Saturday, March 30, 2013

Where's the Easter Bunny?

Last week I was looking out the Chinook cabin and saw a branch on a spruce tree move.  I had to look real hard before I saw what was making it move.  If you look at the base of the spruce tree you'll see a cleverly camouflaged snowshoe hare in the snow bank.   Do you see it?

How about now?

Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Winter Landscapes

Last week I was down on the peninsula to check on the cabins.   Beautiful weather with about half the snow total of last year.   My plan is to get the dock out in a month.  Think it will happen?  I hope so, because the best tides are at the end of April and if there's too much ice the next favorable tide cycle is at the end of May. I have several trips mid to end of May and it would sure be convenient to be able to walk  down the dock to go fishing rather than launching daily at a boat ramp.

A snowy landscape looking over the mouth of the Kenai River towards Mount Redoubt.

It may look like a frozen ice box but we are now receiving over 13 hours of sunlight and gaining nearly 6 minutes of sunshine every day.   Barring any extended April cold snaps, I feel pretty good about spring break up being right on time.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Clouds on the Kenai

When I'm guiding, my focus is on the river and my clients.   All day long I'm constantly watching the water while keeping an eye on the people in my boat.   So why am I posting about clouds?   Well, this past season I was distracted just enough to take pictures of several unique cloud formations.    You'll have to admit, the photo above makes you stop and wonder, "what the heck?"

This is when the clouds first caught my attention.  As I was taking this photo of Bill I saw these two tufts over his right shoulder.   Wish I could tell you what they're called but I haven't got a clue.  Any meteorologist out there reading this blog?   If so, make sure to post a comment and tell me what they are.

On another day I had to take this photo of mares' tails (cirrus clouds).   They are very common in the world, but I took this photo because it reminded me of the first time I fished the Kenai with my dad.  I remember my dad looking to the sky and saying,  "I've never seen such a blue sky, take a picture of it."   I took a picture and the rest of the day I thought my dad was crazy.   Why would you want a picture of a blue sky?  As I've grown older and have traveled a bit I now know why he felt the way he did.  In northern latitudes there's less air pollution which makes the blue of the sky even more blue.

Here's another photo of mares' tales (cirrus clouds) which, more often than not on the Kenai, move in from the southwest.   Always nice to look at but for those who spend a lot of time in the outdoors you know they show themselves in advance of a frontal system.  You quickly learn to enjoy the weather while you can because conditions will soon deteriorate.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Team George/Team Jerry

You probably recall the story that I've told about George and Jerry French.  They're story tellers, and so am I, but the deal in the boat is if you repeat a story and at least three people have raised their hand signalling that they've heard it, you have to stop telling it.  All day long hands are being raised in the boat .  It's kind of funny because I'll see these puzzled expressions on the faces of the fisherman that are around us.   One time, a guide friend of mine who was trolling next to us, asked me what's the deal with the raised hands.  I told him before I start my day I always tell my clients that if they have to go to the bathroom they need to raise their hand to ask me if it's okay to go.   I let him think about what I said for a few days before I told him the real reason.

In 2012, George and Jerry told me they thought about having t-shirts made about "raising your hand",
but instead settled on "Team George" and "Team Jerry" stickers.  Classic.  Nothing better for me than having guys in the boat who have selective memories and like to have a little fun.

Let me end this by saying I still don't remember who started this game.  When I ask George or Jerry about this they start to argue and before you know it my hand is in the air.....

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Part of the Business

So I get an email asking about cabins and guided fishing for four.  I sent our rates and availability and this is what I received back.


I appreciate your reply.  I have accepted the offer and am willing to make an advanced deposit payment immediately with my credit card.

We have made arrangement with an agent who will be in charge of our,

(1) Flights and travel insurance
(2) Domestic and International flight tickets and Airport tax
(3) International Airport transfer
(4) Vaccines
(5) Excess Baggage Charges
(6) Departure taxes and Related Fees
(7) Contingency Transportation logistics during our stay not covered by the tour package.

As a result of my busy schedule, I had the whole funds for the booking and other logistics credited into the credit card account i will email to you once i hear from you.  I am not in my home town at the moment, i am on a business trip.

Due to the agent don't accept credit cards yet, I will appreciate if you charge the total sum of (12,500 Dollars+bank charges) from the card.  You keep the sum of (3,000 Dollars) for deposit to secure our booking with you and transfer the remaining sume of (9,500 Dollars) to the agent.  Could you please Confirm this.  You are also to deduct the fees and taxes involved in processing this amount from the credit card details.


Also get back to me with the below information for record purposes and if you agree to do the above.

Best Regards,

That's it, word for word, typos and all.

Who falls for this stuff?

All I can say is P.T.Barnum must have been right that a sucker is born every minute.  Otherwise, lodges/guides wouldn't keep receiving so many of these scam inquiries.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Life From The Other Side Of The Booth (Say What?)

Okay, that's not me standing with Jane at our booth.  This guy was walking around the Duluth sport show and I asked if he would pose with her.   You'll have to admit he's very squatchie.

This year I decided to keep a list of questions we were asked at the shows that were, hmm, let's just say, interesting?    Jane and I tried to answer these questions in the most sincere way.  

Here's a list of the best of them:
  • What time does the northern lights show start?
  • What part of Canada is Kenai in?
  • Do you take American money?
  • Do you need a passport to go to Alaska?
  • Is that a shark (as they point to the king salmon mount behind us)?
  • Will I see penguins?
  • Can you see Russia from your cabins (thank you Tina Fey)?
  • 20 years ago I stayed with a guy that was building a cabin on the Kenai.  Do you know him?
  • Are you near Alaska?
  • Do you know the guy that built a log house on the river?  He's a friend of mine.
So, how would you answer them?