2005 Alaska Trip

Thursday September 29, 2005 7:00 a.m.

Things went smoothly yesterday as I left the airport in T.c., on to detroit, then to minneapolis. When I got to minneapolis I had a 3 hour layover but as I got off the plane I checked the flight schedules and saw there was a plane leaving for anchorage in 15 minutes, so I high tailed it across the airport and made it there as they made last call and sure enough they got me on that flight. I figured I would rather spend another 3 hours in anchorage than in minneapolis even though I knew my baggage would be on the other flight. On all 3 flights to anchorage I was holding my gps in the window of the plane, it was pretty cool to see exactly where you were while up in the air plus I learned a couple things, those big planes take off about 150 mph and land at about 130, cruising speeds were between 400 and 540 and the highest elevation we were at was 40,000 feet. When we left detroit I would have thought they would shoot straight for minnesota but they went north to saginaw where I could see the midland airport and across mt pleasent, big rapids and ludington….. on the way to alaska we flew over north dakotak, up past edmonton, white horse and the northwest territories. The snow capped mountains and frozen rivers and glaciers were awsome looking as we flew over the northwest territories, the sky was clear and sunny and I took alot of pictures that I think turned out o.k. from the plane.

It was 3 alaska time when I got here so I hopped a bus and went downtown, its been 6 years since I was down there but still seems to be a lot of panhandlers working the streets, they mostly look like they are I would say eskimoes. Got back to the anchorage airport to get my baggage and grab my next flight to Fairbanks. Checked my bags thru and made it up to fairbanks by 8. It was 50 degrees and rainy in anchorage but 30 and snowing when I got here. It was there first snow of the season and it just made things a little white overnight. I have a customer here who has bought shirts from me for a long time and I came here to deliver her order to her. She picked me up at the airport last night. She has a bar here in fairbanks called reflections. So today Connie is taking me back to the airport and I am heading back to anchorage this afternoon. We stayed at reflections till about midnight which is 4 michigan time so I was ready for some sleep, but the 4 hour change still had me up at 4 here this morning and I tried to get back to sleep but finally gave in and came out for a walk which put me at this coffe shop in downtown fairbanks……. Getting here went so perfectly until I went to get my baggage in fairbanks, one of my bags didnt make it so they are bringing it the motel this morning, so thats about if for now, just out walking and window shopping……….

One other thing, on the gps when we left minny, it said 2519 miles to anchorage and I could watch it count down all the way to the landing, only off by about 500 feeet………

Thanks for checking in. Pete

Thursday, September 29, 2005 9 a.m.

Now it’s 9am and as luck would have it I went to upload this update and the wireless server here is not working right so I will have to find another place to upload this, I had to go back to the motel to grab my flash drive and took a cab back there as it was a couple mile walk to here, so after I left the motel to come back downtown being the cheap guy that I am I thru my thumb out to hitch a ride back downtown and a nice old black guy in about a 72 cherokee that I can best describe as Fred Sanford stopped and picked me up. He was on his way to the post office and to the beer store to get his lady friend some beer. He said she likes to have beer when she wakes up…..so anyways off again to see if I can find another way to upload this story……………

