that sort of motorized adventure, we opted for the human powered walk around Torres del Paine. We could not have done it without the help of our hostel, Erratic Rock.

The towers.Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 1.34.08 PMIt was nice not having to carry water.
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Camping with a view. And some mice. And some wind.Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 1.34.32 PMWe heard falling snow and ice every few minutes. Made it tough to sleep.Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 1.34.46 PMWe really liked not carrying water.Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 1.35.17 PM