Sunday, July 23, 2017

Whittier - the day we stopped fishing and began CATCHING!

Skunked!!!! But at least the drive is beautiful from Soldotna to Whittier. 

Uchi and family patiently wait while I take photos of mtns and seagulls

We've been asked repeatedly up here, if we were "fishing or catching?" Aha - anyone can come fishing up here - but we wanted to be Alaskan Catchers. This goal kept us moving.

To get to Whittier you must drive through North America's longest Vehicle Railroad tunnel - the Whittier Tunnel. For our 38Ft RV/motorhome it was $22 for a round trip ticket.

Next, began the hunt for a spot to park while we fished....Josiah was going home Saturday night, but we planned to sleep over. There are no Fred Myers, Walmarts or Cabellas nearby to boondock. We heard there was a spot up Portage Glacier Road, but we didn't want to take the time to scout it out.  My RV parky ap showed, "Whittier Parking and Camping," to be our only option. It turns out this used to be Creekside Campground. There are some great sites along the creek, which we'll try to score if we stay here again. This is dry camping - $20 a night.  The site wasn't level. It was shaded...and the view was of a mountain waterfall. All in all a win! 
Through my buggy windshield 
Looking down from the campgorund
 While we set up, Josiah went to find a local to glean advice. He struck up a camaraderie with her....they are both from large families. He told her he really wanted to make sure his baby sister caught her first Alaskan Salmon and asked for suggestions of spots. She rattled off a few. He then asked about these being easy for Michael to get into....she caved and gave him the two sites locals like to fish - which I will not publish here. See? I'm becoming a fisherman. 

This was it! Josiah had the afternoon left with us. They all headed out to fish. Yuuki and I set up the inside of Uchi and went out exploring. There wasn't room in Josiah's car for all of us to fit and the fishing hole wasn't in walking distance.  It turns out Josiah texted and offered to come get me, but by that time I was enjoying an Alaskan hike along a river and didn't hear the text.

My first Alaskan hike - some mountain behind Whittier 

It was beautiful. No, I wasn't alone, I had Yuuki. Her collar makes lots of noise and I talked aloud so we were fine. I had a great time and plan to do more of this. I meandered along and had no purpose other than enjoyment. Self-care is not selfish!

 I decided right here, on this hike, I AM planting raspberries in the rear of our property - see if they'll take over the Devil's Club.

Ice water on hot feet...perfect

 Yuuki and I turned our sights on the town of Whittier. A word about Whittier - it's small. It was built by the Army and many of the buildings are still in use around town. I found the history interesting.

Whittier is also a stop on the Alaskan Marine Hwy, as well as jumping off point for Princess Cruises. Many fishing and glacier cruises leave from Whittier.

There is a pedestrian tunnel which takes one from the residential side of town to the touristy/marine side of Whittier. We all walked it Sunday morning before heading back to Anchorage. 

BUT BEFORE THAT - the kids and Josiah and Michael were fishing! They did great at the local fishing hole. It's certainly a pretty place to spend an afternoon.

It wasn't long after they left that I got this video.  Stacia in the foreground, and Alex is catching his first in the background. He's much less expressive. 

Followed by this photo - Stacia landed her first salmon! 
Such JOY! So glad she didn't give up! 

Then she had two! 

 The boys did great too! 
First Alaska Salmons
At this point there were eight caught salmon - but as Josiah and Michal processed them - they brought in four more. 
Michael, Alex, Nolan, Stacia

Josiah devoted his afternoon to making sure Stacia got a fish....he did a lot of instructing and helping and managed to catch one salmon too. Michael caught two. Nolan and Alex each got three and Stacia got four.  Josiah weighed it before putting it in the freezer - 35 lbs of salmon - edible salmon minus the bones, heads and guts.

This is the day they went from Alaska fishing to Alaska CATCHING! 

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