Friday September 30, 2005

After yesterday mornings last stint at the coffee shop trying to get the update on I met a guy named Justin who came into the coffee shop and he was delivering weekly papers to places in fairbanks, we got to talking and next thing you know I was heading off with him as he made his rounds dropping off papers. His hobby that he liked to do is called skijouring…..Its the use of sled dogs but not with the regular mushing sled, they hook a harness to the dogs and get pulled on skis or in the summer they practice by having the dogs pull them on a bicycle. The morning went by fast and my bag was finally delivered to the room from the airlines. It was now early afternoon and I went back over to reflections to give Connie the rest of her order and so she could take me back to the airport. She made me a really nice fleece blanket with geese and ducks on it that she had just finished making. So off we went back to the airport where I checked in for my flight back to anchorage. Its about 375 miles between the 2 cities but only a 50 minute flight. At anchorage I switched planes again and headed for Cordova. You cant drive to Cordova, only fly or come by boat as it sits about 200 miles southeast of anchorage on Prince William Sound. I was picked up at the airport here by my friend Ed Bilderback and his friend John from north carolina. We came back to the house here and had a great dinner of baked silver salmon that John had caught earlier in the day. Later on another John and his son Mike came in from goose hunting. We stayed up late telling stories and looking at pictures. The time thing still has me messed up as its 6:30 a.m. right now and I have been up a long time already and its still pitch black out. The flight over here was over many more snow capped mountains and glaciers and I cant wait to get out there and see things today. Ed has a little Jack Russel named nugget who likes to tangle with the bears, he lets you know if there is one out in the yard and little nugget thinks hes tough enough to take them on….. So till later on and as Ed would say over and out………

Friday 30th 10:00 p.m.

Its been a rainy day here in cordova, early this morning we took a walk around town and checked things out and looked at the boats in the harbor, mostly fishing boats and the big fish cannery is in town. John,Mike and I went out in early afternoon looking for ducks and explored along a river. No ducks but I did find a eagle feather and saw some seals and sea otters. I looked down from a bridge and said wow I cant believe all the way out here in the wilderness and there was plastic bags floating in the water. Well forgive me for being new in town but I was informed those werent plastic bags they were jelly fish……we headed out again around 5 tonight looking for ducks, still no ducks but we did see several eagles and 2 moose. The one moose was about 30 yards from us…..saturday morning we are heading out on a boat to hawkins island just across the bay here to deer hunt. There are some tall mountains on that island and hopefully we can land a deer or two…..The first John left to go back home tonight to north carolina, he was an interesting guy, a professor of fisheries, ecology, & zoology with NC State University. Ed filled us full of his countless stories of his life all day. This morning it was duck breasts and eggs for breakfast and tonight Ed cooked up some great moose steaks…..time to hit the sack and hope for the best for morning……over & out…..from the bilderback camp….

Sunday October 2, 2005 6:30 a.m.

We were up yesterday morning and headed out with McKenna on his boat to go to Hawkins Island. Cordova is primarily a commercial fishing town and the boat we were on is a 30′ gill netting boat. He runs 900 feet of netting on it and can carry 20,000 pounds of fish. It was a nice calm morning as we headed out of the harbor, and even though hawkins seems pretty close it decieving on how big that island is. Its about 20 miles long by 3 miles wide and we went all the way around to the far south side which was about a 45 minute run to a spot called whiskey cove. It was low tide so McKenna said if we just leave the boat up close to shore we would be o.k. by the time we got back in the evening. John, Mike and I were bowhunting and Mckenna headed out with his rifle. I started out up this stream and quite a ways up it turned to a canyon with a waterfall, which then made it hard to make it up the sides but I found a small stream that I pulled my way up thru the trees to start heading up the mountain. The forest was thick and covered with hanging moss all over. It reminded me of pictures that my friend Charlie had showed me of him hunting out here years ago. As I made my way thru the trees I finally came into a meadow and worked my way along the meadows from one to the next trying to call a deer in to me. Ed had showed us the right way to call the deer into us. The calling seemed to work for everyone but me as I never saw a deer all day. I did see alot of signs of deer but not even a hair and also found fresh evidence of a bear in the area. When I did sit down to rest I would move out a ways to the middle of the meadows so nothing could sneak up on me. John,Mike & McKenna had all hunted with Ed over the years and they all said that even though they had all hunted bear and been close many times that the bear they dont think about encounters till they happen and mostly they just scare them off if they are not hunting them. Those guys are all Alaska residents and had tags for black and brown bear but never saw any. When I first got up to my first meadow I thought for sure I saw a brown bear down the way staring at me, I watched and swore I saw it move and my heart rate picked up,,,but it just turned out to be a short tree filled with moss. At the top of the mountain the view was great with the ocean in the back ground and more snow covered mountains. When I got back down to the boat the other guys were there and they were all wet, it seems that the tide had come in and was going back out, they got there just in time to be able to push the boat back into the water otherwise it would have been high and dry and according to the tide charts we would have been stuck there till tuesday when the tide came in that high again. When we parked McKenna had read the wrong tide chart so it would have been interesting. Those guys each got a deer and we loaded up to head back to the harbor. Coming back around the island and just before the harbor is a little island call spike island, this spot is where Ed sunk his boat that he called the Valiant Maid about 2 years ago. He had that boat for over 50 years, anyways there were hundreds of sea lions at that point and we stopped and took some pictures. So it was a great day on the island and even though I didnt see anything it was alot of fun. Unfortunately I have to leave here today and another of Eds friends called this morning and offered to take us back to the island for another day of hunting…..sure wish I could go….Ed is a great guy and is a great and gracious host and has shown me a great time. We really wanted him to go out with us to the island but he says now that he is getting older he needs to get his legs back in shape…he is 79….So I need to get my stuff packed up and head back to anchorage today…………

