View of Anchorage from Flattop Mountain
View of the Kachemak Bay from the Homer Overlook
Jesse Elmore with his Halibut
Irish Lord Fish
Portage Glacier and Lake BelowFriday in Girdwood was probably the best day of all in terms of weather. The sun was shining and lots of blue sky. I left my little rented chalet and drove to Anchorage to meet with Jesse for our trip back down the Kenai Peninsula. I was able to take some pictures around Anchorage and got some especially good shots around a park with a lake in it called Cheney Lake. Autumn has already arrived in Alaska and the leaves are beginning to change colors. The locals are dreading another long winter but it is inevitable. They will probably have their first snow within the next 2-3 weeks (around the first of October) and it will not melt until around the first of May. That is a long time with snow! Jesse and I headed down the Seward Highway and spent the night with his parents. When we arrived Jesse's dad and brother (Mike) were making final preparations to leave on a moose and bear hunting trip up in the Tok area (east - central Alaska). It took them about 10 hours to get to their hunting grounds and they plan to stay there for 2 weeks. On Saturday morning, we wished them luck and watched them pull away in a big Ford F350 diesel pulling an 20+ foot trailer with two 8 wheeled ATV's in which they would drive the last 15 miles back off of the road to their camp. Talk about remote!! After waving goodbye, Jesse and I headed south to his Uncle Dave's house where we helped him hook his boat and trailer to his truck and continued south to Homer, Alaska. Homer is on the southern-most tip of the peninsula on the Kachemak Bay. Another absolutely stunning scene unfolded as we pulled off at the overlook and saw the little town and the bay and the mountains all around. The pictures just cannot do it justice. After buying bait and preparing the boat, we launched and headed out in the bay looking for the famous Alaskan halibut. Halibut are bottom dwellers and are known to frequent the depths. It is not unusual to fish for them in 100 - 300 feet of water or more. A simple hunk of herring on a huge hook taken to the bottom by a pound of lead was the rig. Fishing was slow. Dave was not a fishing guide but fished a lot. He said we would just have to try different spots until we found the fish. We caught little, in fact Jesse, my gracious host was the only person to boat fish. He reeled up one decent sized halibut but also caught 2 sharks and an Irish Lord fish (see my pictures - it is the ugly one with the big mouth). I caught nothing but felt lots of bites and nibbles. It was still a magnificent trip. I hope to have the opportunity to do it again. We spent the night at the Elmores and went to church with them on Sunday morning before Jesse and I headed back to Anchorage. On the way to Anchorage we stopped by the Portage Glacier for some photo ops. There were still huge hunks of ice in the lake at the foot of the glacier. We also spotted a bunch of spawned out salmon in a stream nearby. The fish are just in the last hours of life after expending their energy swimming upstream to spawn. Once the task is complete they die. Many had already done so making the area reek of dead fish. Still, it was cool to see! Sunday night we cooked some of the halibut (my absolute favorite fish to eat!) Monday morning we got up and ate at Snow City Cafe. It was a wonderful breakfast place. I had eggs benedict over salmon cakes. It was real good! As I write this I am waiting to go to the airport to board my plane and head back home. I dread the long overnight flight but am really looking forward to seeing my family again. The Alaskan Adventure was wonderful but cannot compare to one hug from Lenore, Anna and Lizzy. There is nothing better than that! I can't wait to see Sam later this month too. I really miss that boy! Thank you for reading my blog and keeping up with my adventure. Thanks also to the Northeast Church of Christ whose elders and members made this possible by granting me the opportunity to make this happen. I can't imagine working for a better group of people!