Heading Out to Fish Camp

  • It’s always a little nerve-racking getting to fish camp on the first day of the summer. Who knows what the storms, sea and ice did to our cabin and boats over the long winter. And this last winter was a hard one; one of the hardest in a long time. It’s also an adventure just getting there. The small planes and characters we interact with along the way are always memorable. Remote Alaskan towns are famous for both of these things.

    After spending a few days in Anchorage provisioning, we headed out to King Salmon, then on to Pilot Point on the Ugashik River. My father and I traveled together––his solemn duty was to carry 6 dozen eggs as his carry on baggage. Not one broke!

    We landed on the strip in Pilot Point in heavy wind and under grey skies. For a brief moment I was seriously wondering why I was there. Our friend and fellow fisherman was there to meet another small plane and he was good enough to give me a ride the few miles to our cabin. Gordon waited with our stuff on the landing strip. It was so cold I had to put my hands under his Tom’s dog to keep them warm (I still can’t find my gloves).

    I was nervous to see what kind of shape the cabin would be in after the hard winter. The bank was eroded meaning our cabin is now 4 feet closer to the sea than it was before. I wonder if this increases or decreases our property value? A nearby lake had also outgrown in space this spring and now called most of our property its home. All but the front of our cabin was 1-2 foot deep water. Our sauna was completely surrounded meaning we had to wear boots to get to it. We joked it was like living in Venice and a gondola sure would be helpful!

    After taking the covers off the windows and door, we went for a walk as the sun came out. Glorious but cold. We found a handful of glass fishing floats. These rare treasures were used as net floats in the 40s and 50s by Japanese and Russian fishing boats. They blew the glass balls by hand onboard the ship with recycled sake and vodka bottles. These have been washing around in the ocean or have been beached for 40-70 years! We find some every year but that first day was extra good collecting. We think the winter storms washed them off remote beaches and put them here.

    Another surprise was a hand made doughnut Gordon made for me last summer but then I forgot in a container over the winter. It was molded beyond beliefe after almost 10 months alone in the dark in our cabin!


    June 15th, 2012 | Traveler | No Comments |

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