Sunday Night October 2, 2005

I sure hated to leave Captain Eds this morning in Cordova, he showed me such an incredible time. What a great guy and host, he even said that he wished he would have hunted yesterday with us on hawkins island.. He took me out to the airport and I caught the flight back to anchorage where I met up with the guys from Grayling. I had about a 2 hour layover to catch the next fligth on the journey to Kodiak Island which is where I am typing this at. I met up with Randy Thompson, Terry Bloomquist, Dave & Curt Jansen and Marco Cucco who is fresh out of Italy a few years ago till he met up with and married Randys daughter. We left anchorage and had about a 250 mile flight south to Kodiak. We are here at the Beaver Creek Lodge which has incredibly plush accomodation. I am typing this on their beautiful sportsman room. Just in this room, there is a nice big brown bear rug on the wall, a mountain goat, nice fish mounts, moose antlers, cozy firelplace and nice big screen….You can check out the place online at www.BCLODGEKODIAK.com Ron and Judy are our hosts here. All of the guys have been busy repacking their bags as monday morning we all head out on 4 wheelers to ride out to a camp which will be our home for the next few days. Dale Stratton will be our guide down at that camp and will take the other 5 guys fishing while I still lurk out in the woods waiting for the deer to come by so I can get an arrow off….the big catch is that there are brown bears here too,,,,actually Kodiak Brown Bears, the biggest meanest most ferocious bears in the world. Now after spending a few days with Captain Ed and listening to his words of wisdom I feel like I am prepared for the encounter. I guess thats easy to say but I wonder how much my feelings on that will change if the encounter really happens. I am supposed to stay calm, face him, talk to it, and dont back down, supposedly they are scared too but they have dignity and dont want to show it so you face them down, dont run, if they continue to approach fire a warning shot into the ground in front of them, then if that doesnt work dont miss on the next shots. All this happens with a 1600 pound bear 20 feet in front of you in a matter of seconds, so hopefully it will go as it should, or maybe I wont see any at all……There wont be any updates while we are out at the camp till either late wed or thursday…..I will be righting notes out there and then update after we get back into Kodiak. Seem to me that if I wanted to shoot a deer so bad with a bow I could do it right in frederic and there isnt the fear factor there……nah, thats no fun, I just hope I can come back to do an update this week……Over and Out, Pete

Wednesday night October 5, 2005

We made it back here to the lodge tonight about 7 oclock and headed out for dinner. Its been a great 3 days, I have kept notes the past few days so I will put them down under here by day by day, in looking at some of the other updates I have done I see that I have alot of spelling mistakes, I do know how to spell but I get in a big hurry so please forgive my incorrect grammer…….. so here it goes…

