I had to come back and post a picture of llechef’s first-ever grizzly sighting; I was too slow on the camera to get a picture, but am lucky she wasn’t! I’m also showing off one of the beautiful silver salmon that ended up coming home with me!
Man, it’s good to have this trip still fresh in my mind; when I got home this morning at 4 am it was still 79 degrees and humid as a sauna; I’m just thinking, "glacier…."
We sure had fun with queenb! She turned out to be the FISH SLAYER DELUXE! Although we couldn’t hook up with any halibut, we slayed the salmon and both of us caught a SHARK out by Montague Island! We let them go…….but they were pretty cool. We saw a humpback whale breaching, dolphins in front of our boat, sea otters, eagles, puffins and I was on the quick when the grizzly bear came lumbering out of the thick brush, onto the rocks, snatched himself a nice salmon, then turned and looked at our boat, paused, and was probably thinking, "Here’s your photo op!!!!" We’ll post the pic of the grizz.
The float plane trip was awesome!!!! Put-put-put-put-put across the lake, up into the sky, looking down on the Kenai and going over to Redoubt Bay. Then to Wolverine Creek where we saw the grizzly bears.
We caught fish, the weather was beautiful, we ate well….and a good time was had by all!
Thanks for bringing back the great memories of our trip too! Lisa and Zeeman are definitely the Host and Hostess with the MOSTEST! It looks like you had a great time.
We just had a 2 week period where the ticket prices had dropped back to the $320 rate we got last winter. It only lasted two weeks on the ‘on-line’ travel thing on AOL and we aren’t ready to make another journey yet, but We will watch for them later because we want to go back and catch some of those Salmon and Halibut also!!
Great pictures! Thanks queenb!
EEk! I almost forgot to post the actual "roadfood" part of my trip! lleechef and I had one really good meal of grilled King Salmon at Gwin’s lodge in Cooper Landing, AK, which has been there since 1952, and it’s in a really neat little log cabin with wooden floors. The fish there was to die for, and we were able to watch the staff in the kitchen preparing meals as we ate.
After three days on Prince William Sound, we came back to Whittier, where we ate in the Sweetwater Cafe, another great choice. Here’s some pictures of a smoked prime rib sandwich, a ‘half and half'(halibut and shrimp)plate, theee best clam chowder I’ve had lately, and lleechef and zman enjoying their meals.
I just got back from my visit with lleechef and zman…I was sort of worried that they’d get sick of me and I’d have to ride on an inner tube behind the boat, but everything went GREAT! They are the best hosts ever!
Here’s lleechef and me (I’m the big one, for anyone who doesn’t know) about to ride out on the floatplane to go fishing and bear viewing (I wasn’t able to get pics of the bear we saw…he took off before I got my camera out).
This is the view from the plane just before we landed at the fishing area, far from civilization. No one lives on this side of Cook Inlet.
There were two little boats that went out into the fishin’ hole. This is the other boat, which didn’t stay too-too close to us.
After we came back from the float plane, we went out into Prince William Sound for three days on Bob and Lisa’s boat. Way out, about 60 miles from port, we came upon this buoy in the middle of miles of water, with these sea lions arguing over possession. These bulls were roaring and grunting, while the poor females and smaller boys swam around the buoy, S outta luck!
Also on the boat, we had some really good meals. They have the coolest grill that fits into the rod holder, and I believe Al the Mayor described the rest of the arrangements. Chef Lisa grilled pork chops the first day, and made a wonderful frittata with tomatoes, cheese, onions andd peppers another day. We also got together on a meal one night; Lisa grilled halibut while I fried some green tomatoes. It doesn’t get any better than this!
Incidentally, we caught one fish short of a limit of silver salmon. What a blast! Lisa and Bob generously let me have the majority of them to bring home, so I now have a several months supply of fish in the freezer.
I had an altogether wonderful trip, and I’d urge anyone who hasn’t been to go see Alaska, ASAP!
If anyone wants to see more, feel free to check it out atjanicepictures.funtigo.com and click on "alaska 2005"[/QUOTE]
Just a quick post here to offer a sincere THANK YOU to Lisa and Bob for their hospitality PLUS during this vacation. We had a great trip. I will begin a new thread for the Trip Report. I will also post three restaurant reviews on the site …the first reviews for places in Alaska. We shot almost 400 photos and I am bleary eyed from sizing and cleaning up the photos already. I will add some of them to the Trip Report and a few to the restaurant reviews.
