Back from Alaska, Safe and Sound!

I get a big kick out of my son, Kevin! I love and encourage his adventurous spirit and his controlled craziness. And then I worry a little while he’s off at his next big trip, until he returns safe and sound to share the stories, pictures, and recollections. I get to live them vicariously!

He has a couple of friends that are equally adventuresome and crazy. One of them has been his best friend since kindergarden, the other since high school. They like to hunt and fly fish. I don’t know where he got that gene, certainly not from me. But I can remember when Kevin was about 4 years old, up at 6 AM on Saturday mornings to watch TV, NOT cartoons, but rather the hunting and fishing shows! So his interest goes way back.

The three of them just got back from a month in Alaska, spent entirely in the outdoors, hiking way out into the middle of nowhere, camping, and finding remote rivers and streams to catch all sorts of different fish, especially salmon. They were roughing it to the point of only taking three showers in a month. I’m sorry, I could not do that. I couldn’t even smell that!

He said, “Dad, we are going to the exact same places where hungry bears want to go to find something to eat. We will be fishing and competing for their food.” How do you think that made me feel?

They found a $500 used car on craigslist and had arranged to buy it even before they left home, and another guy that sold them local fishing flies. They bought a gun. They took a 4 day raft trip with a total stranger who also had a gun. They stopped at a bar literally 100 miles away from the nearest anything. So many things that I’m glad I didn’t know about until after the fact!

May I share a few pictures with you? Yes? Okay…

Kevin on the left, with friends Blake and Alex. Kevin in the middle.

Remote rivers, jumping salmon,
and happy fishermen!

Black bears and grizzlies, oh my! And only a few feet away!

Hiking sometimes 7 hours to reach a remote site. Ass-freezing over the below-freezing “nights!”

Enjoying the land of the midnight sun!

Hunting and eating whatever doesn’t
eat you first!

And practicing some wild story telling!

When you see a cute little hungry bear cub,
look out for the large, angry mama bear!

Can you tell I’m proud?!

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