Monday October 3, 2005

We started out this morning by loading up and going to reload where Dale had the 4 wheelers parked. We were like a mule train getting the seven machines loaded with all our supplies. We headed out down the saltry creek trail. It was 16 miles of 4 wheelin thru rocky river beds and trails up thru the mountain pass and then back down to saltry cove. Incredible scenery and rough bumpy riding. We passed thur many stream crossings and up and down steep terrain. It took two and a half hours to travel the 16 miles and its some tough going getting there. We got to the cabin that was back there and thru our stuff off. Randy, Terry, Curt, Dave and Marco headed out fishing and I rigged up my bow to head out and look for deer. I had my 44 magnum side arm at my side to ward off any unwanted encounter with a bear, so off I was heading down the trail and not 100 yards from the cabin I came across bear tracks on the road. I worked my way down the trail and it went along the river. Lots of dead salmon that have completed there cycle and alot of others swimming by. I came to a river crossing that I thought was to deep to cross so I rested for a bit and was regrouping my things when thru the bushes I could see something brown in the river just up from me, my heart rate immediately shot up. The brush was thick and I couldnt believe this was happening already,,,but as I looked at the brown spot harder I figured out that it was a rusty 55 gallon barrel,,,I still wonder how out there in the middle of supposedly no where that could be there. Back on down the trail I found a big tree with an arm sticking out on it that looked like a good spot by a deer run. It was so covered with moss that I thought I would hop up there and watch that trail for a while. I got pretty comfy up there and after a while I heard a 4 wheeler coming and the guy had 3 deer on it…he never saw me and I was wondering when my turn would come. After standing in the tree for a while I decided to go down to the river and see if I could shoot some fish with my bow. Lots of dead ones along the banks and I must have shot 20 times and never connected with a fish. The erie thing was that there were lots of bear tracks and fresh piles from bear along there, many of the fish had been freshly stripped and you just know the bear had just recently been there. After a while of being down there I had the feeling that I should get out of there, well just as I was getting ready to head out of there a guy came along on a 4 wheeler and told me that there was a bear just down around the bend heading my way….I was glad he stopped and was there but something before that told me to get out of there. I went back up to my tree and never saw a deer but in a while the guys came back by from fishing and I hitched a ride back to the cabin with them. They had caught their limit on Silver salmon and did catch and release on arctic char and dolly varden plus they had seen one bear. We went back and got settled in at the cabin and it rained hard all night long.

