Friday, August 28, 2009

Glacier walkin'

On Evan's last day in Alaska we made a fast trip up to the Matanuska Glacier

We had been here before with Katie, and was surprised at how much it had shrunk!

On the trail up to the Glacier, there are big boulders with white stripes through them. Very pretty! I need to find out what this is called...
Also, along the trail are little metal bridges. As the glacier melts, pools form the trail is constantly changing.

The Glacier is so awesome to look at!

There were some people Climbing the ice. We didn't have time to stop and watch them, but I did get a

The colors and dirt patterns in the Glaciers are just crazy. We walked in as far as this pond and then had to turn around.

Hoss was loving the cool ground that was beneath his paws.

It is neat to be able to walk out on a Glacier.

Cool! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bestest Fisherboy I've never seen!

Well, Luke has finally gotten to get his big fish!
A good-sized sliver salmon.

He caught this silver while Keith and I were both out of the boat! So it was all him. He cast, hooked, and reeled this silver in ALL BY HIMSELF! He was so proud, and so were we!
He has been dreaming of this for days and is still living the dream.
He talks about it everyday and tells Keith, "You know I love to fish, don't you dad. I want to go fishing again. Can we go today?"

He comments about his fish and how he can't believe he could haul it in all by himself, and that it was the biggest fish he's never seen...:)

On this day we were fishing with Uncle Evan and Pastor Dale, too. So they got to see the excited and catch some fish as well.

It was a good day and Luke was able to catch lots of fish and even "handled" my rod for me when I had a fish on I had to get off.
He got lots of pinks, or humpys'.You can see why the males are called that by the hump on their backs.
Way to go , Luke! We are so proud of our Fisherboy!

Kids do float, I hope!

Who would have thought that Uncle Evan knew some people in Ninilchik, Alaska? Well, he did/does! Robert and Julie Welch. Robert is the postmaster in Ninilchik. Keith and Evan stopped in to say hi. Robert was gone to a wedding, but the gal said they could stop by the reception at the fairgrounds to see him. They their clamming clothes and 3 days of camping grubbiness.

Well, as it turns out he had some new spots for us to try clamming. We went to lunch with him ,also, and he mentioned he was going fishing afterwards. Well, you don't mention fishing to fishermen and not get their fishing glands salivating. :) So he and a friend took us to a spot on the Kenai River to fish.

Dawson and Uncle Evan in deep conversation. With Dawson you never know what he is going to say, or for how long he will talk, or how many topics you will cover in one sitting. I think here he was feeling sad about getting in trouble for running on the dock, and was tattling on me. :)

The boys had found some fishing line with lures and weights on them. They decided to "fish" with those lines. Of course, Kolby didn't want to be left out!

Believe me, if there would have been water and not mud there...Kolby would not have been looking over the
edge like that! I held him most of the time there, but up away from the water he was fine to get down and play.
The boys played and played with those lures while the guys fished.

We went away 3hrs. later with no fish, but we had a good time and enjoyed being out by the water.

There was a playground across the street that I took the boys to. They had fun playing there on the swings, slides and teeter-totter, also.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Diggin' Uncle Evan

It's Friday now and we have set up camp at Deep Creek, in Ninilchik.
Keith had shown
Evan all about clamming on Thursday, but today we were going to a new clamming spot.
It was a beautiful day! The sun was shining, there was no cold wind whipping around u
s and the boys were happy to help. The views down on the ocean beach are amazing and there are a few "ba-kee-noes" (volcanoes) that you can see.

We gathered all our clammin' gear and headed to the beach. It's pretty mucky down on the beach when the tides are out, so we always have rubber boots on and the boys where their Grundens (raingear)just in case they fall. You need Clam guns or shovels and buckets to put the harvested clams in. This time we had some new clam guns to try out. Evan's friend that lives in Ninilchik, told us about this new spot to clam and gave us his stainless steel guns to try. Keith says that they worked great, but they were a little too tall for me.

