Eagle River Weather

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Visiting Friends and Blueberries

We had some good friends from Seattle come and visit in the middle of August and we were fortunate to have several breaks in the weather. We were also fortunate that they were enthusiastic picture takers. Here is the family on the cruise boat on Portage lake with the glacier in the back ground.

We took the ferry from Whittier to Valdez and were blessed with sunny skies, sea lions, humpback whales, and even Orcas that were surfing the wake of the ferry. Valdez didn't disappoint either with it's wall to wall pink salmon running in a local stream. Surprise, surprise we caught a few of these.

On the way over Thompson Pass we pulled off the side of the road and did some scenic blueberry picking. Here are Dunes and Ramona with their daughter doing some serious picking and eating.

The weather did not hold for the entire trip and our one night of actual tent camping ended up being pretty wet. Luckily there was a picnic shelter for some dry cooking and eating. Here are the 3 kiddos in their ducky out fits.

We also spent some time hanging out at the yurt. Here is Ramona engineering the baby train.

It's my second favorite time of year, berry picking season. (ski season being the first) Lots of locals have been complaining about the lack of blueberries around this year, but you just have to know where to go.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dipnetting and Fairbanks

July in Alaska means fish. This Summer, we got our act together and were able to participate in an Alaska resident only fishery, dip netting. You basically stand in belly deep in a river emptying out into the sea with a really large net hoping fish will swim into. Here I am catching the best fish in the sea.

Literally thousands of Alaskans show up at the mouth of the Kenai river for the return of the salmon. We were lucky enough to be there during a 30 year record for the number of fish to return in one day, 230,000, and have excellent weather. If you click on this next photo you can see all the people lined up on the opposite shore. You are literally shoulder to shoulder with the other people fishing.

We caught 25 fish in 2 hours, but netting the fish is just the beginning of the work. Next you have to process them. Here are Nicki and Kaya at their first ever fish cleaning session.

Nicki has the month of August off and we have been taking advantage of it by getting out and traveling. Kaya is already brushing up on her backpacking skills.

We took a trip to Fairbanks to the Tananna Valley fair. Leo has really gotten into roller coaster rides, but we got him to tone it down a bit and ride the ponies.

The raspberries are ripe and abundant. Leo is showing Kaya the ropes on berry picking.

On the way back we were caught in a freak snow storm near Denali park. Leo was very excited to throw the first snow balls of the year.