Tuesday October 4, 2005

We got up in the morning and the guys were ready for fishing and I was itching to head out with my bow and climb the mountain…I took the 4 wheeler down a couple miles from the cabin where you could see the trail heading up into the clouds….I headed off and it took me about an hour and a half to reach what I thought was the top, As luck would have it there was a pot hole up there and I hunkered down in there for a rest and a sandwhich, it was blowing upbelievably hard and had been raining all morning. I had on full rain gear and my feathers were shrinking up on my arrows because they were soaked even though I had plastic bags on them. The trouble with wet shrunken feathers on your arrows is that they shoot faster and higher and makes it harder yet to make a shot….After a while in the pot hole I saw the next peak up which I figured to be the real top of the mountain, moving slowly along I made it to there, no signs of deer or bear because they were probably smart enough to not be there in weather like that. This peak after peak thing went on for about 10 or 12 more and another 5 hours, then I finally figured out that hey there probably is no real top, it just goes on for ever, the higher I got the harder it blew and the rain was still coming, from some of the peaks I could look down over the valley and see the roof of the cabin and saltry cove and the ocean way out there, then the clouds and fog would move in and there would be just ghostly images out there, still no signs of wildlife of any kind out there. When I finally decided that I wasnt going over any more peaks I was to a part where it was like shear cliffs going straight down. I sat there for a while for another rest and down in the ravine below me I spotted 2 deer walking, I got out my binoculars and checked them out. I made a couple deer calls and they heard and turned and looked and then kept on up the hill, then I saw another one coming along behind them, they all took the same trail and I thought I could get up around and in front of them, so off I went after them and not 100 feet from where I started from the strong winds blew my hat off my head down into the ravine. It took me a while to spot it down there and I thought I should just let it go, well then looking at it I figured I could get down there to get it if I was careful. I lined my se lf up on some shrubs in case I started to slide that they would catch me and its a good thing I did that because I did slide and they did catch me. That happened twice and then I was down lower than the hat and I had to climb back up to it. After getting back to it I pretty much had to follow the exact same path that I had seen the deer on and it seemed like a well traveled path. I had to pull myself back up to the plateau only to find that I had gone down far enough that when I got back on to what I thought would be good ground there was another deep crevase and I had to climb up and around that one. By now I figured those deer were long gone. Made it to the top of the crevase and then started out again and came into another one…..That must have taken me another hour and after working around that one I could see the hill with the pot hole on it off in the distance, the gps said it was only .24 miles away but it took a little over an hour to get to it…..all working sideways on the hill trying to head for it…..if I would have had a shot at a deer back in there it would have taken a helicopter to get it out,,,made it back to the pothole for a rest and trying to warm up a bit, the rain stayed mostly all day long and I was pretty wet by this time. Made it back to the 4 wheeler after almost 8 hours on the mountain and headed back, had a deer cross me on the trail and it stopped almost long enough for me to get an arrow out after it but I wasnt quick enough. Got back to the cabin and the guys had caught lots of fish again. It was time to get dried out.

Wednesday October 5, 2005

We got up and I decided I should try a day of fishing with everyone. I have never been very good at fishing but we had breakfast and headed out but of course I had to bring my bow along too. The first hole we stopped at on the river I rigged up my rod and it didnt take long and I had a nice big silver salmon on. We got it on video, my first fish caught in alaska, it must have weighed 10 to 12 pounds. It was pretty exciting , what a fight that thing gave me. The banks of the river are so covered with dead and rotting fish its a pretty ugly sight and smell, but those fish are really biting. All of us were catching fish and repeatedly, Marco did very well as did most of us….those things fight and pull and tire you out but it is alot of fun. We had our limit in no time, I didnt see anything to use my bow on and by lunch time we were back at the cabin. It was time to start getting packed up and clean thing up to come back into Kodiak. Saltry Cove is about 25 to 30 miles southeast of Kodiak. We had most everything ready and the guys were still getting thing together so I decided to head out on a 4 wheeler ride by myself to see if I could find a deer. I figured I had about 45 minutes before everybody was ready to go, after about 10 minutes out I saw a bear about a hundred yards out high tailing down along the river banks, I dont know if he was running because of me but the good part is that he was running away……so I continued down along the trail and off to my left I saw a deer standing in the woods. I stopped the bike and got off, walking toward the deer it ran in front of me and stopped in the brush, I sent an arrow after it and it hit a branch and shot off into the air, so the deer moved a little more and I sent another arrow, again a richochet, I did this 2 more times and it just moved a little further and I only had 4 arrows, I couldnt belive I just had shot so many time and not a decent shot at all. I was pretty excited and nervous and was now looking on the ground for my arrows. The deer had moved offinto the field behind the brush about 25 yards out, besides having shrunken feather it was a tough shot thru the brush but now I had calmed down enough to check out the brush where I found a hole I figured I could shoot thru so now I took my time and aimed thru the opening in the brush and wow,,,I connected with the deer.,,,, I did everything right that time thinking about my shot and aiming low because of the shrunken feathers. I saw it run off and waited a bit then went down and looked and found blood right away. I went back and got the guys, I didnt want to lose the blood trail because it was raining and would wash it away. Randy, Terry and I started tracking it and darn if that Italian Marco didnt walk across the field and found it before we followed the trail to it. So I didnt think that I was but they said I was pretty excited. The other thing with getting a deer here is that you need to get it out of the woods before a bear picks up on it or you have no deer. So we took pictures and got it ready for the ride back. I tied it to my bike which was already loaded and ready for the track back to kodiak. We headed off back down the rocky trail towards town, with all the rain in the past few days there was lots of water to cross thru. Even riding thru those crossing on the 4 wheelers with waders on the water would come half way up to your knees. The trail built thru there was built a long time ago and what culverts there are along it are made out of wood and many of them are broken apart and hard to get across. It must of took us 3 hours to get back out there and I had to retie the deer on my bike several times. One thing about alaska is that you can shoot 6 deer so I hope to get out in the morning and try again. As many of you know I collect old bear bows and the bow I used was a 1954 Bear Polar. It’s a 54 pound bow and it proved that even though its 51 years old ( yes thats older than me) it still does the job. That deer didnt go 30 yards. We made it back to the lodge for some dinner and I hit the hot tub for a while and then go to this update. It seems that Dave and I are the last ones left awake, all the other guys are in bed.

