BACK TO ALASKA

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to update the blog, but we have been so bussy since returning to Alaska that I haven’t had time.  It’s been up by 6:30 or 7 to open up the Lodge for our guests and to bed at 9:30 or 10 exhausted.  I have gone to sleep twice trying to get this insert on the web.  We did the last items on the inside of the new office today, put in the tile floor and the floor mouldings.  Jan and Debbie got the store items displayed yesterday, the only thing left is to set up the computer, phone, credit card machine and office papers.  I will show a photo of the inside in the next update.

Now I will try to catch you up on what has been happening up here in beautiful and sunny Alaska!

Travis and Jan on Turnagain Arm

Travis and Jan on Turnagain Arm

5/19/09  We finally got back to Alaska on the 19th of May.  We brought our grandson, Travis Andregg with us for a month to help clean up the park and build a new office.  It was his first trip to Alaska and we planned to show him the sights and maybe catch a few fish.  We stopped on Turnagain Arm for a quick photo of his first visit.

Filling jugs with RV antifreeze

Filling jugs with RV antifreeze

5/20/09  We had to drain all of the RV antifreeze out of the plumbing system for the park before we could turn on the water for the summer.  We had put in 64 gallons in the water system last fall after draining the water.  We only got a return of 28 gallons???  I have no idea where the rest went although some of it we couldn’t get back and had to wash out of the lines with the fresh water.  Obviously we had to run it quite awhile.  Good thing we have our own well!

moosewater5/23/09  Travis was sitting in his Dad’s camper one evening talking to his Dad on the cell phone when this moose walked by the camper and headed over to Johnson lake for a refreshing swim.  Of course Travis was excited, this being his first moose.  He ran got our camera and chased the moose over to the lake as the moose was going in for it’s evening bath.  He ran around the lake snapping pictures as the moose swam across and saw it climb out of the lake and disappear into the forest.

New carport tent

New carport tent

5/25/09  We were in need of storage for the park and the frame with the plastic blue tarp was just not going to work this year.  We bought a new carport tent from the local discount store and Jan, Travis and Jon spent an afternoon putting up the tent which was guaranteed to be installed in 30 minutes (obviously after you have put up a thousand of them and had all the pieces). We were missing a critical arm of the upper frame, but made due until we were able to get a replacement.

Unloading Halibut boat in ocean

Unloading Halibut boat in ocean

6/1/09  As a special birthday present for Travis, we took him on a Halibut trip with our favorite Halibut Captain, Don Erwin.  We entered the Cook Inlet via a tractor pull at Deep Creek.  The tractors hook up to the boat trailer and back the trailer onto the beach and into the ocean where the boat floats off the trailer and departs.  On the return, the tractor hitches to the trailer again, backs it into the ocean and the boat drives back on the trailer where it is pulled back up to the road for the trip home.

Travis with King Salmon

Travis with King Salmon

We had a good day!  Travis caught his first King salmon trolling along the beach south of Deep Creek.  Here he and Don Erwin are showing off his salmon to the rest of us in the boat.   Then we went Halibut fishing with a great deal of success also.  We caught twelve Halibut, two cod and a flounder between the six of us.

Halibut catch

Halibut catch

Travis' birthday

Travis' birthday

6/2/09  It was Travis’ birthday and he was greeted with streamers at the door of our Park Model at breakfast time.  We didn’t do much celebrating, continuing to work on the office during the day, but we took him out to Buckets (the local sports bar/hamburger joint) for dinner that evening.

New storage unit

New storage unit

6/4/09  The carport was a good idea and it really helped, but we did need something more permanent and larger.  We found a place in Anchorage that sold used Conexes and purchased a 40 foot one.  They brought it down with a truck and installed it on 6 x 6 treated wood rails that Travis and Jon had leveled in place.  It has a lot of permanent, secure storage.  The 4-Wheeler will fit in there very nice in the winter along with all the other things we need to store.

Camming trip

Camming trip

6/5/09  This was a good week for very low tides (-5 feet below normal) so we decided to go clamming.  Unfortunately, Travis’ camera wasn’t functioning while we were out clamming so Jan didn’t get any photos of him digging the clams, but we were able to take a photo with our camera when we got back to the truck.  It only took us about half an hour to get 35 really nice clams which were cleaned when we got home.  They were very good for dinner that night.

travoffice

6/8/09  We were busy working on the office.  I was doing the inside while Travis was putting the siding up on the outside.  We had decided to move it out of the main Lodge to give us more room for our guests.  So we just added another room on the porch to accommodate it.  It’s almost 8 feet wide and 16 feet long.

Travis at office window

Travis at office window

6/10/09  Travis finished with the siding for the office and had to add our new logo created by his Dad to the  office window.  KASILOF RV is in the shape of a fish in yellow and black on the window, but on our new van it is red and green just like a mature Sockeye salmon.

Travis' first red salmon

Travis' first red salmon

6/12/09  They just opened the Russian River to fishing a few days earlier and they were saying what a great run that they were having.   We decided to let Travis experience ‘Combat Fishing!’ and took him up to the Ferry the evening of the 12th.  It wasn’t long before he caught his first red salmon and was thrilled.  As you can see by the fishermen behind him, he was not alone trying to catch the salmon.  You fish with only enough space between you and the next fisherman to bring your line into the bank.  Often when you hook a fish it is lost to someone else cutting across your line and knocking the fish off your hook.  Other times the hook releases before you can get the fish to shore or you might have it hooked someplace other than the mouth and have to release it.

Travis fishing with brown bear across river

Travis fishing with brown bear across river

This is a great shot of Travis fishing for salmon with a brown bear across the river from him.  It had been there most of the evening either feeding on fish scraps, catching it’s own salmon or feeding on the salmon that the fishermen lined along the area had caught and put on a stringer.  Note that it is getting toward evening and is actually about 9:30 pm.  Travis had caught 20 to 25 reds by this time, all but two lost or released.  Finally after a few more casts, he caught his last one to achieve his limit of three.  We all had a good day catching our limit of three.

Travis and Jan at Homer Overlook

Travis and Jan at Homer Overlook

6/15/09  We try to take all our family down to Homer at least once while they are visiting and today was Travis’ turn.  Homer is at the end of the Highway 1, the most westward continuous highway in North America.  Homer is the Halibut fishing Capital of the World, so they say and is known as ‘A quaint little drinking town with a fishing habit’. Unfortunately it was cloudy so we weren’t able to really see the mountains and glaciers across Kachemak Bay from Homer.  Here Travis and Jan were standing on the overlook above Homer and the Bay.  The Spit is seen sticking out in the Bay to the left of Travis.

The Salty Dawg Saloon in Homer

The Salty Dawg Saloon in Homer

And everyone gets their photo taken in front of the Homer Spit landmark, The Salty Dawg’, a drinking hole!  Travis and Jan are standing in front of the log cabin bar and note the eagle perched on top of the lighthouse.

Travis in a Tux!

Travis in a Tux!

6/20/09  Who is that young man in the Tux?   Why it is our favorite Travis with his hair cut for his sister Nicole’s wedding!   He cleans up good!  We had a great time with him and really appreciated all the work he did getting the RV park ready for the summer visitors.