A few changes are afoot since the last post and life is fine. Work has been within spec, and so has the fishing. Back on the 16th, Erin, Macy, friends/coworkers from the District Office Iain and Bethany headed out in Erin's boat once again. Earlier in the day Erin and I took a ride down to her old home of Oscarville to visit and drop off/pick up things. I basically went for the fresh air, as the day was a real beauty.
When we pulled up in the Oscarville Slough, I busted out laughing. There were little kids all over the slough, swimming in the cool water and totally full of mud, head to toe. They were all so thrilled to see Erin and Macy both. So all these mud caked boys and girls are running and yelling along the shore as they see Erin's boat approaching. It was pretty cute, and after some hellos we headed inside Erin's old house for a bit.
While the girls chatted, Macy and I went and played with sticks and fed ourselves to the gnats.
After a while we got out of there to go pick up Iain and Bethany back up in Bethel on the way further up river to the Kwethluk River. This time Erin had some secret hole in the river that had yielded several big silvers on the day after my prior fruitless journey upriver.
This time I got on the salmon board. First Erin caught 2 or 3 fish. She was on fire and we all were just looking on in amazement. She seemed to know just where the fish were. My first rod-n-reel salmon of my life was pretty unspectacular. I set the hook, it thrashed for a couple seconds, and then a boat went by doing about 80 knots. The waves rinsed the fish right up on shore, where I subdued it in short order. The afternoon had a fair amount of fishing action, and I got this one on what I had mentally said would be my last cast of the day. (and it was)
Macy was acting like it was really cold on the ride home, but she's kind of a wuss.
Back to work on Monday I spent my week setting up schedules, planning, setting up gear and getting everything ready for the Fall '09 Tour. First gig:
Rocky Mountain School
Home of the Bears
And here I am...
So far life here has been great. I made friends with most of the staff last year, as they stayed at the TO from time to time. Really really good people to be around.
Monday I did the usual: pack up, haul gear to Yute Air, sit around, fly out, unload the plane, haul all the gear to school, schedule classes, set up gear. I got that stuff down to a science last year.
In the evening, a couple friends here Chris and Amanda invited me on a hike up Rocky Mountain which is just behind the school. We picked and ate some berries on the way and I snapped a couple photos of the village from on top.
Tuesday I kicked off classes. They all seem to be going pretty well so far, by the way. But after class was even better. Chris (teacher here, great guy, husband of Amanda), Paul (teacher here, owner of a boat, all around good guy), John (itinerant worker, former TO housemate last year) and myself (you know me) piled into Paul's boat and shot up the Goodnews River a spell. The fishing was unreal. I got fish on each of my first 2 casts. We stacked up fish for a couple hours and then set about cleaning.
The rest of the week went smoothly by, and today we got out fishing some more. This time is was Paul, Ken (Paul's friend from back home), Amanda (teacher here, Chris's wife, all around good lady) and myself. Today the fishing was equally awesome, with a few real bigguns. The weather was pretty much perfect, and I was in short sleeves alot of the day.
The bears were pretty active today too. I was fishing on the bank when I heard a twig crack behind me, and I turned to see a big brown furry head looking at me. A lot of shouting got it to leave the area eventually. Getting snuck up on like that had me keeping a closer eye on the brush.
After a while of catching more fish we decided to head down river to clean the fish away from the good fishing hole and fix up some dinner. About a half hour into the cleaning we had another visitor. This one acted aggressively and it wasn't until Paul cracked off a warning shot that it got the picture and boogied. I think it wanted to run us off and take all our fish. It wasn't too long before the darned thing circled back from down river and started up towards us to feed on our fish carcasses as the current carried them away. It got yelled at plenty, and the agreement was that it could eat all the carcasses it wanted as long as it did so down away from us. Not that it much cared what we thought...
We finished our business, got back to the village and called it an absolutely awesome day. A person's gotta enjoy days like these for what they are.
Another Contract, Another Year!
2 months ago