Thanks for checking in. Pete

Friday morning October 7, 2005

Its early morning here at the Beaver Creek Lodge and we are all just starting to get moving. Yesterday I got dropped off on the way towards town where there were deer up on a mountain. I started out up the mountain known as old woman. It didnt take me very long to figure out that it was going to make and old man out of me. It was some of the thickest area that you could ever possibly find. A constant struggle all the way up of pushing my way thru 5 foot tall brush, briars, and scraggly short trees that grow along the ground. Only making it 5 to 10 steps at a time and trying to get around countless gorges and ravines. About half way up in a small clearing one deer appeared just out a little ways. Theres know way I would have ever taken a shot at anything in there as there would have been no way to get it out plus anything that can survive in that environment should be left alone. I cant believe that even a bear could have made it thru that stuff. Each time I would rest I would wait for my heart rate to come back down and my bow had become more of a cane and walking stick. Trying to walk at an angle and up on the hill it was finally looking like I was a few hundred feet from the top and here came a big gorge again so the only way left was up a 60 degree bank which was grabbing things and pulling my way up, at least the brush was a little thinner towards the top, then the angle went to 75 to 80 and it was litterally crawling,pulling and pushing to make it to the top. Boy was I a happy camper when I made it to the top,and a peanut butter sandwhich was a great thing to have then.The altitude was about 1100 feet and it took 4 and a half hours to get to that point. By now it was 2 oclock and I figured I had 6 hours of daylight to work my way back to the bottom. Walking along the top ridges there were lots of deer runs and you could see Kodiak off in the distance, it was pretty easy walking for the next hour thru canyons and passes, very quite scenic and serene. I was heading south and down hill a bit and then down below I could see buildings and the road I came off of. It was the Kodiak Island fairgrounds. I was at about 800 feet and started heading down that way only to start running into the thick brush again. Beating my way thru I finally decided the easiest way down was to follow a mountain stream which the way it would flow down the rocks they were the easiest things next to steps, but stil it sure wasnt easy, still pushing thru things and trying not to slip for the express route to the bottom. Somewhere in there my deer call got lost along with my heavy jacket which must have gotten pulled off by brush somewhere along the lines and there was no way I was going back looking for it. It was just as hard working down that stream as it was going up and just hoping that there was no hundred foot waterfall at the bottom. Finally made it to the bottom about 5:30 and was darn glad to be down. The mountain walk from tuesday was a cake walk compared to this one. I always wanted to hunt a mountain but I think when I do it again I will check it out closer. Made it back to the lodge and hit the hot tub for an hour as the guys were still out. Terry, Randy, Curt, Dave and Marco went fishing the along the road systems, they fished local rivers called the american, olds, rosalyn, chiniak. Marco said the american river looked like a swimming river of the dead as most of the fish were ready to die. They ran into horses on the road that just wouldnt move out of the way and they saw 3 deer,,,,,I think I will have to hang with those guys today. Somehow I think if you put all us guys together it makes a start of a good joke….that would go something like this….There was a real estate broker, a lawyer, an insurance saleman, a plumber and a greek and an italian….. Now I just need to come up with the rest of the joke. Marco is our resident techy and city boy and guides us thru all the electronic mumbo jumbo things that we all have. We have all said several times that city boy saves the day…. He has that italian accent and likes to call me “baby gorilla” or as he puts it baaaybeeee gohrrrhillla and I like getting him to say “cock ah roach” from the old al pacino movie..Heading out today to look for more places to fish and maybe fling an arrow.

