An Alaska Adventure:
Katie and I went on a fantastic Alaska adventure and fishing trip from July 30 to August 10, 2010. We joined Katie’s sister, Sara and her husband, John Textoris in Columbus, OH, and traveled to Phoenix AZ, from there to Seattle, WA, and then on to Sitka, Alaska, and the final stop in Juneau. This started a wonderful experience in Juneau, with whale watching, a float plane flight to the Taku Glacier and a salmon dinner at Taku Lodge and a hike out to the very impressive Mendenhall Glacier just a few miles outside Juneau. We rode the tram up the 1,800 ft. Mt Roberts, and the next day John and I climbed to the top on the Mt Roberts Trail, and rode the tram down. A beautiful view, and a great workout!
A few days later we were joined in Juneau by Katie’s sister, Lolly and her husband Pete Gray, who is a talk show host on a fishing talk show in San Diego, “Let’s Talk Hookup”, and friends Peggy and Rich Topp, and Denise Werner. Pete had arranged a wonderful fishing trip for us to Dove Island Lodge in Sitka, but first we had a few days to explore Wrangell and it surrounds. We flew to Wrangell in two small airplanes operated by Sunrise Aviation out of Wrangell, leaving the beautiful views of Douglas Island and the Juneau mountains behind.
The first day in Wrangell we explored the Anan Wildlife and Bear Observatory. We left Wrangell by boat and spent an amazing day with Jim Leslie ofAlaska Waters, his son James, and Ivan Simonek, a wonderful, published photographer and master of all trades on the boat.
The following is an excerpt from Pete Gray’s journal on his website: Jim and Ivan took us up the
Stikine River on his 35- foot jet boat to get up close and personal with brown and black bears. We watched the bears feeding on salmon, fighting for territory, mothers and cubs running about and bald eagles flying. It was a great Alaskan experience. The next day it was time to accomplish the glacier part of our quest, and Jim chose to take us to the southernmost tidewater glacier in Alaska- the Leconte Glacier. I have visited Glacier Bay, which is fantastic, but I can tell you this glacier and Jim’s method of getting up close to this massive glacier beat that tenfold. I would venture to say this day was one of my most enjoyable ever. Of course the 75 degree bright sunshine did help! Jim navigated the boat through 7 miles of giant icebergs and through tons of ice on our journey up the fjord to the face of the glacier, which towers 200 feet high and 800 feet below the water. The glacier moves several feet a day and we watched the “calving” of the front of the glacier from a safe distance of a couple hundred yards. These chunks of ice breaking off the front of the glacier made huge cracking sounds as they fell into the sea, then a huge chunk would rise up from the depths and both together would make a 3-foot wave that rocked our boat. All this surrounded by incredible views -and we were the only ones there. This is an experience that should not be missed!
The following day we had a cultural tour of Wrangell conducted by Brooke Leslie, Jim’s daughter, and in the afternoon flew to Sitka for our next adventure, Dove Island Lodge. Please read Pete’s article on the Let’s Talk Hookup website for more on this lovely experience.