Sunday, September 27, 2009

Last Weekend of September

The month of September ended in a good way. Steph and I made our way up the river for a night of camping. I doubled my personal mile best driving the boat. Pushing my self, Steph and the dogs up about 10 miles. No bottom dragging (the boat - not the dogs). The only mistake of the night was my forgetting the stove. So no Mountain House, only jerky and granola bars. It got pretty cold, my guess would be around 25. In the morning while packing, the snow actually started falling. The dogs were wet and shaking in the tent. They were a pretty sad sight. We didn't have any animal encounters, but Steph swears she heard hooves on the rocks around 3 in the morning. Moose?? There was huge beaver lodge on the opposite bank of the river and they sounded exactly like someone was throwing big rocks in the water when they slapped there tails. At first, I honestly thought someone was messing with us. But, you then quickly realize you are in the middle of nowhere, no stretch.

This morning then, Eric and I got up at dawn and made our way back up a mile or so higher than the place we camped (another personal best). We glassed for caribou or moose and then floated down with the boat real quite like, calling for moose. The moose season ends on Wednesday, so this was kind of a last chance day trip. We saw a few sets of cow tracks, but didn't see anything. They are in there though. Maybe a evening hunt is in store. Bear sign was everywhere. Really surprised we didn't see bear with all the sign. Sitting in some of these amazing places though, waiting for a big bull to show, I am constantly in awe. We feel blessed to be here and hope to stay a while.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Goodbye Fall

That was quick. Wore the down coat this morning for the first time this fall. Tonight it's suppose to get down to 29 degrees. At least the bugs will be gone.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I took the boat out 2 times this weekend. No motor or boat issues, so it was a good weekend. Feeling more comfortable with the river. Gonna try going up a little higher this week. Maybe in a week or two, I'll try to follow someone up to the mountains. Here are a couple of shots for ya's.

Friday, September 18, 2009


A gas barge ran a muck here in the river. Actually about 100 yards into the river. They have to a make a right turn up the old channel to the loading dock and it looks like it got stuck making that turn. No real worries though, as things are pretty muddy down there. No big rocks or anything. I noticed it a couple of days ago and yesterday the coast guard flew right over the school. The kids thought a plane was hitting the school, they must have been pretty low. Well tonight the Anchorage Daily News was running a story about it. Read about it here.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner...Jerky

I turned down a moose hunt to finish this batch. Actually, I had to do it, the meat can't sit in the frig forever. Tim asked if I wanted to spend the night in the refuge, so we could do a few floats in the morning. One never knows, moose/grizzly are usually sticking close the river. Quiet floats are sometimes a great approach.

Turns out Tim decided not to go. He came over to watch the game and eat jerky. haha

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Boat is a GO

Look out rainbows (fish that is). The boat is setup properly and ready to hunt/fish. Bought time Jim.

I spent about an hour trying to move the stupid thing about 6 feet this afternoon, after someone (alaska west/random floaters) pulled my boat completely out of the water and then didn't push it back in for me. The sally I am, couldn't move that thing much at all. I had to use the winch and reverse on the 4-wheeler to get it half way. Then some locals gave me a hand. Thanks fellas. Going downstream feels really fast.

Wet waders and decoys

For the last 4 years I have been saying, "Decoys would really work out here, I mean no one is using them, they have to work". So...I finally bought a few and have been hitting the ponds with the ol' 2 shot. The fellas and I have probably gone 7-8 times and done alright. There is not much to hide behind out on the tundra or the edge of the lakes, but we have manage to decoy a few in. Alot of birds have come in locked up to see us and flare. I let the guy at the store, talk me into 2 3/4 shells over 3 inchers and still haven't used up the 2 3/4's because not much has fallen from the sky with those. A lot of shots over 30 yards and that small of shell/shot is probably just tickling them. If you would like to go, come on up.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Berries - Lots of Berries

Steph wants me to blog about all the berries she has picked. She is very proud of them all and neatly puts them in gallon bags and then into freezer. She slaps my hand when I try to take just one blueberry. Pictured: Cranberries. Nice job make something with them.

News and Notes

1. Silvers are almost done. They are getting pretty reddish out there. Haven't fished for them in while. The freezer is half fish, so that should do. "Trouts" as they are called are next. For a hilarious fishing video watch Rachel's video on her great blog.

2. Our good boss, Eric got all of us Lil-Stankers. That's what they are called. They are for sucking the life and smell out of the honeybucket. Work pretty well. Just don't take too long or the vacuum created might leave a hickey on your butt.

3. The 4-wheel trailer is 98% repaired. Only took me a few months. lol. Eric helped me fix the flats on two wheels tonight. A first for me by the way. I have grease in my fingernails. All we needed was a little slicky-slick (soap) as Alexie so hilariously pointed out. We had lots of opinions on what we were doing wrong. Soap was in the majority, so we got out the slicky-slick.

4. School Story:
Note: Little old, but pretty funny.

This year the district flipped the bill to have all the teachers come to Bethel for inservices. Quinhagak had 16 teachers and Eric in attendance. We got the schedule opening night and to Eric's surprise he had talk about SIOP(school's complicated), we are all newbies at this thing so he was mad scrambling to put something together. In addition, it was his first official meeting of the year. We have 3 new he wanted to impress. Naturally. What he didn't anticipate was we are all jerks. That morning I threw out the idea to give Eric the silent treatment at the meeting(I'm must be getting comfortable). To my surprise everyone was on board. Like, over the top on board. It was good to see. Quality staff. To me, it shows our adoration for our leader. So that afternoon, Eric was the last to arrive. Big mistake. We quickly finalized our plan and put our game faces on. We just stared off into space, looked at the floor, or looked the other way...while Eric came in and asked how the day was going. He mentioned we looked tired and said lets take a 5 minute break. We sat quiet. He wrote some things on the board and then again commented that we looked tried. We sat quiet, 16 strong. He tried to get us to take a break, but no one moved. So then he just started the meeting. He was obviously getting flustered that no was paying any attention or offering anything. Finally, Tim had to tell him, it was getting painful. He was not happy, but we were laughing so hard, all of us, that he quickly found the humor. Eric is very good at that. In all seriousness though, we have a tremendous staff. I don't want to say "best in the district" (I don't know who all reads this), but it may have been mentioned. We have a great time together. One big family. I have been around just long enough to know how unique this thing is.

Good technique Eric!