Even if you don't like to clam, you can't help but admire the beautiful landscape! It's just amazing to see. There are all sorts of things you can find at the beach as well when the tide is out. The Eagles and seagulls are always around and squawking for something to eat.

Uncle Evan is here hard at work. The clam holes were so easy to find this day, but there were lots of small clams. You had to be picky about which holes you dug. The bigger holes were the better, bigger clams.
Dawson was our
clam picker-upper. After kicking the mud around a bit he'd say,"THERE HE IS! THERE HE IS!"

The boys had a good time gathering the clams and showing eveyone how big or small they were. When Dawson would find a tiny one he'd say, "Awww, look how cute he is! It's a tiny baby one. Awww, cute!"
Of course, I was
thinking that Dawson was WAY cuter than the tiny, baby clam that was no good for even cleaning. :)

One of the special clam guns we borrowed. with a view of Deepcreek camping area and the camp host.

These are our harvested clams.
We had over 200 clams to bring home and clean and process for Uncle Evan to take home.
The next pictures are of single clams. One with the shell and the other without.

You can see the neck with the brown tip, this is best chopped and used in clam chowder. It is more rubbery than the foot and the steak. We either freeze or can our processed clams.

The foot is sticking out the bottom of the steak in this photo with the shell off. After cutting the clam apart and cleaning out the insides (the gut),Keith batters and fries the feet and steaks.
He and the boys love to eat clams. Me?? Not so much...:)

In the videos are, Kolby "playing" with the bucket full of clams. He was grabbing them by the necks and throwing them around my kitchen floor. What a mess! Good thing is...floors can be washed.

There is also one of Evan clamming and Dawson showing the clam he found in the pile of mud.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bus Trip!

After we left the Russian River campground,

we headed off for Kenai, where Keith dropped the boys and I off to visit with the Perkins for a day. We hadn't gotten to see them in a while so it was nice to be able to play and visit with them. Of course, the boys were excited about it, too.
It was cooler in the morning so we stayed indoors for a bit. Debbie had made cinnamon popcorn, yummy! So we munched on that for a bit while the boys watched a movie.
It wasn't long though before the boys were raring to get outside. So we opened the doors and let all 6 boys loose! What a tribe they are, too.
There is a small hill right outside the Perkin's bus and the boys love to run, jump and slide down the other side. Cody and Cole taught Luke to do this and now he does it with all grassy hills he finds. :)
Camp was sad because he couldn't do it, but all of the sudden his face "perked" up and he said, "I know! I can swide on my beddy".
He ran over to the hill and flopped down on his belly. I saw his feet flop up in the air, but not much sliding going on. :) He seemed to be having fun though.
After a while Richard came home for lunch and Debbie whipped up some yummy chicken dinner, Cranberry Chicken! She fed us good while we were there.
Even though Richard smelled like Bondo, we had a nice visit with him, too. He was getting ready to go out in a boat fishing. So we didn't see him for long.
After Richard was gone, we headed over to the school track. The boys played in the long jump sand box, rode their bikes around the track, and played in the fireweed. Kolby was sleeping in the stroller while Debbie and I walked and walked and walked...around and around and around the track. Did I mention we walked around the track?

We were out playing for a couple of hours while we waited for Keith and Uncle Evan to show back up to get us. They were out clamming.

The boys all had fun digging in the sand, I think they even found one of Debbie's spoon in there. And you know what? Who really needs buckets when you have frog boots?

The boys also practiced there long jumping.
They seemed to get more speed than jump, but who cares? They were having a good time.
Awww, what a fun day!
Thanks Debbie for having us over.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Russian River camping and fishing

Uncle Evan's here! He's here, he's here!
Thus, starts the week of fun activities for us. Our first adventure was at the Russian River. Where we camped for a few days, fishing the river and did a little hike up to the falls where the salmon gather and jump the falls.
We arrived on Tuesday evening, got the pop-up set up and took off for some fishing along the river. My camera battery died on this trip so I didn't get many pictures, but I made up for it the next day.
We watched as Keith showed Evan how the fishing was done and the boys played on the shore. We saw a huge bear pile on the trail! So our eyes were peeled for any big, furry, brown moving objects in the bushes!
We walked in quite a ways along the trail and found a good spot with lots of fish in it. We had fun fishing and caught quite a few. The rocks were pretty slimy though and Evan fell and hurt his finger. It swelled up, but he had some medicine with him and he was better in no time.
We left
around 9:30 to get back to camp.We wanted to get out of the woods before it got dark, because of the bears. We saw no Bears.

