Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dip Netting

An amazing phenomenon occurs for a short time each summer in the Last Frontier as thousands of Alaskan residents, take a break from whatever they are busy doing at the time to storm the shores of Alaska's rivers. Last weekend we set off to the mouth of the Kenai River to dip net with the Pete family. Dip netting is only open to Alaskan residents. Since Alaska is known for world class salmon fishing, dip netting is an unparalleled and not to be missed, opportunity for all Alaskan residents to fill their freezers with prime subsistence for the coming winter.
(It was a beautiful 2 days i.e. the SUN was out so it was probably in the mid to upper 60's. I didn't know it was possible to get a sunburn at that temperature, but our faces show that it is not only possible, but inevitable. Don't waders scream sexy ? ;)

How does one dip net? First you need a long pole with a handle, usually 10 to 15 feet, with a large net no bigger than 5 feet in diameter. You wade out as far as you feel comfortable in waders and hold the dip net straight out in front of you into the current. Now you wait. You may wait a long time before you feel a tug in your net. You then give the net a quick twist to the left or right depending on the direction of the current so the salmon can't escape and then walk back towards shore pulling the net behind you and empty out your fish on the shore and then whack the fish, my least favorite part. I'm not desensitize to that part yet, a 12 yr. old did that part for me. Long story short, it doesn't take much skill, which is why I even caught one.

(To clarify, the orange thing in my hand is a fish whacker)

(My first Salmon, and only salmon caught. Jeff did the rest of the fishing, while I watched the kiddos in the camper and beach)

You might reach your limit in one day (25 for head of household and 10 for each additional person in the home) or over several days or weeks. Dip netting is like the luck of the draw or "the great equalizer" as Alaskans like to say about this adventure extraordinaire. Sound incredible? It is and it's only found in Alaska. If you happen to be fortunate enough to be in Alaska during this season, don't miss the sight of these elbow-to-elbow dip netters as they get together with family and friends to have a bit of fun while dip netting for their food for the coming year.

P.S. One must wear a hat of some sort because with all the seagulls feeding off the fish guts and eyeballs, a person will get nailed on top of their head with seagull feces. Did I mention this is a glamorous sport???

Sunday, July 11, 2010

4 months

So LEVI is 4 months now, as of yesterday. I'm not sure why but this time around it seems like time is going by quickly. I'm trying to cherish each day, but like I said time is moving faster than I'd like. I love my eskimo baby. What's there not to love with a chubby baby who smiles and giggles and is so chill. Now at 4 months he is still wearing a 2 diaper, still only drinks milk, waking up once a night, getting closer to rolling over--he's done it a few times but I think it was a fluke, coos and babbles a lot, and he loves his mom and dad and big sisters.
love his cheeks

I got these shirt iron-on transfers from etsy. I love them and wished I had thought of this idea with the girls.
Levi recently discovered his feet and toes.
Levi's crazy sisters who I let play with makeup. Jordyn covered her whole face with eyeliner and Sydney preferred lipstick over her entire face and eyeliner on her neck. Thanks mom for all your old makeup...seriously. I don't mind them getting totally messy. They had a blast and they didn't have to ruin all my makeup so I'll let them do this again, only right before bath time.

Friday, July 9, 2010

4th of July

While my parents were up here visiting we decided to take a road trip around the Kenai Peninsula. From Eagle River, which is just north of Anchorage, we stayed a night in Seward, Homer and then to Kenai (refer to map). On our way to Seward we stopped in Girdwood and did the hand tram and Alyeska Resort. We drove to Portage, and drove through the animal conservation park. Once in Seward we drove around the quaint town with a population of 2000. In the morning we hiked Exit Glacier and ate at this burger joint, Red's burger, which was out of a white bus. The woman working was short a cook and so Jeff (totally something he would do and I LOVE this about him) knocked on the bus door and offered his services to help cook hamburgers. We then drove to Homer and stayed in this awesome hotel that overlooked the bay. We met up w/ my second cousins and ate dinner on the "spit," saw some sea otters while the girls threw rocks. The next morning my dad and Jeff went halibut fishing in Anchor Point, while my mom, me, and the kids drove around Homer and then headed to Kenai for our last stay. By the time we got to Kenai we were pretty tired of a long road trip. We swam and hung out that day. In the evening we drove to Kasilof and got our car stuck in the sand and ultimately damaged the whole back rear of the car. The next morning we went back to Kasilof and watched a ton of people dip net for salmon, which we are going to do the end of next week. We had a great time and I'm glad to have seen more of Alaska. It was a beautiful drive. We saw lots of wild life, culture, and small town charm. I loved it! The only bummer is my mom's memory card, with most of all the pictures, got erased or something so I only have a few pictures of our adventures. Jeff and I at Alyeska Resort. All the pictures are out of order.

All of us at the animal conservation place
I could relate to this picture
A cool name for a place "salty dawg" in Homer

Me and Levi at our first Glacier. Exit glacier. It was cool to hike to the glacier and see it close up.
I love this joyful picture of Jordyn. She was throwing rocks in the water in Homer.
Jeff with a halibut. Jeff and my dad both caught about 15 halibut. They taste better than they look. They also caught some huge sting rays.
And to end the trip, there's nothing like a big crunch to the back of your car. The short version to this story is that Jeff mistook our minivan for a dune buggy. We got stuck in sand. Two different people who tried to help pull our car out of the sand both hit our car. One was a 4 wheeler the other a huge truck with a winch.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Levi's blessing

A week ago, Levi had his baby blessing. Usually babies are a little younger for this event, but when you live in Alaska, family need extra time to book flights. My parents came up for the blessing and we had it on Jeff's birthday so it was a very special day for our growing family. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we are a family of 5. I feel old when I say that I have 3 kiddos. Jeff's sister is staying with us for the summer and she came to Levi's blessing also. We miss being close to family and having them attend such events as this, but are thankful for family's support and love despite the long distance. A friend took Levi's pictures in the clothes he wore for his blessing. For Jeff's birthday we had cake, his requested dinner (steak and potatoes), and he got some cool presents: fishing gear (which he already has used and we ate halibut that he caught just tonight) and a huge tent.