We have been busy this week, packing in all the fun we can before the kids start school, and before Dave has surgery. The unpacking is mostly done, just enough so that we can justify blowing off the rest of the work and play. We have been hiking, visited with old friends, shopping for the little things we need for the house. Spending lots of time, just our little family. It has been a great week. But today was extra special.
Today was one of those days that will live on in family lore.
We woke up early and it was off to fish. Silver salmon was our target (I say “our” loosely, I don’t fish). Dave and the kids set their gear up on the banks of the Eklutna Trail Race. I stood around, looking good in my fishing hat and polar fleece vest. (I wore pants too, in case you were worried).
Just minutes into the adventure, Kjell got a hit. On his brand new Ugly Stick (this really is a brand of fishing rod, whatever). He reeled in a nice silver salmon, about 22 inches long, 4-5 lbs. Not a huge fish, but a nice one. He was so excited. Dave, Broder and Sunny fished a couple more hours, to no avail. But the sun was shining, the mountains were lovely, those fishing around us friendly and we were having a great time.
Then it was a trip into Palmer through the back roads to gas up the minivan (and wash the fish stink from our hands).
That accomplished, we headed off to Thunderbird Falls. A nice little 2 mile hike. The falls at the end of the trail are truly lovely. Along our hike, we stopped so that Dave the boy scout could give us lessons on edible plants around Alaska. We found high bush cranberries, watermelon berries, Labrador tea, and fiddle-head ferns. Now we could all survive for a day or 2. Whew….
Seeing as the day was gloriously lovely, we decided that we couldn’t stop the adventure (too few days of this kind of sun). So we stopped by the house, dropped our fish in the fridge and headed off to drive down Turnagain Arm. This drive is consistently labeled one of the most beautiful drives in America, and really, it probably is.
We drove, sun shining down on us, mountains to one side, the ocean to the other. We were busy whipping our heads from one side to the other, trying to make sure we didn’t miss a single mountain sheep on the cliffs or whale playing in the water.
We didn’t end up seeing any sheep, but the Beluga whales rolling and cavorting in the inlet made up for that.
We drove home, had time to mow the lawn and pick the raspberries that are ripening in the backyard, before sitting down to a feast of fresh caught salmon. I broke out one if my favorite recipes tonight. Salmon with red-radish dill sauce. I promise to post it later this week. It really is something else.
The kids are tucked into bed now, worn out from a day of fun and frolic. Dave just finished hanging our few pieces of art on the walls, and I am enjoying a glass of wine, listening to some good music, while writing. A great way to end a wonderful day.