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Friday, July 27, 2007

Picture Update

I finally have all the pictures posted and they are organized into different albums. Because I was taking pictures from three different cameras, the pictures in each album are still jumbled. And because we had a bazillion pictures to post, most are not labeled. Don't worry though, you will get over it! I'll let ya'll know if/when I label all the pictures, but for now you can practice finding all the different fish we caught.

Just like a word find, here are the fish we caught and have pictures of.
Rainbow trout
Dog/chum salmon
King/chinook salmon
Red/sockeye salmon
Dolly varden/arctic char
Cooked salmon
Northern pike
Pop can (there are two varieties of pop can)

Happy picture hunting!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Our Photo link should now be working again and I am uploading pictures from the fishing trip as I write this. Hopefully, I will have time to label and arrange them tomorrow as they are currently a bit jumbled.

Fishing Trip!!!!

Alright, we are picking up where we left off after "Where to Begin." I will do my best to take you through our day to day fishing.

Day 1:
We fished off the beach and caught lots of grayling. They are a lot of fun to catch, but it is even more fun watching these guys try to get good pictures of them. They are a bit slimy and squirmy sometimes! That evening we went down to Cranberry creek where we caught a few rainbow trout a small king salmon and a few chum/dog salmon. It wasn't quite what we hoped for, but an OK start.
Day 2:
I may be off by a day, but I think today we went back to Cranberry creek where we caught a bunch of dog salmon, a dolly varden/arctic char, and some more rainbows. We made a fire on a beach and ate dog salmon with butter and seasonings all wrapped in aluminum foil (not tin foil). Yum!! We also caught several grayling from the beach. . .They are still fun to catch, but the fun is beginning to fade.
Day 3:
I think today was the day we went up river with Molly and Vince (our dog). . .I give up on the days.

One day we went up river and we found spots where the kings were jumping. Tim lost a really nice king in one spot, but we were all thinking that the possibility of catching kings was not likely. While having a shore dinner with Molly and Vince, Dad hooked up on a 20 pound king in the current, which we had to chase down the river in the skiff! Being the brilliant guide that I am, I went back into a slough to fish where I caught three smallish kings in about five casts. . .Booyah! After eating we all went to this spot and caught more than 40 kings between us. The largest in here were around 15 pounds. It was a blast! Finally, around 12:30 am we decided to go back home.

Our pattern turned into a sleep really late, tour the village, hang around, and fish from the beach for the early afternoon. Then fish until midnight each night. We went back to this spot several times and each time we caught more fish. It was a great find!

On the last full day we traveled up into the Nuyakuk River, ate lunch at a cabin, and the went way up the Nushagak River. We saw a large bull moose and several cows, caught a bunch of rainbows, a red salmon, some dog salmon, and a couple king salmon. We did find a couple good spots to fish, but they are a long drive up. Our last day ended with a couple of 20 pound kings caught in our spot.

Thrown in to each day, we caught dogs, reds, kings, dolly vardens/arctic char, lots of rainbows, even more grayling (Grandpa is a grayling king by the way!), Tim caught some nice pike, and Dad caught a whitefish.

The day they had to leave the weather was bad and no planes were flying so they missed their connecting flights and had to do a lot of rearranging. . .Welcome to Alaska!

For a better rendition of the facts and excitement from the trip, talk to my grandpa, dad, or brother.


Our old picture archive is being removed and we have to start a new one so we will let everyone know when we finally figure this out and can show all the fishing pictures.

Where to Begin?

It has been more than two months since I last posted and a lot has happened! Molly and I were in Florida for a week in May, then Wisconsin for three and a half weeks of June, and in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for a week in the middle of it all. Basically, our trip was a lot of fun and it was great to see our family and friends after being out of the loop for a while. On July 1st we were on our way back to AK and spent a excellent night in Anchorage. . .I will let Molly tell all about it because I think she already started.

Now to the important stuff. . .FISHING!! I had only a few days to find some fish to catch before my dad, brother, and grandpa came to visit/fish. Ron and I spent many hours fishing for king salmon, but never really found a good way to catch them. There were not many fish in the river yet because they began coming up river very late this year. It also turns out that the total number of kings was at about 20% of what it was supposed to be. Despite this, I new we would be able to catch some fish.

The day they were supposed to arrive our power was out, we didn't have our VHF, and we were expecting Dad, Tim, and Grandpa to arrive around 3pm. That reminds me, the reason we did not have our VHF. . .The day Molly and I came back we caught a ride from the airport to our house and upon arrival we were told, "I hope you guys have some where else to stay." WHAT!! Our house was torn up because we were getting a bunch of work done like new carpet, paint, and new windows. Somebody was supposed to let the workers know that we were going to be back on July 2nd, but they thought we were going to be gone all summer! Crap! Our principal had told us that if we needed to, we could use her house when our guest came so we moved into her house for the time being and scrounged for stuff as we needed it from our house.

Anyway, I was out fishing and Molly was going to call the airline we thought they were flying on, but without notice my family showed up at the door. They got a ride from one of our students! Needless to say, I was very surprised when I got back from fishing! The good part about all this is that our principal has a larger dining room table and three single beds in her place so everyone was a bit more comfortable. . .Except Molly and I because your own place is always better, but it worked.