If anyone is thinking about heading north for a visit, we encourage you to go. The scenery and wildlife is amazing and the hospitality of the folks up there matches any place we have ever visited.
The Mayor and Janet are fine and survived two days out on our boat and they did not end up being halibut bait! I’ll let them tell their tale of the Alaska trip and our gastronomic adventures.
If you ever do make it to Unalaska (aka Dutch Harbor, but that’s wrong) don’t miss the fish tacos at Tino’s or the ahi salad at the Grand Aleutian Hotel.
BT: a few years ago we stumbled upon an exhibition of Rockwell Kent paintings of Arctic scenes, which was his speciality, at the Norman Rockwell Museum in MA. Rockwel Kent was a popular illustrator for magazines in the 30s, but he was also a fine artist who painted the
Arctic like no one before or since. Recommend you look into his work if you love Arctic scenery. Kent, by the way, spent a year of primitive living on an Alaskan island sometime in the 30s.
The naval base in Adak is closed now, there are some fishery-related businesses out there now, but less than 100 people are there. All of the military/community buildings are still there, of course. I was there last year, and it was like being on a planet where everyone has just disappeared and left everything behind – it was eerie!
Back when I wintered over in Antarctica (4 months with no sun), the Navy gave us our choice of where we wanted to go for duty afterward. Believe it or not, the most popular choice was Adak, AK. There were reasons for that–although spouses were not allowed in the Antarctic, families were welcomed in the Aleutians and, in fact, a tour in Adak amounted to a couple of years of "togetherness". But I thought then and still think that some people are just really infatuated with the polar scenery and the experience of it. Having been to Alaska, Norway, Sweden and Labrador myself, besides the Antarctic, I think I’m someone who is.
I got my ticket for around $300 also; last year it was $250, and that’s from Atlanta! [V] You just have to keep an eye on it; I use the Travelocity Fare Watcher a lot; it will watch up to 5 iteneraries for you so you don’t have to fill out all those forms every time. As for hauling back the fish, they won’t let you put ice or dry ice onboard airliners anymore, but I’ve found a way around it. Just use a cooler as part of your luggage (I like one with wheels) and keep your fish iced down until time to head to the airport. Then, if you can’t find a handy place to buy some pre-frozen gel packs, or you have a really long flight, go to the supermarket and buy some frozen Cornish hens or a turkey breast that is vacuum packed, and put it in with your fish. They will tape it closed for you after they inspect it at the airport. I’ve had fish packed up to 12 hours like this, and the chickens never even thawed out and the fish stayed good and cold. Of course, if you have a halibut no way can you use it all fresh anyway, so keep it iced down and go get it flash frozen and vacuum packed the day you head home; there are lots of places in AK that do this and it will be just fine when you get home. Of course they will hold onto it and fed-x it the day after you go home, but don’t faint when you see the bill!
I’m ready to get back up there for sure! I didn’t get to check out Lisa’s skills last time, so that will be something to especially look forward to!
And Al the Mayor, I think you will be happier with the train ride to Seward than the Fairbanks thing anyway. I didn’t ride the train last year, but I did drive up to Denali and down to Seward last trip, and while Denali Park was spectacular, I thought the drive down to Seward was generally more scenic, plus the boat tours are really neat. From what I gather, north of the National Park the scenery is fairly consistent all the way to Fairbanks.
And for Rayme… It was Sept. 14-15 when I went up to Denali last year, and even the park buses were to stop running by the 17th (you can’t drive your own car very far at all into the park, nor do the privately owned buses go in very far)
Almost everything was closed, and the eating places that were open were almost out of everything, and grossly overpriced. There was one good sandwich shop, on the left as you’re heading North close to the Park entrance, and the Talkeetna Roadhouse is good, but I really wished I had picked up some items at a supermarket in Anchorage because the prices around DNP are sky high for even a snack at a convenience store!
We’re out on the Aleutian chain of Alaska, so we don’t get many casual travelers in Unalaska, aka Dutch Harbor. We do, however, have some good restaurants in town, not to mention excellent fishing and a breathtaking, stark and complex beauty that is unique in Alaska and in the world!
A few years ago a friend brought me back about 50 lbs. of halibut that she caught. They froze it, packed it in ice and sealed it in waxed corrugated cartons. It was still frozen when it hit LAX.
Have a great trip! [:D]
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