Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weekday update

The temperatures have been warm lately with highs ranging from 50-65 degrees.  We have been getting in some running lately, although Hillary's feet have been hurting her in the recent days.  On Sunday we went for a 12 mile run and it was pretty hot and sunny out.  One day after work we got out for some fishing for a little while.

Fishing around Outer Point

Yesterday was overcast with some small sprinkles, but the lack of wind made it a great night to be on the water.  It is getting dark out well past 9pm now, so there is plenty of time to get out after work ... or before if you are really motivated.
Hillary "fishing"

 Our first fish while trolling

Don't be confused, that is not king salmon!  Hillary reeled it in, but she wouldn't touch it for a picture.  I don't know why he looks like a nice fella'.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beach boat camping

We both got out of work early on Friday because it was beautiful outside!  We tried to go out the road and get on the Lynn Canal, but the north winds were whipping, so we came back to Douglas to do some fishing and camping.  We did catch some Dolly Varden around the boat launch at Amalga Harbor.

Dolly Varden

Hillary catching some fish
Anchored out from our campsite 

High tide came about two hours later, so we had to anchor a ways out in order to keep from going dry at 4:30am. The tide swing was not huge for the area, but still 15 feet is enough to make you think.
Our beach looking towards Taku Inlet

 Beach front looking at Admiralty Island

 Raging driftwood fire

 Good morning!  Pancakes and homefries

 Hillary gathering supplies from the boat, not a bad commute

Holy shrimp

No Kings today.  Certainly no lack of trying.  People are starting to get amped for their arrival.  People are starting to troll all over the place.  A great start to the weekend!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rain is back

Hillary has brought the rain back to Juneau.  I forgot to say we were able to see some humpback whales spouting when we were out in the boat last weekend and a river otter popped up a couple feet away from Hillary while we were putting the boat in at the dock.
Last night we made some pesto sockeye salmon and pasta for dinner.  Hillary ate mainly some chicken and pasta, but actually ate some of the salmon and claimed that this might be a viable dish in the future.  I also made some salmon sushi rolls for an appetizer.

Salmon sushi

The sushi is on the butcher block that I made over the winter.  We went for a short run today after work out treadwell mine trail to a nice little spot on the water.  It is getting dark after 9pm now ...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Back in town ...

Saturday ...
     Hillary is back in town!  After some pancakes and relaxing in the morning we went out fishing for the afternoon with Eran.  Before going out I went and took up the shrimp pot from the channel.  Not the best catch, but 8 shrimp to throw into a frying pan with some butter and garlic ... yum.

Pink shrimp in an orange bucket

 The big guy

 Hillary would only get close enough to take a picture

We went out in Stephen's Passage around 1p to do some bottom fishing.  We ran into some small bait stealers and Hillary hooked the first halibut of the year!  It was one of the smallest halibut in the ocean, so we quickly let it go and unfortunately did not get a picture.  She was still complaining today that her arms were hurting from pulling in the monster fish from 160 ft down.
Looking at Admiralty Island (Fortress of the Bears)

Sunday ...
     We gave the boat a day off today to get some hiking in.  We went over to Sheep Creek trail just south of downtown.  It was overcast and very dry.  The roundtrip hike was about 7 miles.

Hillary at the height of the hike

There was a good climb at the start of the hike then it was pretty gradual following Sheep Creek until mile 3, where the trail started to climb upwards.  It was a perfect day for a hike, temps in the 50s.  Time to start the work week ... well after the chocolate chip cookies ....

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Well a shrimp, but ya gotta start somewhere.  After work I raced down to get the boat in the water.  I tried out the shrimp pot for the first time while I trolled around looking for some King Salmon.  They aren't in yet, so nobody is getting any, but it was too nice of a day to not be out there.  The shrimp pot is still out there, so we'll see what happens ...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fish on!

Yesterday after work I went out on the boat for a bit on the backside of Douglas and did some bottom fishing.  I caught two small guys, but it was another beautiful day!


