Another beautiful hike. In fact 16/52 that I am trying to get to. It is nice that I need to gain elevation to get to these ptarmigan. It forces me to find difficult hikes.This time I headed up Buffalo Mine Road. There are lots of ATV trails and it would have been nice to have one at some points. When I am sweating and tired I wish for an ATV. Then I remember how much healthier it is to be out there sweating and doing things under your own power.We saw some squirrels and many birds that we were not targeting. The colors of the plants and trees are starting to change and it was a beautiful walk in the woods with the dogs and my bow in my hand.I also don’t spend much time in “the Valley” as it can have a bit of a bad reputation for being a rough area.
Feeling semi confident with my bow, I am looking for places where I can hunt small game. Having two hunting dogs, it seems that I should take them and put them to good use. One area open to hunting that isn’t too far away is the Powerline trail.
Near Indian Valley, hunting is allowed. I headed over there for my first time on the far end of the trail.
It was a beautiful hike and I was too low in elevation to get to any ptarmigan. I think. That is what I tell myself. We did not see any birds. At least I got some steps in. And is was hike 15/52.
This fall has been incredible for fishing the Kenai. Maybe it is always like this. It seems like I made the right choice moving up here. We have made friends with our incredible neighbors and some seem even more fanatical about fly fishing than I am.
Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout have been caught and released by us more times than I can count. Here are a few pictures of the events.
Well, the Russian River is a close day trip. This trail always seems to be under construction. It gets the heart racing as there are supposed to be lots of bears up here.
This is where I start singing to myself. Loudly, poorly, and probably getting the words wrong. I sing more when I don’t bring the dogs. It is like a circus with two dogs with bear bells, me with bear spray, and still trying to fish. Sometimes it is nice to just hit it on my own. Terrifying, but nice.
The first fished I picked up was a Coho Salmon. Accidental. I was aiming for trout. It was a good problem to have. I need a bigger net.I did get into some trout. This one was fun.
Nothing special about it, but I saw a little something stuck to it.
Cool my first ADF&G tagged trout.
Having worked briefly in the fisheries industry, this was exciting for me.
There are still lots of Sockeye Salmon in the river.
They are occasionally caught as well. It is like dragging a tire upstream, but still fun on a 5 weight rod.
There are plenty of decent trout to fool as well.
I sang alone on the walk back to the car. Happy, tired, and in one piece.
After the park, we returned to our house to host a party. We did it all in our backyard.Our party favors were dog treats. Our cakes are from Jerome Street Bakery.
We cannot recommend them enough. From their website:
“We specialize in fresh, seasonal, and organic sweets inspired by the abundance of beauty in Alaska- the dark snowy winters, the mountains, the wildness, and our lovely piece of earth we call home on Jerome Street (and the wildlife we share it with).
We are known for our gratitude cakes. All our sweets are a fusion of a love of baking and a love of the community. 100% of proceeds are donated to chosen monthly non-profit.
Every product is made with love and intention, therefore no one cake will ever look the same. Each order is unique and personal to the individual or event, and is based on seasonal availability.”
Our “guestbook” was a canvas painted like our backyard. We asked guests to paint themselves in.
Desserts were s’mores which included gluten free handmade graham crackers courtesy of the founder of Ben’s Muffins.Live music was provided by The Hot Club of Nunaka.The parents looking proud.
Beluga Point.Eklutna Lake.
Amanda and her mom at Eklutna Lake.Ben and I made it a few miles up power line trail. This is looking back towards town.One of the lakes a few miles up power line. He ran, I biked. I was tired. He didn’t seem to notice the fatigue at all.
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.
We loaded onto the boat on this rainy day and stuck our nets in the water.We 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!
When you get home, the real work begins.
The (borrowed) smoker was hard at work.
The (new) freezer is full now!