Sunday, July 25, 2010

Alaskan Summer Adventures Part III

Going in deep with our guide Brad.

During our 2 week trip to Alaska Cody and I decided to break up our bountiful fishing adventures with some river rafting. We headed to 6 Mile Creek and met up with our buddy, Brad Cosgrove, and the NOVA rafting company crew. The river was running high, so high that we hadn't been able to go the week before because it was over the limit. Cody and I were excited to say the least, the more hair-raising the experience the better, no?! But a high river also meant that the water was going to be FRIGID. All that extra water was coming from the hundreds of inches of snow melting off the mountains. Brutal. I sound like a sissy but I'm telling you it was REALLY cold water and as the pictures demonstrate, we were taking a lot of it on. Holy cow we had a blast! There are three canyons that you raft through, and they're loaded with class IV and V rapids. Thanks so much NOVA! The crew were all really friendly and bad ass, which is a great combo in my book for a guided service. If you head to Alaska during the summer and are looking for an adrenaline filled experience go rafting with NOVA. It's totally worth it! CLICK HERE to check them out.

This was another group in the water with us. I don't know them but this picture is worth a thousands words, or maybe just a particular two- OH SHIT!

There's always another rapid coming up, hence Cody's happy face.

Going deep...

There's nothing quite like front row view when rafting, not that I can see much here.

Yeah! The fun never stops!

This rapid must have been so good it turned me into a Japanese anime character.

*Thanks to NOVA for providing these pictures

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alaskan Summer Adventures Part II

Hiking in to go fishing.

An Alaskan summer trip isn't complete without a fair amount of time devoted to fishing. Not that you have to twist my or Cody's arm to do so. In fact, it's one of the main reasons why we make the summer pilgrimage to a land best known in our world for its epic skiing. To the average tourist we must of looked silly on our plane flight up, between Cody and I we had 5 fishing rods (3 fly and 2 traditional casting) hanging off our backpacks and 6 reels tucked in our bags! With further inspection of the two of us we must have also looked very confident: we were lugging along a big, empty cooler that was waiting to be filled with fish for the trip back. This summer the fishing was on the tougher side, the fish were finicky and the most of the runs were down making catching fish for the idle nearly impossible. Sure, Alaska is teeming with it's wildlife but like anything else in the cycle of life the fish ebb and flow (pun intended). We were determined though. We put in our time and hard work and it paid off. We caught plenty of red salmon, a king each, and a few trout. For the trip home we actually needed a second cooler, not too shabby.

Amazingly this is the Russian River. If you hike far enough you can escape the crowds.

These little suckers sure are pretty.

Cody bringing in a Sockeye...

And now playing with his food. Air guitar to be exact.

My loot.

Cody filleting up the fish before we head back. Now this is what you call deliciously fresh sushi.

Yeah! Fishing in AK!

Cody happy to bring in his King Salmon.

And this is my King... it's tradition in the Saugstad family for the women to catch the biggest fish. Not going to complain about that good luck!

Check out the airtime the fish is catching during it's attempt to swim up the falls! And in this video I took... it's pretty awesome to watch the salmons' determination and skill to make it. All in the name of procreation.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Alaskan Summer Adventures Part I

The beautiful scenic drive along the Turnagain Arm from Anchorage to Girdwood at midnight

Once again it was that special time of year to head to Alaska for the annual family visit and fish trip. This particular year we tried to optimize our two weeks of king and red salmon fishing by arriving to the last frontier at solstice. We fished our little hearts out, but we did lots of other fun things as well. We started off with some nice weather and golf with my parents for Father's Day. We also boated, rafted, floated, camped, played with fire, blew up things, stayed up wayyyy too late every night because it's so light out, and everything else in between. The infinite light gives you lots of energy to Go Go Go! Here is the first update of photos...

Golfing with my Dad, Mark, on Father's Day

Cody getting a little light headed

Floating and fishing the Upper Kenai River with our pal, Nick Thomson.

The sun sets so late it's understandable when things get a little retarded, well, that's my excuse anyway.

The great thing is there are 4 more firework stands just like this one across the street and next door. Fireworks are one of the best inventions EVER. Oh I love Alaska.

Hanging out with hippies at the Girdwood Forest Fair, I've been doing it since I was a kid.