Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Here is another Kipnuk video that I shot with my good friend Andy. He was here in Quinhagak this last weekend for a Singspiration at the church. So, it was fun to see him. Now a disclaimer on this video, this is not the smartest thing to do on a snowmachine. Really, this is probably one of the worst things for safety and engine longevity. I am not recommending it to anybody, kind of like jumping off bridges, am I right buddies??

Music: Willie Nelson
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Jimi Hendrix
"Voodoo Child, (Slight Return)"
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Plane Flight - Kipnuk

This short video is a from a bush flight out of Kipnuk. It is a couple of years old and I am posting it mainly for my friends and family down south, who haven't had the pleasure of flying in one of these state of the art flying machines.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wow, I have had this MacBook for about 4 years now. Wow???You say?? Well, it took me 4 years to figure out how to import movie from our Panasonic PV-120GS video camera. For 4 years, I have been under the assumption that the cord was bad, the port was bad, the camera was broke or that it only worked with the old PC. This weekend the case was solved. The operator was bad. It took a simple Google search and iMovie, and 6 tapes worth of comedic gold was unlocked and is now ready for your viewing pleasure. Over the next few days, I will upload the videos. Stay tuned.

In addition to that news, I am looking for ideas. Pulling a Mike "Dirty Jobs" Rowe on y'alls and asking you to leave a comment on what you want to see, watch or read. I am running out. Please, I beg you. Isn't that what he says?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Caynon Lake - Togiak National Wildlife Refuge

Last Saturday, when the weather was still cold and the snow was not making chocolate slushies. Tim took me for a little adventure. First of all, thank you again Tim. Can't say it enough.

The goal of the trip was to venture by snowmachine to Canyon Lake, which is about 45 miles south of Quinhagak through the Ahklun Mountains. There we would try our hand at catching Lake Trout. A species that neither Tim or myself have had the pleasure of catching. We started out at 8:00 am and traveled across the tundra, as the Arolik River was spotty and we didn't want to deal with open water. The trail was a little rough as you can see. We picked our way along, stopping to shot Ptarmigan when they wouldn't get out of the way.

As we made our way through the pass, the scenery just kept getting better and better. The amount of Ptarmigan got larger as well. They were in the bushes, on the sides of the hills and sometimes right on the path, just everywhere. Thousands. We brought 18 home.

Around 11:00 am we crossed the Arolik and headed up the south side. Now, the mountains that I have pictured at the top of this blog are like the first layer of a cake. After that layer, their is a large, flat valley. Beyond that to the south is another set of mountains- that are a little more rugged and amazing. Together with the flat valley, they look like a dream with low clouds and these island like mountains. The snow got better as we crossed the river and that made snowmachining easier. We still stopped a few times though to gaze and rest our eyes. Snow blindness was a slight concern.

After a little while we came to a decision. Tim knew the lake was up one of two valleys. We couldn't see the lake from our vantage, so we chose the valley on the right and worked our way into a very nice area, void of any discernible lake. All was not lost as we got more good photos. We then back tracked and took the other valley to the east.

We had found the lake (Above to the right) and then set about trying to find a decent place to fish. We picked a spot, thought it was probably about 20 feet deep and started drilling a couple of holes. As you can see from the picture, the ice was really thick. We seriously almost didn't have enough drill. I dropped a line and didn't reach the bottom. I had 75 feet of line on that pole. We fished out of those holes for a while with no fish. Tim went to look for any old holes that might give us a better idea of where to fish. He found some that were really close to the shore and about that time some other folks from Quinhagak arrived and said we were in a good spot. We struggled to get a few holes drilled in this new spot. We kind of decided right there to not do anymore drilling. We spent the next 5-6 hours jigging in those holes. They proved productive as Tim came through with his first Lake Trout, in his 19th year in Quinhagak (Congrats, buddy!!). Not long after, I got my first one as well. They weren't giants, but genuine Lake Trout in one of the most remote places on earth. Extreme ice fishing was the term we coined. We caught another couple of really nice Dolly Varden later in the day before heading home.

The ride back was just unreal. The dream-like mountains were...I can't describe them and pictures seriously don't do the scene any justice. The scale of the area is what a camera can't reproduce, not by me anyway. A need to see it to believe it situation.

We got home about 11:00 pm that night and right in time for another Bering Sea sunset. All in all, this trip was one of the highlights of this Alaska experience.

Click on the all pictures for larger formats.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Flood - 2009

Things are getting a little messy. We had a warm-up a few days ago and it is amazing how quickly thing melt. Now this is no Fargo, ND, not even close, but you get to see what happens every spring in the north country.

Artist: Lightnin' Hopkins
Song: Backwater Blues (That Mean Old Twister)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

10:00pm Sunset

Last night, we hit a 10:00pm sunset for the first time this spring. We are getting 14 hrs. and 34 minutes of sun presently. When the sunset was setting up to be a good one, I snapped these couple of pics for your viewing pleasure. They are from the beach, looking out over a still frozen Bering Sea. Winter errrrrr...I am sick of you. Enjoy

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Country Magazine Update

So the "Country Magazine" article with my pictures is scheduled for next year in the Feb/March issue. I talked to the editor the other day and she was happy with everything and a check came today. So it wasn't a prank. Hopefully my agent Eric aka "The Boras" will set me up with a few more opportunities. Thanks again Boss.

Might make a new video of this sometime this weekend. The crappy camera kept going in and out of focus.

Music is by Tom Cadaret - song is called "Water Song" Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This was going to be my fishing hole, until after 10 minutes of chipping ice, we broke through and water started gushing out. It looks very dangerous, but that ice is over a foot thick. Give it a few minutes and this guy is not going very close. Don't worry Mom.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Finally set the hook on a Arolik Leopard Rainbow. I was jigging with a stick in one hand and the line in the other, so I could feel the jig. Felt like a brick wall when he bit.

He is a couple of other pictures from Saturday. These folks were catching some nice Rainbows as well.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Ptarmigan Hunting

Milt, Michael and I enjoyed a beautiful day of Ptarmigan hunting yesterday. Barely a whisper of wind and about 20 degrees, you can't ask for much more. We saw so many birds it was ridiculous. I reloaded the .22 three or four times and only hit 5. It holds 25 shots. Not good shooting. Later that night, I took the gun over to the beach for a little sighting in. The first 4 shots were within 1/2" at 50 yards. So, it was not the gun. Embarrassing.