Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fall/Winter Updates

It's been a while since we've blogged. This is an update from October and November of miscellaneous adventures. Snow has come down the mountains and we're solidly in winter. We currently have 6 hours and 45 minutes of daylight (per the newspaper). Temperature has been in the teens. This picture is from a recent drive between Anchorage and Seward in a town called Cooper Landing.

Winter wind storms...winds in our neighborhood had been clocked at 80 mph. At 5am we heard a "thud" to find that one of our trees had fallen on our roof. About a week later Chris decided that it couldn't stay for damage to the house thankfully!

Dan Clausen (Chris' childhood friend and the person who introduced Chris and I) took a break from his job as a figure skating coach on cruise ships to do a little "late season" fishing with us...

Fishing Day #1 on the Kenai River. Surprise - there were very few other boats around us. No fish were caught. It was quite cold outside...

Inside, Jen found the weather quite nice. We had our "Buddy Heater" cranked up and the sides down on the boat, turning the boat into a bit of a sauna. The guys were shivering outside, while Jen was shedding layers inside and doing some studying... this is my kind of winter fishing!

Fishing Day the boat never made it to the river that day. A snowstorm took us by surprise. (Don't let them know that they're not going to catch any fish this way!)...

Fishing Day #3: This time I didn't go along. Dan DID catch one fish that day (one small rainbow). The river was gorgeous and QUIET...something that just doesn't happen during the summer fishing season.
I did a recruiting trip for the Alaska Family Medicine Residency down in Portland, Oregon at OHSU (where I went to med school). It was a bit odd giving a "lecture" to med students in the same lecture hall where I used to get lectured to! I stayed overnight at Bob and Christine's house (THANKS!) and, while the "parents" were away, threw a party at their house with many of the boat friends that I had not seen since we threw off our bowlines in Oregon and moved to Alaska.

Tammy, Toni, Dan, and Tammy...Jen and Kim...
The first week in November, Chris went on a deer hunting trip to Kodiak, Alaska with his dad, brother Travis, and good friend Steve. This trip involved a one-hour bush plane ride from the city of Kodiak to an isolated lake. They were blessed with 8 deer between them and a few bear scares but no dangerous encounters. Here is Trav, Pa Hyer, and Chris with the airplane that took them to their hunting camp.
Chris, Terry, Travis, and Steve on Kodiak Island.

-A note or two here from the mighty hunter: My extreme dislike of being airborn nearly caused me to keep my name out of this hunt. Kodiak in November is typically stormy with lots of wind, snow, and rain...providing flights that can range from very unpleasant to shear terror. However, this was the last opportunity until next fall to provide wild game for the freezer, and so I booked my flight. All the anxiety was fortunately wasted this time as flights to and from were spectacular- and even fun flying in the vintage Dehavilland Beaver. From the air we saw bears, goats, and even whales as we skirted the rugged coast line of Kodiak Island. We has reserved a forest service cabin which made sleeping much easier as Kodiak's bear population density is 1 bear per square mile. We saw 14 brown bears, one of which was hovering around the cabin on our last night. We were fortunate to not have any bad encounters, though many people have this year. Our pilot cautioned us that the bears were particularly grumpy and to be extra cautious. I could write pages of stories of our week long hunt and philosophize on my view of hunting, but I won't. I took my limit of three deer and we got eight total which is good hunting and will help feed four families for a year. Aside from the steak, we made burger, brats, and pepperoni from the meat. I am thankful to the deer and glad to have a full freezer.
Chris and Trav taking a walk while waiting for the airplane to pick them up:

Chris in front of the Vera Lake Cabin in Willow, Alaska. A wonderfully rustic place to escape for cold winter weekends. We heat with a wooden stove, chop through the ice to get our water, and use kerosene lamps for light. The weekends are spent sleeping in, reading, eating, and taking saunas.

Chris with his 1978 Chevy. We drove into the cabin this weekend. Later in the winter season we'll have to ski in, with sleds behind us with our food/water/gear.

That's all for now. We hope that everyone has a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Love the pix. I am so ready to come back for another visit! You and Chris have a great Thanksgiving!!