Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fish Are Jumping And The Cotton Is Nigh

We left Homer on Wednesday morning 6/15 in a cold rain with Seward as our destination for the night. We reached Seward at 4 in the afternoon, thoroughly wet and chilled to the bone. It made us appreciate all the more our warm and cozy rooms at the Bears Den B&B with radiant floor heating. After Dinner at Chanooks, with a beautiful view of the harbor and the mountains beyond, we turned in early and awoke to a fairly sunny day.

Dave snapped this eagle sitting on the pier, looking straight at him as if to say, “are you looking at me?”

On the way out of town, we took a short side trip to visit Exit Glacier, one of many we would see over the next several days. Penny wants you to know that it is her riding clothes that make her look like the Michelin Man, not all of the food we have been consuming.

A little further up the road, another turn-off onto Bear Lake road took us a short distance to the Bear Lake Fish Weir and salmon tagging and rehab project run by the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association. Salmon were lined up far downstream waiting their turn to try and jump and swim up the weir.

Ordinarily, they would be trapped by the hundreds, and the females would be tagged and treated for the virus they are infected with, and then released. Unfortunately, on this day, the hoist on the weir trap was broken, and and few fish were getting through. They were backing up in the stream for hundreds of yards, if not for miles.

The young man standing next to Tulin, probably about 14 or 15 years old, is a summer intern on the project. He was very knowledgeable about the life-cycle of salmon and gave us quite an education in salmon and the work they are doing at the weir.

Here he is attempting to catch a salmon with his bare hands.

Just south of Girdwood is the turnoff to Portage Glacier Recreational Area. You can hike out to the glacier if you are feeling ambitious, or you can do like we did and view it from a distance, across Portage Lake.

The girls were like two sure-footed mountain goats traversing the large rocks at the edge of the lake.
That’s a big chunk of ice from the glacier floating in the lake.

We arrived back at the House of Jade B&B around 6 pm and went out to celebrate our 45th anniversary two days early since the guys and girls were splitting up for three days, and Penny and I would not be together on the 18th. Our original plan called for all four of us to ride from Anchorage to Haines to catch the ferry to Juneau and on down to Prince Rupert, BC. But, after our experience riding the Alcan Highway between Haines Junction and the Alaska border on our way up, we changed the plan and decided to fly the girls to Juneau instead of subjecting them to riding that very rough stretch of road.

After dinner at Simon and Seafort's, we drove around Anchorage for awhile including a drive to the top of Flat-Top Mountain for a view of the city from on-high and this view of Mt. McKinley at about 11:30 pm from 150 miles away.

Parting is such sweet sorrow. The girls were sad to see us depart the House of Jade on the 17th to begin our ride to Haines to catch the ferry on the 19th. We would be reunited in Juneau on Sunday the 19th, and would all get on the ferry for the three-day trip down the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert.

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