Our season has come to a close but we really don’t want to leave because the weather has been so great these last few weeks. Very un Alaska Peninsula weather––no wind, sun, warm. And as much as we would like to be out making the most of it, we have had to start closing up camp for the year. It’s always a grind getting camp ready for the long winter.
This morning we took the boat out of the water. While most of the civilized world use trailers and powerful trucks to move their boats, we have only our smarts, our strength and a trusty 3-wheeler from 1983. The high tide this morning was just after 6am so we rose early, made tea and brought the boat into the beach. As the tide went out, it left out boat high and dry on the sand. With a handful of rollers, lots of pushing, straining and lamenting our lack of horsepower and technology, we finally got it up the beach, over the berm and into the tundra. There its sturdy aluminum hull will sit in all weather until we come back next spring. Myriad other busywork brought us to this point in the day–sitting around the table absentmindedly shoving crackers in our mouths, incredibly tired, watching the alpenglow glide across the volcanoes.
In the morning a friend is flying in with his small plane to pick us up and take us to Homer for a little R&R. He is an amazing pilot and we’re excited to get to fly out low, hugging the landscape. If we see interesting things on the endless miles of remote beaches, we can stop. Our friend the pilot flew down to Port Heiden yesterday and said he saw walrus ivory tusks and lots of bears on the beach. On our way out we should be able to get a really close look at a number of huge volcanoes, Lake Iliamna (Alaska’s largest lake and the 8th lagest in the US) and hopefully lots of bears, caribou and moose.
This evening I took a barefoot walk through the tundra and took these photos. The above photo is a sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), a carnivorous marsh plant. The mosquitoes live on us and the sundew lives on mosquitoes––we love them!