Thursday, April 19, 2007

Just a Little Different

I get e-mails asking how I get away with doing some of the tough trips back into the bush having had cancer and three stints put in my heart last winter.I guess it may be said that some of us are a little "different".What I mean by that can be summed up in what my old fishing partner,Sid, done just today.He drove himself 70 miles down the Peninsula to where I have been camped all week at the beach. Then he proceeded to dig clams with his clam shovel and bucket. Two hours later he cleaned his clams and drove himself back to Soldotna. Normally that's not such a dramatic stunt, but he is 67 and just three weeks ago he had a cancerous kidney removed. Most old geezers would have slowed up a bit, but not him.Five years ago I bagged the biggest moose of my life just two weeks after cancer surgery. I had 30 staples in my belly and had to tie a pillow to my stomach to be able to drive my dually with the camper. The 60 mile road was very rough and every bump could be counted in tears. My wife was driving the 4-runner pulling the atv trailer. So far she has had three spinal surgeries, but she refuses to let pain keep her out of camp.It took both of us old gimps to be able to butcher the 1200 lb. moose and load it into the trailer.If pain dictated what we were going to do, we wouldn't get much done. I guess my greatest peeve is young healthy couch potatoes sitting on their over-stuffed backsides with their faces pinned to the plasma tube, wasting time that can never be reclaimed. OK, I'll get off of my soap box!This week Lin and I camped on the beach. The tides were low and perfect for getting our years supply of clams.We dug big razor clams and the big redneck clams. The razors were an inch thick, 2 inches wide, and up to 7 inches long. The rednecks were as big as a large fist.Love my clam chowder! Lin has several ways to cook the critters and all of them are molicious!This Saturday Sid and I are building a new guill-net. It will be 60 feet long and 12 feet deep. We will put it in Cook Inlet in June and catch our 75 salmon in about three days if things are slow. It could take only one day if things get out of hand.I take my vaccum sealer machine and freezer to fish camp . We clean the salmon, seal them up and have them in the freezer within 20 minutes.Lin has many receipes for salmon;baked, barbequed, salmon patties, salmon chowder, smoked,canned, and dozens more.Some of you have asked where we live. Well, it's on the Kenai River 4 miles upstream from Soldotna, on the Kenai Peninsula. It is 150 miles from Anchorage, across the Turnigan Arm.While I'm at it...rain, snow, darkness of winter, icy roads, blizzards,pain, or just plain cold, never are in the equation of whether or not we are planning to go have an adventure. I should also mention that I called my Cardiac Doctor from the beach this week and rescheduled my appointment for two more weeks. It was about to interfere with a minus 5 clam tide, and I just could not let that happen!! Yeah, maybe just a tad "different"!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Spring Fever

Here it is almost mid-April and spring has shown some signs of being around the corner. It has been below freezing for so long that I can hardly remember when it was above.I have been told that my memory is so bad that I can't remember half of the things she sends me to the store to get, unless it's sporting goods.Anyways, it finally warmed up and things are now in pud muddles ( mud puddles).This is the time I take the studs off of the vehicles, which I did. It snowed last night and is supposed to snow more this next week to show me that I made another stupid mistake again.My most memorable event came when I was laying under the back of my truck. The ground was still frozen and I placed a piece of plywood down to keep me off of the ice. The only problem was that a small stream was running under the plywood and down the driveway. When I rolled over to put the floor-jack under the axle, the plywood flexed down allowing the small stream to flood my nice dry plywood. That event triggered the "ice water down the neck" reflex, causing me to jump. It's not easy to jump up while laying on your back under a truck, but jump I did!My head hit the end of the spring shackle, which is made of really hard steel. I raised my hand to rub the knot on my head and it hit the tail-pipe, which caused a ton of dirt to fall into my eyes. I then rolled over to wipe the dirt out of my eyes and banged the fender which caused a fist full of snow to fall down my neck.I crawled up the steps of the house and into the bathroom to wash the crud out of my eyes. My dear little wife had it in her heart to sympathize with me by saying,"It looks like things are going well, Hon"!Believe it or not, I did manage to get the job done with only a few more sad events.Presently I'm packing the camper for the low tides next week. We will be sneaking off to our secret beach to dig those big razor clams. We'll be camping for five days on the beach just above the high tide line. Clamming is one of our favorite passtimes, and something we do a lot during the summer. We are getting an early start this year.Soon we'll be cruising a remote lake looking for bears on the beach, and then fishing for lake trout in the upper Kasilof River. Then it's set-net time for salmon in June, followed by fishing the Kenai River in July.Somewhere in there, we will need to spend a few days cruising Prince William Sound for rock fish and halibut.Then in August it's moose season with a month camped out in the mountains. I guess I should mention the week we'll be spending over on the Alaskan Peninsula in September wacking a couple of grizz.Sometimes I get sooo bored!