Tuesday, August 26, 2008
My previous post mentioned bears. On Tuesday we flew out of the Funny River Airport in Soldotna to the north side of Cook Inlet and a landed on the beach at the Polly Creek outlet. Here was our "Alaskan Wilderness" experience. The pilot dropped us off at 9:00AM and vowed to return about 8:30 that evening. Upon leaving he gave us each a hand held flare and told us if we run into a bear that was aggresive, wait till it's about 10 feet from you them pull the flare cord. Yeah, right! At about 4:00 the bears showed up, a sow and her 3 cubs of which 2 were second year cubs and pretty big. It was exciting to see as the appeared across the river which initially gave us a physical barrier, which we soon saw it made no difference. While watching momma, one of the older cubs suddenly appeared on our side, barreling full bore towards us. The last thing we wanted was to be in the middle of the sow and her cub. A little noise and the cub headed across the river to mom. Although relieved, it was a tense but exciting moment.
I have many pictures to sort out and many stories to tell, too much for one setting. I will post a number of our more interesting adventures in the coming weeks as I hope my sharing of this experience will encourage you to at least make the same trip. You will never be the same.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Just a short post before I leave. The silvers are in like crazy, the pinks are making their usual even year run, and the halibut are cruising for that piece of octopus. I'll be back in about 10 days with a some great pictures and stories. Hopefully we don't get ate by bears before then!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Well, I finally made it back from my trip to China. Our last leg of the trip took us to a city call Wuxi (Woo-She), which is about 2 hours west of Shanghai. I thought I would post a number of interesting pictures and explain a little bit about them. As a fisherman, the first thing you notice about the area is that it is flat and has significant numbers of canals criss crossing the area. The top picture is the Grand Canal. This was built over 1500 years ago to serve as a main transportation route from the Shuzhou and Wuxi area to Beijing. Although it is no longer used the full length, it is still an important waterway for barges delivering building materials such as sand, rock, and bricks to the coastal areas which are basically void of good base materials. Attached to the Grand Canal are hundreds of little canals that are use for everything from irrigation to side transportation to raising fish. The next picture on the left are 2 Chinese boys enjoying a little fishing in the canal that borders there house. This canal was along a major 4 lane road and I had my driver Sam pull off to let me take a picture of them fishing. Like fisherman everywhere they waved back at me and allowed this picture. They were using homemade cane poles and reminded me of my grandpa Howard, who use to come up to Eleva every summer with his cane poles and we would head to Alma for some fishing. I could not help but take a picture of the preferred toilets in China. Basically it's a squat toilet identical to our methods of relieving ourselves during deer hunting. The difference is that these toilets flush! The next picture at the bottom and on the left is of Antique Road in Shanghai. It is a 4 block market in the heart of Shanghai and has many old antiques (or replica's) and other tourist type goods. In China everything is negotiable. What may start out at 2000 RMB (6.75 RMB to 1 UD Dollar)may eventually get down to 150 RMB, but it's not for the faint hearted. We bought a silk scarf that started at 200RMB and we offered 50. She was extremely angry with us but upon returning we bought 3 for 210. Not bad. We ran into a young man that owned a tea shop on Antique Road. All attempts to get him to move on the price was in vain. His line, I have good tea and good prices, no need to negotiate! This was our second trip to his shop and indeed, his tea is 30% of the price at the Shanghai airport. The last picture is taken from the Bund in Shanghai looking across the river to Pudong (poo-dung). Shanghai is divided into 2 main sections, Pudong (dong means east) and Puxie (poo-shay, xie means west). Pudong represents the modern Shanghai and is home to the large telecommunication tower you see on the left with the big ball near the top while Puxie is still the old Shanghai with the definite European influence. The word Bund means embankment and is at the end of Nanjing Road. (You can learn more about the bund here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bund) Standing on the Bund, looking to Pudong is one of the most beautiful city views in the world.
I did have a guide trip on Sunday but it started to lightning out. Me and that kind of electricity do not get along very well so we did a raincheck. I am really looking forward to fishing with these guys again. Today I went to South Center Lake and got a few crappies and sunnies, nothing special just nice to get out. Thursday I head to Alaska's Kenai Peninsula to attempt to catch some halibut and to take advantage of the Kenai Rivers Pink and Silver salmon run which should be in full swing next week. Stay tuned!