I rode my bike to work today with Kevin Maier (UAS prof.).  It was a nice cool cloudy morning. The ride home was a slow gruel into a good headwind that was spitting rain with a 40F temp.  Made you feel alive ... and tired!  For dinner I made some chocolate chip sugar cookies followed by a burrito for dessert. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunny Sunday

Another beautiful day, but the winds were blowing pretty good, so I didn't go out on the water today.  Some phone calls, live hockey on TV at 9am, and breakfast took up the morning.  I walked down to the Folk Festival for the middle of the day.  Checked out some of the acts inside, but it was too nice out, so I spent a good amount of time sitting in the sun listening to people jam on the lawn.  Since the tide was low I took the scenic route home via the beach.

Looking back at Juneau while walking home

Snow line is really creeping up!  After reading in the sun on the deck the evening was filled with chores and dinner as the sun receded.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What to do in Juneau?

Well it has been a long day, or really 29 hours I guess.  The spring weather I have heard so much about has finally arrived and the sun is shining!

A picture of the weekend

Friday after work I packed up the skis and a small overnight pack and headed over to Blackerby Ridge for an overnight camp and morning ski.  It was a tough initial climb gaining about 3000 ft in about 2 miles.  It was a relief to hit enough snow that I could skin after carrying skis and gear on my back up the steep 'trail' (climbing over downed trees getting wacked with blueberry bushes and devils club).  The blueberry bushes are flowering in places already.

Beautiful skinning above treeline

The past couple days we had actually gotten almost a foot of new snow at 3000 ft and it was super soft and dry with a concrete base ... perfect.  

Looking across at Mt. Jumbo on Douglas Island and the soon to be skied couloir off the right shoulder

Views from further up the ridge, near camp

In order to pack light I only brought the tarp, so I didn't have to bring the tent and poles.  The high up there was in the upper 20s, so I needed to build a snow shelter for some insulation for the overnight lows (probably single digits, since my water bottle froze within 10 mins outside). 

Building the snow shelter with blocks of snow chopped from the wind hardened ridge

The finished product and the view

Sunset over the Chilkats ... cold

I did bring a stove and made some pasta for dinner and some tea.  I cooked right inside my shelter and it warmed up nicely, well once I was in my -15 bag I was comfy.  I had my LLBean crank radio as my companion to relay the folk Festival to my ears.

Today I woke up to another beautiful day.  I made some coffee, cooked up some oatmeal, packed up and found a nice slope to do some ski laps on.  The north facing aspects were just perfect.  Too bad it sucks to get up there or I would go up there all the time.  There are all kinds of neat rock features to huck with super nice landings, but I'll save them for another day when someone is with me.

Mellow middle section of the ski line

Looking down on Lemon Creek and the wetlands from the skin track

4 laps later ... this is the bottom 1/3 of the run

 A perfect morning filled with great views and face shots.  After getting the rest of my gear I skied back down through the trees as far as I could with some survival skiing where the snow was running out.  Then a walk out and back to the house (5 minute drive).  I ate everything I could find and left the house in about 40 minutes (1pm) and went to put the boat in the water (30 seconds from the house).

Bishop Point

No fish today, but it was a great day on the water.  Anchored up, did some bottom fishing/organized things on the boat, then I saw a couple other boats trolling for Kings.  It is early, mainly winter Kings, but I figured what the hell, plus I wanted to run the trolling motor since I didn't use it yet this year.  So I trolled back towards the Channel until about 715p.  One release, but nothing to show for it.   


The water was like glass for the ride back into Douglas.

Sunset over the southern tip of Douglas Island
Well, I'm going to bed ...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Alaskan Folk Festival

Huge snowflakes were falling last night, preventing a bike ride to work in the morning, but now the sun is shining promising to dry the roads again.  Also, this weekend is the last opening of eaglecrest for the season, although the summit snow depth is still over 140 inches!

This is the 36th year of the Alaskan Folk festival.  It is a week long festival in Juneau that brings in musicians and visitors from all over, but mostly Alaska.  There are also 'jam sessions' scattered at many local establishments all through town.  Any place with a sign the musicians are free to walk in and start playing!  There is no admission for any event and concerts every night from 7p-1030 and basically all day long this weekend.  The acts change every 15 minutes and include everything from one person singing and playing the guitar, to full groups with fiddles, banjos, pianos, squeeze boxes, harps, you name it!
You can see what it is about here.  Also, you can listen to it online starting at 7p AK at KTOO.