To keep from an overly long post, I am going to stop and start a new one.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wisconsin Trip

Our trip home was so wonderful, but it went by so quickly!

First, we had a bit of a reality check when we were in the Anchorage airport on our way to Minneapolis. Of course Brian and I were so excited to have a taste of fast food after our four/five month deprivation, so as soon as we arrived in Anchorage we began planning our pit stop at McDonalds. We planned that we would locate our gate and then stop at McDonalds to pick up a quick bite. As we passed McDonalds we noted that we had about 20/30 minutes before our plane would be leaving, so we continued to the gate just to make sure that it was fairly close before we got our food. Surprisingly the person working at the desk checking boarding passes was very excited that we had finally made it and rushed us onto the plane! Once we were in our seats it hit us that boarding is usually 30-45 minutes before the plane is actually supposed to leave! It's a good thing that we are getting out of the village once in a while!

On our way to visiting Wisconsin, we stopped in Minneapolis to drop off Sophie (our cat) with Brian's aunt and uncle while we continued on to Florida for a few days. After Uncle Pete had left with Sophie, we discovered that our large piece of luggage had not arrived in Minneapolis with us. Since we didn't know the address of the place that we would be staying in Florida, and we weren't sure when our luggage would actually make it, we told the airline staff that we would pick up our luggage when we came back to Minneapolis in a few days. So, we flew into Ft. Myers, checked in at our hotel, and immediately went shopping. We pretty much had nothing! I was just happy that I had decided against wearing my boots especially when stepped out of the airport in Ft. Myers; it was roughly 85/90 degrees! The warmest that it had reached before we left Koliganek was maybe 60 degrees! We bought shorts and swimsuits at Target (it was a "super" Target, and I was so happy to be in such a wonderful shopping facility finally!!!), and we were set for time spent on the beach with our friends Ross and Andie when they arrived in Ft. Myers the next day! We stayed at a condo that is owned by Ross' aunt on Sanibel Island. It was so beautiful! We had such a wonderful time soaking up the sun on the beach that was bordering the property of the condo!

When we finally made it back to Minneapolis (after an extra night stay in Miami due to issues with our plane in Ft. Myer) where we picked up Sophie and then rushed to La Crosse for my cousins graduation party. Brian and I were so happy to see our families again, but only a few short days later, we left for a trip to the Boundary Waters. We went with our friends Ross and Andie as we do every summer, and we also went with a childhood friend of Brian and Ross, Adam. We put in at Kawishiwi and made our way to another lake that I can't remember the name. We had a great experience; we saw so much wildlife this time! A couple of the boys saw a moose right in our camp, we all experienced the Grey Jays eating out of Brian and Ross' hands, there were around 40 butterflies in one small area of our site, we saw chipmunks and baby turtles, we caught perch, walleye, northern, smallies, and suckers, and there was our returning friend, Gilbert, the 50 lb. snapping turtle that continued to attack our fish!

I was so happy to squeeze in a trip to the cities with my sisters while I was home! We had an interesting time getting up there; we got lost several times! But we finally made it about an hour and a half before the Mall of America was going to close, and we savored every minute of it. When the stores had closed, we found a restaurant that was still open and spent some time having dinner and chatting. It was really fun! The best part, however, was when we went back to the hotel and played a game that we loved as children! Of course we had to reread the directions, but we had a great time playing "Jewels in the Attic!" We were able to get in a couple more hours of shopping the next morning before we had to get Sarah home for work. We had such a wonderful time!!!

We were also able to sneak in a trip to Madison to visit Brian's brothers and sister. We weren't there for more than a few hours when my mom called about a problem with the bridesmaids' dresses. I had to leave right away to get it straightened out, but Brian was able to stay and get some fishing in with his brother and brother-in-law. He will have to elaborate on the fishing experience.

Katie (my sister) got married on June 22nd, so we spent some time helping prepare for that. It was a very beautiful ceremony and reception. There was a bit of an issue with the unity candles almost burning down the church, but one of the fearless bridesmaids stepped in to save the day by blowing out the candle! The reception was held in a place called the Party Barn. It was decorated beautifully thanks to the parents and everyone who helped put the decorations up! The food was amazing, and we danced all night! Katie looked beautiful right to the end!

The day of the gift opening, I took Sarah to the emergency room to have an ear ache looked at. Of course she had a case of swimmers ear where the doctor recommended that she not submerge her head in any water for at least a week. This was the day before we left on a family trip to the Dells. The entire family (my parents, both of my sisters, my sister's husband, my other sister's boyfriend, and me and Brian) stayed in an amazing room at Glacier Canyon. There are so many waterparks right on site that kept us so busy. One of the days, the boys went golfing, and the girls went shopping! We all had so much fun! On the last day, everyone except my parents went golfing again.

The time that we spent in Wisconsin went by so quickly that we weren't able to get in everything that we wanted to. However, Brian was able to sneak in a couple of quick trips to Cabellas, and I was able to convince Brian and Ross to leave me at the mall one day so that I could spend some real quality time shopping all by myself. I forgot to mention the crazy bachelorette party that Katie had; it was a luau with a Passion Party!

It was really difficult for me to leave when it was time. I miss my family so much when I'm not with them, but I know that I will be able to see them again briefly in October when we are back for Brian's brother's wedding.