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alaska, travel, photography, skiing, and what not

The snow has been painfully slow getting here this year. As of right now, I am only looking at a few inches of snow out my window. I went skiing once and it was a bit skinny. That said, I have been keeping busy and getting shape continuing to learn how to surf. Such an easy trip from Anchorage down to Seward and then out to the break. Suprisingly the past three trips have been sunny which is absolutely unheard of in South-Central Alaska. All of our surfing has been from a boat, so I don’t have many photos from the shore, however, here are a few from before and after the many surf sessions this fall. Probably not the best place to perfect my surfing, but probably one of the more scenic spots to surf in the world.

After a long week at work, a much needed reprieve came in the form of a last minute surf trip to Seward, AK to take advantage of a good swell and sun. What an amazing surf trip in the middle of October in Alaska. As a bonus, the northern lights were out and rocking the whole drive home.
If you ever find yourself wanting to go surfing in Alaska contact Scott Liska. He has a great setup and his pricing is probably some of lowest for boat charters anywhere. Anyhow, check out some of the photos from the day.

I know that is a strong statement and I’ve seen quite a few weird things up here in Alaska, however, Whittier is a weird little town. We had some time to kill on a stormy afternoon and we decided to head down to Whittier, AK to check it out. The winds were cooking down Turnagain Arm at about 75 knots and then the rain started. The weirdness begins when you get to a tunnel that goes 2.5 miles through a mountain before you arrive in Whittier. The tunnel is a single lane and it is shared between outgoing and incoming traffic along with the train. The town of Whittier has just under 200 residents and a majority live in the same building – a 12 story condominium that was once a military housing complex. On the other end of town sits the Buckner Building which is a cold war era Army building which is now abandoned. It was a very creepy place. All said, I can’t wait to go back when the weather is nice (if it ever clears up) and go skiing in the mountains or out on the waters of Prince William Sound.

No cars were involved this Labor Day weekend. What a nice feeling it was to take off in a small plane out of Anchorage and see everyone scrambling to get out of town for Labor Day Weekend. One stop and two hours later we touched down in Port Alsworth, AK – about 170 miles southeast of Anchorage. It is on the border of Lake Clark National Park. Our friends have a place on the lake there and we had a fantastic weekend fishing, eating, boating and enjoying to cool fall weather. What an amazing place that sees so few people. One weekend was not enough. You could spend years exploring this area and still not see everything. We’ll definitely have to go back. Some photos from the weekend:

Last week I had to drive from Fairbanks back to Anchorage for work. Beautiful weather and what better way to break up the drive – stop and fish Troublesome Creek. The fall colors were starting to come out as well. I met a friend at the pullout and we walked down to the mouth for some fly fishing for coho and rainbows. A few days prior I stopped to fish here and it was raining like crazy and I was harassed by a black bear – this time the sun was out and didn’t see any bears. Denali was out and I caught a handful of rainbows and two silver salmon. No bad days!

A few weeks back we headed to Clam Gulch, AK to see if we could rummage up some razor clams. We knew the clamming was not going to be that good because you need a negative tide and the low tides that day were a +2 and +4. The weather was good and we had the beach to ourselves. We pulled our campers out on the beach and enjoyed the sunset, campfire and had great views of both the volcanos across Cook Inlet – Mount Redoubt and Mount Illiamna. In the end the group snagged 18 clams and it was well worth the trip.

Last weekend we had the pleasure of floating the Nelchina and Tazlina rivers in South-Central Alaska. The rivers are located just on the northern side of the Chugach Mountain Range. We had 8 people, 1 dog, too much gear, and 4 different boats – two 16′ rafts, a packraft, and a whitewater canoe. The Little Nelchina was pretty small for a big raft, the Nelchina was a calm and smooth glacial river, Tazlina Lake was a great booze cruise with a 5 h.p. outboard, and the Tazlina River we had some good waves and a quick pace. Overall a 78 mile¬†high quality float and good times had by all (possibly too good of a time). Some images from the trip…