For the first time this season, my truck’s windshield had frost on it this morning.
Monthly Archives: August 2017
The images from the Houston area leave one awestruck, and emotionally raw. For someone in the subarctic, 50 inches of rain from one storm is simply hard to fathom.
Fairbanks has seen its own floods, and I’ve written here before of the ’67 Flood, but the devastation in the Houston area is massive, and the recovery will be long and drawn out.
Still, there is hope. Numerous stories are coming out of the area showing the kindness and bravery of strangers helping strangers. We do seem to save our very best for times of disaster.
When it comes to aid organizations, I have no idea which ones get the most bang for the buck, or which ones have the highest “internal expenses”. I did see a post from JJ Watt, the All-Pro defenseman for the Houston Texans. His foundation has a track record of helping people out in their time of need. I posted his video above, and his link will be below. In spite of the fact that Watt is a former Badger, I’m guessing this son of a firefighter will get some bang out of the bucks donated.
The official motto of Seward: Alaska Starts Here
I was finally able to escape for a few days and get some fishing in, so some friends and I headed south to Seward to chase some cohos. The silver run was winding down, but we still hit some pockets, and had a great day out on the water.
Seward’s population is just over 2500, but it swells during the summer with people coming to fish or just see the sights. As many as 40,000 come into the tiny port town for the July 4th festivities, which include the running of Mount Marathon.
In 1793, Alexander Baranov started a fur trading post at Resurrection Bay, where the city now stands. Seward is Mile 0 for the historic Iditarod Trail. In 1964, the city was virtually destroyed by the Good Friday Earthquake, which struck Alaska. Much of the damage was caused by the tsunami that hit immediately after the shaker.
As recently as 2011, Seward was the ninth most profitable fishing port in the U.S. We did all right for a late run. Most of the salmon we caught were silvers, but we hooked into a few pinks as well. In an unfortunate turn, one member of the boat caught a puffin. The first time I had seen that happen. The puffin was deep, probably after some of the chum in the water, and I think everyone was surprised to see feathers break the surface of the water, and not scales, when the puffin was reeled in. We brought the bird on board, and I held the colorful diver, while the boat’s captain removed the hook from its wing. Once released, the puffin flew off with no signs of distress.
After a day of fishing, we hit Thorn’s Showcase Lounge. I apologize to Thorn’s: the first time I saw the building, I immediately thought it was a strip club, and not wholly due to the sign out front that reads: “Bucket of Butts”. Thorn’s does serve up the best halibut in Seward, and they have an extensive collection of old liquor bottles in all shapes and sizes.
While in Seward, we made a trip out to Exit Glacier, which is in Kenai Fjords National Park. Exit, is one of over 30 glaciers that flow out from the Harding Icefield. Although, Exit Glacier is by far the most accessible. It’s a 4.1 mile hike from the visitor center to the edge of the Harding Icefield.
Kenai Fjords is a trip back in time. A series of signs show where the glacier was from 1815 onward. As one gets closer to the glacier, the woods become younger and younger.
The glacier was originally known as Resurrection Glacier, as the glacier’s melt flows into the Resurrection River and finally Resurrection Bay. The first documented trip across the Harding Icefield in 1968, saw the team “exit” the ice field from Resurrection Glacier, and the nickname “Exit” Glacier stuck.
Exit Glacier is retreating in winter now, as well as summer, and it has been since 2006. The sign post showing where the terminus was in 1917, is now approximately a mile from the current terminus. The summer of 2016 set a record for the glacier: Exit retreated 252 feet, the most of any summer since records have been kept. For that year, the glacier saw 293 feet disappear.
Donny Schatz won his 10th Knoxville Nationals title on Saturday. That makes ten victories in the past twelve years, and the eighth driving Tony Stewart Racing #15.
Kyle Larson, who made a strong move at the end, came up short in the third turn on the final lap, to take second.
It’s Wild Alaska Salmon Day and the cohos are starting to run. Grab those rods and get yourself out to your favorite body of water today!
Bogoslof once again went red on Monday morning at 10am. The ash plume extended to 32,000′. The ash cloud from the above photo, from a May eruption, rose to over 40,000′. Since December, Bogoslof has erupted 60 times.
Photo credit: AVO/Dave Schneider