Thanks for checking in. Pete

Friday night October 7, 2005

We just came back in from a day of checking out rivers and kodiak. We started out going downtown for a quick drive thru then back to the lodge to head out to find some fish….I caught a nice silver salmon at the first stop and nobody else had much luck either there so we headed on up in thru the mountain pass, the road has just been paved in the past couple weeks so before that it was just gravel. It was about 28 miles to the end of the road where there is a missle launch base that is owned by the state of alaska. They had some huge buildings there like the ones in Cape Canaveral and there sign out front said Cape Narrow, the other cape. At the end of the road there was fossil beach where tons of kelp were washed up on shore. Just pile after pile of it, pretty thick and wierd looking stuff. We made sandwiches in the van and headed back out to a stop where the only fish there were pink salmon which are wicked looking with their mouth and teeth and Randy caught some dolly varden which we are going to have for dinner along with venison from my deer. We had most of the tenderloins last night. ,Also we saw guys surfing in the ocean near fossil beach, looked pretty chilly to me, it was about 50 today. Then at another stop there were the most incredible rainbows over the sky. There were 3 at once and then they kept getting more itense with a full reflection of the rainbow in the water. We got some great pictures there. Now its way later in the night and we just came back from town from a great dinner at Henrys. Plans changed and we decided to let someone else cook. You know how you go into some places where they eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor, well Henrys wasnt like that, instead they have a seperate bar in a corner and its lined with people playing pull tabs and all the losers are spread on the floor about 2 feet deep. About half of us spent about 5 bucks there each and only Marco the city boy broke even. Also along our route earlier today we had the horses blocking the roads and also buffalo too and even a bunch of pigs that the farmer came down to crack a whip at them to make them go home. In the morning we have to get up and head out early as Randy has chartered us a Halibut fishing trip out into the ocean. I hope that I can keep my composure on the boat and not get sick as the name of the boat is Up Chuckin One……so we will have to see how we all come thru that trip…..

Thanks for checking in. Pete

Saturday night October 8, 2005

You couldnt have asked for a more perfect day to spend on the bays of the pacific ocean. Calm and smooth waters all day. We started out the day by heading for Larsen Bay and met with our charter boat and captain Scott Phelps. His boat is about a 30 footer commercial sport fishing boat with twin 225 horse mercs on the back. When we first got to the dock we were nervous because there were lots of cars around and no boats. We were about 10 minutes early and Scott was along shortly. The sun was shining and we headed out into the fishing areas. Basically we fished between Kodiak, Whale, Afognak, & Rasberry Islands. We had just started out and Randy caught the first fish, a small halibut. Then things ran dry for a while we went by and saw an island full of sea otters and then we were in the midst of many humpback whales. What a spectacular sight they were, you could just feel the power of them when they would surface within a couple hundred feet of the boat and they would blow threw their blowhole. You would hear and see the blow and then hear them suck back in. One time they were so close Dave got sprayed by one. What a sight when they come back up and dive and their tails head down. We took lots of whale pictures and the most there were at once was 11. Steamy trails of spray would hover above the water as they blew. We fished in waters from 75 feet to 360 feet and its a real workout when you reel up from that depth and its even harder when you have a halibut on. Its about like reeling in a mattress. Terry caught the biggest one, it was 50 inches and 60 pounds. Dave had the second biggest one at 48 and I had the 3rd biggest one at about 42 inches. We caught red sculpin, yellow sculpin, cod ,flounder, and great sculpin. The sculpins look like a prehistoric fish, kind of like a dinasour. Dave caught and reeled in a rock and Curt caught an octopus. Very pink and lots of suction cups on him and where there mouth is they have a beak that is like a birds beak. Marco the city boy was the slowest on getting going on catching fish but he finally started hooking some. We all caught a variety of fish and it was a great day out there. Scott cooked us up some halibut sandwhiches for lunch and they were very tasty. Randy is whipping us up dinner tonight, dolly varden and venison…..We did see 2 bucks on the way to the bay this morning but I didnt have my arch with me……Thats what Marco says they call a bow in Italy…… so hopefully tommorow I can get out with my arch and do some more arch hunting……