Early the next morning, Keith and Evan took off again for fishing. We had to move camp at noon, so they had to be back before then.
The boys and I got to sleep in a little and play around camp.

I decided that I wanted to make some coffee and went outside to get the water beside the trailer. What a surprise I got while pouring the water! A mid-sized furry, brown moving object came around the back of the trailer! A GRIZZLY BEAR! YIKES! He was only 10 ft from me and was as surprised to see me as I was him. I hurried in the trailer and grabbed my camera! The big boys were excited to see the bear and Kolby was "a little bit of scared though".
He must of heard the excitement in my voice and thought he should scream about it. It was tricky to get a picture with a screaming baby and shaky hands, but I got off a shot before the battery was dead. (I had forgotten to change the camera battery, bummer!) Griz went over and sniffed at our table deciding we had nothing for him, he went to the neighbors camp. I heard Griz get hollered at and saw him run off. Later we learned that he had been chewing on their gas cans. Hmmmm....

The dogs waited patiently by the campsite whilethe boys rode their bikes and played fishing while we waited to tell daddy the exciting news. Their game they play is: Luke casts out and the fish, Dawson, grabs the "lion" and is caught. Luke then reels him in. :)

The guys got back right on time and Keith went down and got us another camp site, 2 sites down. So we moved, made a fire and had some lunch. Eating is what Uncle Evan likes best! He had 2 sandwiches plus other goodies! I still think he had room in him because it wasn't long before he had some more snacks out. Luke likes Pringles best and shared with Dawson.
We decided that we would like to go for a hike to the Russian river falls to see where the Salmon gather and jump. It was a pretty hike and it was nice to get out even though it was trying to rain. It was nice to have a 3rd adult along so we could get a family picture along the fire-weed laden trail. It was so pretty! Hershey was at the camp holding down the fort. He is getting too old to do long hikes anymore, poor old man!
We made it to the falls and there were a couple of decks on which to go out and view the falls and fish. The Salmon gathered in the pool at the base of the falls. There were 1,000's it seemed, and we even saw some Salmon that had fishing fly's in them.
It was amazing to watch these fish try again and again to jump to the next pool above them.
Since it was the end of the trail, it seemed a good place for Uncle Evan to bring out the trail mix. I think Dawson picked out all the "Nem n Nem's", those were his favorite.
Evan and Keith got their picture taken and had plenty of bear spray with them, hoping not to have to use it though.
Dawson, of course, had to climb around on the rocks and dirt before leaving. I think his name is really, Mud Bud. A puppy from Snowbuddies...:)
There is a "y" along the trail that leads to the falls or to a forest cabin, another 2 miles down the trail. A group of gals from our church hiked in and stayed in some cabins along their 21 mile hike.
We managed to get Dawson to hike a little and told him to go fast past Uncle Evan. To get Dawson to go fast you have to play these sorta games. "Carrot before the mule."
I spy with my little eye not 1, but 2 little wild raccoons in a tree.
This was a perfect tree to sit in. It had a small shelf in it to place small boys. :) We had put Luke up in the tree on the way to the falls and Dawson wanted to try it on the way back.
Luke told us that when he was fussing to get down the first time, he was just teasing us and that he really wasn't even scared. I'm not sure that he was right about that! He wasn't to sure about it the second time either! :)
The rest of the walk back to camp was uneventful, but full of beauty!
It was great to be able to share it with family, too!
We had another fire, ate grilled "thicken" , and toasted mountain pies over the coals before heading for bed. Yummy!
Good night Griz!
And Thank You God for keeping us safe in this beautiful country!