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Nice Ice,Baby….

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Hiked up the trail at Exit Glacier (Near Seward, Alaska) to the Harding Ice Field with my friends Jan and Sara. The day couldn’t have been nicer. The trail has been upgraded recently and while it is continously steep, it is relatively easy to make your way to the top. Lots of tourists on the trail – most were over-dressed and in cotton clothes (and the occasional winter coat despite the gloriously warm day).

On the way down, came across a black bear and 3 cubs on the trail – they were caught between hikers coming up and an ever-increasing bottleneck of hikers on their way down. A couple of locals from Seward and I were able to get them to scoot downhill off of the trail so we could all continue on our ways.

Thought about bringing my skis up – next time, for sure. Hardingice1.jpg

Doin’ the Dip

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Doin’ the Dip

My hometown, Soldotna, is on the Kenai River which supports one the healthiest wild-salmon stocks anywhere on earth.

When the salmon return to the river – tens of thousands of tourists also migrate up the asphalt river and there is a dis-harmonic convergence of supply and demand. Some 400 river guides take their clients out on small boats to try to land a king – it’s not uncommon to catch a 60+ pounder. The reds are also running now – and so the commercial fishermen set nets from shore and boats to make a living. And of course there are pukers – those folks that come down from Los Anchorage for the purpose of killing fish and stocking their freezers. Quite a few of these folks could give a care about anything else except drinkin’ and fishin’.

A few years back , the state let all AK residents harvest salmon with a dip net. These nets can be up to 4′ wide and can be used from the beach or from a boat in the lower part of the Kenai or Kasilof rivers. Last year, 2 friends and I netted 78 salmon in 2 hours. This year the salmon escapement is way low (they are closing the fishery tomorrow night until more fish get upstream) and we only boated 27 fish in 6 hours.

We counted over 200 boats on the river when we were out there – and for the first time in years, it was less chaotic than normal.

Nenana WW Festival

Monday, July 17th, 2006
So - let's begin with today. On the 13th, we headed to the white water kayak festival on the Nenana River up by Denali Park. (In the picture from intro post), I am on 6Mile Creek near ... [Continue reading this entry]