Thanks for checking in. Pete

Sunday Night October 9, 2005

Things started out this morning as Curt and Dave dropped me off a few miles from the house and I started up a trail. It seems that I only learn things the hard way, this trail I started up on was along sargent creek and it wasnt to long before I came along 2 guys camping along the creek, they had been kayaking and said that the trail was a nice one that I was on..so I kept heading along it and it kept going up but was definetly a cake walk to a couple days ago. Great views and going up between the mountain passes. It snowed last night in the far south mountains and that was a pretty backdrop. Watching my gps I could see that I was following the same route as a couple days ago except that I was about 3/4 of a mile west and things were going smoothly. At lunch time I found a nice spot and had a little campfire and some peanut butter sandwhiches and then continued along the way, never seeing a sign of a deer…..after 6 hours of walking I came out right across from the Kodiak airport. I did get into an area where there were monster sized spruce trees and lots of deer runs but no deer in sight. I also ran across these old military bunkers in the hillsides, big domed concrete things built with huge steel doors in the sides, they have been abandoned for a long time and the big doors were welded shut….I was walking along thru the hills thinking about Marcos parents in Italy that have been reading this and hoping maybe someday I could get his mom to cook me a nice spaghetti dinner. Anyways after making it to the airport I got a ride back to the house and the guys had just been out and about a bit today and trying a little fishing here and there. This is our last night here and there is an new dilema brewing as I type, You see our city boy Marco’s wife is alot pregnant, and she is due next week but as luck would have it he is on the phone right now trying to get out of here tonight so he can make it home in time. Angie called and her labor is starting, they live in Southfield and Randys wife just got back to grayling from being with Angie only to get the call that the time is now, so she turned around to head back and I just heard Marco tell the lady from the airlines that this is the birth of my child and I need to get home NOW! So hopefully he will make it back home in time. This will be the last update from Kodiak as we all have to leave tommorow night and I will update again once I get back to grayling. So for now the best to Marco and his family and we all have to say good bye to alaska. This has been a great trip and adventure and we all are looking forward to getting back to our families. Thanks for following along. Pete, Randy, Curt, Dave, Terry, & Marco (father to be)…….Well now its 11:00 p.m and we all just got back from the airport, Marco got on the last flight out of Kodiak at 10:45 p.m., there were a whole 3 people on the flight and he is heading to anchorage to try to hop any flight he can to get back to detroit, so will he make it before the baby comes?? I might try one more update before heading out tommorow, we arent due to leave Kodiak till 6:00 p.m., I would think we will have more info as the night goes on.

Thanks for checking in, Pete

Monday October 10, 2005

ITS A GIRL!!! Angie had the baby at 6 a.m. this morning and Marco is still working his way back to michigan and wont get into detroit till 9 tonight. Little Sophie wieghed 6 pounds 3 oz. So the rest of us guys leave tonigh at 6:30. Congratulations to Marco & Angie……….

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