Monday, July 26, 2010

A July's Worth of Pictures!

Well Paige and I started the month of July winging it by ourselves. Jerry ended up going for some training in South Carolina unexpectedly, so our 4th of July plans had to altered slightly. Originally, we were to go as a family (minus Noah) with our friends, the Grahams, to Valdez to celebrate the 4th of July weekend. With Jerry gone and returning home on the 3rd, Paige and I headed down on the 1st and drove back a day early on the 4th to get home to Jerry.

Valdez is beautiful and we had a great time with the Grahams. Great views, plenty of wildlife, fishing and time with friends; other than having Jerry and Noah with us, it couldn't have been a better weekend.

Paige enjoying the view from the small boat harbor in Valdez, while we waited for Floyd to come in and pick us up for some halibut fishing.

While we were waiting these people came in with their catch of shrimp. Fun! Made me wish that we had some shrimp pots to drop.

The oil refinery in Valdez at the end of Alaska pipeline.

Waterfalls, waterfalls, everywhere!

Sebastian enjoyed our day out on the water. He was actually a lot calmer than I expected him to be, since he hates the water.

Sea otters, just hanging around!

Paige loved being on the boat. She did a really good job of keeping her life jacket on and not being too rambunctious. Isn't she a cutie?!?

This sea lion was hanging out in the first spot we decided to stop and try fishing. Unfortunately, he didn't end up being good luck.

The glacier lake at the bottom of the Valdez Glacier. If you look near the middle of the pic just past the first mountain ridge, you will see the glacier up on the mountain.

Salmon swimming on their way back to the hatchery in Valdez.

There were so many eagles around the hatchery. I think at one point I counted about 12 or more sitting in trees and sitting out on the sandbars at low tide.

This eagle was the "security" at the campground we stayed at.

As summer has progressed, so has my garden. It isn't going to be a bumper crop year, but at least we can say we ate some home-grown veg this summer. Here are a few pics of my garden and some of the harvest from earlier this month.

Can you see my first cucumber?

This was supposed to be my "token" tomato plant. None of us really likes tomatoes too much, but the boys like the cherry tomatoes, so I planted this one. It has now turned into the monster plant and taken over the entire garden box.

I planted two strawberry plants, and this is the one that is going to be most productive. If I can keep the dog from eating all the ripe ones off of it, I might actually get enough to do something with.


My first picking of peas. The plants are in the process of reflowering and I'm hoping to get at least one or two more pickings out of them. Although, they aren't the type of peas I was hoping for. The pods are really tough.

The first 3 cucumbers I have picked and a handful of tomatoes.
This past weekend, we decided to take a trip dipnetting. Here in Alaska, when the salmon counts are good, you are allowed to catch salmon with nets. In the area we went to, you are allowed to catch 30 per family. So, rented a camper trailer with another family and headed down to Chitina to dipnet the Copper River. I really didn't know what I was getting myself into when we went, but I am glad that we did it once. If Jerry wishes to do it again, I think he will be making the trip alone.
This was where we camped (parked) for the weekend.
There were quite a few eagles around. I love going farther south to enjoy the eagles.
On the shoreline near where we camped/parked, there were tons of gulls and lots of dead fish carcasses.
So, when it was my turn to go out with Jerry and Noah fishing, we hoped on the 4-wheelers and headed up the hill near the parking area. I really did not know what to expect, and that was probably a good thing.
Yep, it really says not to go any further. Do you think that stops anyone? Nope! Alaskans love their adventure and they love their fish.
This was part of the trail. As you can see, some of the trail was not the most stable, and some areas were quite narrow. It was some fun 4-wheeler riding, but a bit hairy in a couple spots.
The trail was basically carved out of the edge of the cliffs along the side of the river. So, on one side of the trail were walls of slate and on the other was the river.
As you can see, there isn't much "shoreline" along the Copper River. It pretty much just carves it's way through the mountains. This was actually one of the wider areas of trail.
An old abandoned rail bridge.
Once we got out to our fishing spot, we had to hike down the "hill" to the edge of the water to dipnet. It was fairly steep.
That would be where we "sat" to fish.
Jerry prepping the ropes that we used to tie ourselves off to a tree in case we slipped.
As rough and adventurous as the area was, it was also very beautiful. Although the Copper River is not a crystal clear stream of beautiful water and river stones below, it made for some spectacular pics.

Paige was hiding behind us trying to get into the pic. I guess we should have let her, since it ended up being a goofy pic.

He'll be 9 soon! Where has the time gone?

On Sunday morning before we left, a baby moose visited. It was obviously separated from its Momma and a bit scared, but it eventually wandered back into the woods. Some of the other fishermen said they had seen the Momma down the river a ways along the bank.
A quick potty stop on the way back allowed me to snap this pic of a beautiful glacial field.
Back from the weekend and off to camp Noah went. He was very excited for camp this year. He is doing ranch camp, so he gets to be with the horses all week. We hope he has a great time and look forward to helping him celebrate his birthday when he gets home.
I left to run and errand last night and this is what I came home to. Like father like daughter! Too cute! I love these sleepy heads!