Sunday, September 23, 2012

Summer Updates

So I decided to change the title of my blog to something a little less cheesy.  It may not be as glamorous as other blogs out there, but I'm not a literary genius by any means.  Plus, I'm not sure people are looking a philosophical or spiritual journey as you peruse through my ramblings in life.

I also thought I would give people an overdue update on what I've been up, so here it goes.  My summer started out with me getting licensed for driving a motorcycle.  That's right, I'm road certified.  It's probably going to be while before I own a bike, but some day I will enjoy the freedom of the open road on a motorcycle.  I chose to purchase a car instead, because it was more practical and I couldn't find motorcycle with a side car for Katja.  Once I had the car, the miles just starting ticking off.  A week on the Eastern Shore visiting friends, day fishing trips with Dad, and finally, my trip out west.  My first stop was Ohio to visit my dear friend Erin Schalk.  We kicked it in Uhrichsville, OH for a few days and then headed to Sheridan, IL to pick up our former colleague, Traci Buckle.  I got to do a little bass fishing in Sheridan to help satisfy my fly fishing addiction.  Then onto Hayward, WI for another friend's wedding.  Rachel and John's wedding was awesome and hanging with friends from LKSD and Seattle in a quaint cabin near the Namekagon River was incredible.

After the wedding, Erin and I said farewell for now and continued west through S. Dakota.  A quick detour through the Black Hills area for lunch and a sneak view of Mt. Rushmore and our compass guided us farther into Wyoming and eventually into the Montana.  By the way, Cassie's Steak House in Cody, WY is definitely a place you want to stop for dinner.  Once we got into Montana, my anticipation of more fishing starting giving me the shakes and tremors.  We had to swing through Yellowstone Nat. Park and see the sights.  We entered the park from the east and drove up to the Northern end of the park and then out through West Yellowstone, MT.  There we stocked up on some light groceries and headed up the Gallatin River towards the Greek Creek Campsite where we spent an evening, me fishing and Erin relaxing with Katja and watching me fish.  About a dozen trout later and a good nights sleep, we headed over to the Madison River and I proceeded to get skunked by the mighty trout that lie in Quake Lake.  Then it was onto Gig Harbor, WA where we stayed with Erin Kavanaugh and tried to accept the inevitable.  Erin was catching a plane back to OH, where she was going to be getting ready for her own adventure in Abu Dabi, teaching at an all girls, private school.

I, on the other hand, still had to drive to Bellingham, WA to catch a ferry that would take me to Haines, AK.  I stopped at REI and made it to the ferry with plenty of time to spare.  Katja and I got loaded onto the ferry and then started exploring the deck of the boat only to quickly realize that dogs had to stay in the car deck.  Needless to say, Katja had cramped quarters for 3 days while we sailed up the inland passage of SE Alaska.  She seemed to handle it okay, but I could tell it was getting to her.  I was enjoying deck lodging in my tent, which stayed fairly dry despite all the wind and rain we received.  We stopped in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Juneau, and finally Haines.  Katja and I almost missed the boat on our first stop in Ketchikan.  Literally, it was so close, we almost got turned away from the ferry, which would have meant we buy plane tickets and meet up with the ferry farther along its journey.  But, we made it and we made sure we stayed closer to the ferry terminal from that moment on.

When we got to Haines, we investigated the town a little and decided to stay a night to fish and camp before we jumped back into the car for more cramped quarters.  I got some good tips on the Chilkoot River, so we headed up to the nearby campsite and fished the river for fresh Sockeye salmon.  That was an amazing experience.  Strong current and strong, finicky fish kept my adrenalin pumping.  Although, after one night, we were ready to hit the road and make the long trek around the Alcan, up into Canada, back into AK, through Tok, Alaska, and then down to Anchorage.  We took two days and tried to relax and enjoy the scenery.  It was absolutely beautiful, despite the road surface that tested every ounce of my new car's suspension.  I did receive one nice chip in my windshield, a formal welcome to the Alcan from Alaska.  We spent the night in Tok and also spent some money at Fast Eddy's restaurant.  On the drive down from Tok, I saw a Black bear with two cubs.  Katja was asleep.

We finally made it down to Anchorage, where we stopped briefly to resupply, then continued south towards the Kenai Penn.  We found a couple campsites near the Russian River and fished that for a couple of days.  I found out that Katja does not have the same enthusiasm for fishing that I do, because after 6 hours on the river, she decided to head back down to the car.  Therefore, I had to follow.  She would not turn around and come when I called.  She was done.  So, I had to leave her in the car for the rest of my Russian River adventures.  Fishing on the Russian was fantastic.  I caught many nice rainbows on dry flies.

After 3 days at Cooper's Landing, I headed back up to Anchorage to do some laundry and clean myself up a little before heading back to Bethel and eventually, Eek...aka home.  The Subaru handled the whole trip just fine.  Now she is resting and awaiting our next adventure at Agen's Garage.  I'm looking forward to breaking her out and hitting the snow covered roads along the Seward Highway seeking fresh powder for Katja and I to play in.

Well, I think that wraps it up for now.  Sorry I waited so long and made this post soooooooo long.  Non the less, I hope you enjoyed it.  Until next time, stay adventurous.