Sunday, August 16, 2015


Hallelujah!  Two things I've been impatiently waiting for & looking forward to for as long as we've lived here finally happened.  First, we had our first (and probably only) visitors.  And not just any visitors.  We're talking top-notch, bang-up visitors.  Hey, don't be jealous cause I have an exceptional family. 

My brother and one of my sisters were on the short list of people I  thought would actually come and see us.  I've been eagerly anticipating their arrival & was beyond thrilled that two of my favorites took the leap and traveled the not exactly short or easy trip to Kodiak from New York.  What a great week we had together.

See, here's the thing.  When the word on the street was that we would be living in Alaska for a few years, we heard lots of folks chime in that they'd love to come and visit.  But the reality is that nobody ever pulled the trigger. Which I totally get.  Alaska is far away, not easy to get to, and expensive.

But my brother and sister made it happen.  Which made me happier than they probably realize!  I joked that I'd believe they would visit when they were standing in my living room.  They proved my skepticism wrong...well, when they were standing in my living room.

So, kudos to them for staying true to their word.  I'm so glad they came to see us, and we had such a fun week showing them some of the unique and memorable things Kodiak has to offer.

Mossy Sitka Spruce

Only-in-Kodiak craft beers at Kodiak Island Brewery

Spectacular mountains at Fort Abercrombie State Park

Which brings me to my second reason for calling this post "Finally!"  After two damn years, I finally went salmon fishing.  I've wanted to go for as long as we've been here, but since I know just about zero about fishing and even less about how to catch salmon, I needed someone to go with who had more of a clue than I did. Enter the hubby.

Gotta love the waders

Turned out to be super fun!  We headed out the road to the Olds River for the day.  I caught one, but we had to throw it back because I inadvertently hooked it in the eye.  I guess the big shots at Alaska Fish & Game frown upon hooking them anywhere that isn't the mouth, so we had to throw him back.  Apparently it's called snagging.

See what I mean?  I had no idea that was a rule. - I would have happily trotted away with my illegal catch had I been on my own!  Or perhaps I would have done a little research to educate myself before going.  Let's go with that.

Between the three of us, we managed to catch exactly zero salmon.  And no, it wasn't because of the beers.  Ha.  We all had a few throw backs, (again - talking about the salmon, not the beer) and we each hooked more than a few that got away, but we still had a fun day.

Thankfully, the hubby managed to catch one, and we were able to grill it up for dinner that night.  I was hoping they would get to experience catching one in the morning and eating it the same night.  Because that really is the best it gets.

Get it, Mick!

Some of the die-hard Alaskans turn their noses up at even eating pinks, which is what we were fishing for that day.  But it was a damn good meal.

Apparently pinks are on the smaller side, and are mostly used for canning or smoking.  They sort of have a bad rep.  As far as I'm concerned, as long as it's fresh - and you can't do better than swimming in the river a few hours before grilling - it's going to be a good meal.  

Our favorite way to grill salmon is on a cedar plank with a mustard ginger glaze.  It's first rate.  Even if it was a pink.  Salmon snobs be damned!

I'm curious if a king salmon really tastes remarkably better than a pink.  Hopefully I'll get to catch and try a king before we leave!  Says the lady who couldn't even hook one of the smallest species.

When we first got here, keeping track of the five different species of Pacific Salmon was confusing at best because they all have nicknames.  King salmon is also chinook and coho is known as silver and a pink is also a goes on and on.

This little info page should help if anyone's interested, and this article in Smithsonian Magazine goes into it a little more.  I've got it down now!

Pinks are running now, and come September it'll be silvers, AKA Coho.  I'm looking forward to getting back out there to see if I can muscle one in - they're stronger than you think!

Strong little muthers!

Humpies.  Pinks.  Silvers.  Chinook.  I'll just call them all good eats.  I'm glad I was able to knock off an "Alaskan first" with some of my family.  Bang-up family for sure!  And that comes with a legit double thumbs up and a wink.  Wish it could have been all of us.

Ta-ta for now.

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