Below are a couple pics from earlier this week.

The biggest crab on our second trip out (8 inches across the carapace)

Soon to be grilled halibut

Heart clogging eggs Benedict

Last night since Hillary was not here I made some pesto Sockeye salmon.  It was my first shot at pesto, kind just throwing in the spices I like most.  It came out delicious!

Pesto Paste:
1 tbs ground basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
dashes of salt and pepper
1 tbs veggie oil

Covered flesh side of fillet generously with paste.  Wrapped in plastic in refrigerator for the day.  Unwrapped and broiled for about 5 minutes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Crab curry and Navy work

We had a nice Easter morning breakfast with some of the JVs in Douglas. French toast, ham, pastries, and other delicious items. Afterwards we went out on the boat for a bit since the winds were low and there were peaks of sunshine. We mainly did some exploring then picked up a few more crabs that were hanging out in our pot. For dinner we had some crab curry, which Hillary ate with no problem, probably because there was enough spice to hide much of the crab taste.

This is the latest edition of my curry mix, which we use for chicken and now crab.

Crab Curry
1 can coconut milk
1 green pepper
1 small onion
1 lb picked crab meat
1.5 tbs curry powder (I've mixed regular and hot together)
1 tbs cumin
1 tbs chili pepper
1 tsp cayenne
1.5 cups rice

Cook veggies for a few minutes covered.  Add meat and spices.  Saute another couple minutes covered.  Add milk and cook until veggies are tender.  Serve over rice.

After work Hillary and I went for a run on the Mendenhall River trail by UAS (about 4.5 miles out and back).  The paved trail was a mix of wet spots and crusty snow/ice, but a nice flat, curving run.  For dinner eggs benedict with the left over Easter ham!

I drove Hillary to the airport this morning, so she could be shipped off to Florida for her next job on the brand new Navy ship Independence.  She'll be gone about 12 days testing the ship's effluent and be getting off in Virginia. 

The ship is made to be maneuverable in very shallow water (~15 ft) and act as an active aircraft carrier in seas up to 12 ft.!  She has gotten word that many of the sailors have been getting sick because it is much more buoyant than most boats, so she is equipped with her seasickness ear patch just in case.

Frequent flyer miles anyone?

View Hillary's Travels in a larger map

Heavy rain here this morning.  A couple snow flakes are mixed in over in the Mendenhall Valley.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Crab - Day One

First day of the year to get the boat out on the water!  Partly cloudy with light winds in the morning, but stronger east winds making some 3 ft waves in the channel kept us to about 2 hours on the water today.  We didn't venture too far before throwing in the Dungeness Crab pot and two rings.  With the wind coming in pretty good we anchored in about 40 ft of water and organized everything on board and made sure all the electronics were in good running order.  After 10 mins Hillary brought up the first crab ring ...

Our first catch of the year
We caught a couple more in the rings and before leaving we pulled up the pot to find a couple more.  All were males well over the size limit, with the exception of one.

Caged crab

These guys have a pretty strong claw as I found out with my middle finger.  They don't really want to let go. 
Showing off his claws of hurt

Back at the house we had a nice little meal then cooked and cleaned to rest for some dinners to come.
One of the big guys and what's left of my finger

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Backyard hike on Treadwell Ditch - Cacciatore

After work Hillary and I set out the back door up Crow Hill through forest and muskeg meadows to the Treadwell Ditch Trail.  The snow is melting fast down low, but there are still some pretty deep pockets around.

Looking east towards Mt. Roberts on the meadow trail up to Treadwell

We ended up looping over to DT Douglas on the snowmobile trails, which were a nice mixture of snow and mud.

A glimpse of the channel through the thick forest

After our not so strenuous hike we settled down for a nice beef cacciatore dinner with asparagus. 

Another gourmet meal in cast iron

Spices per 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and 1 lb meat:
Made with 1 lb of pasta, but 12 oz would be a better call
(a mix of spices laying around)
1/4 tsp fennel
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground basil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Hillary would call this fairly spicy, so it comes out somewhere between mild and medium spice.