Wow. Yesterday was the ultimate Alaskan day … and I do not know how I am going to top this one! The summary is that Lee and I, along with our friend Carl, harvested 50 sockeye salmon and 1 king salmon from Sweetheart Creek late Sunday night/early Monday morning. Cruised back into town at 0600, had the fish cleaned, filleted and dropped off at Jerry’s Meats to be vacuum sealed/frozen by 1000, dumped the carcasses and were back home by 1015. I then jumped into my running shorts, grabbed my little running back, poured water into the camelback and made up a PB&J sandwich and headed downtown to join in on another running camp adventure! I got a fifteen minute late start so I hauled up Mt. Roberts and caught up to the group at Gold Ridge, not quite the top. (The fear of being left behind certainly gets ones leg moving!) We continued over the top of Roberts, onto Sheep Mtn, then Clark Mtn, which is a route I have travelled a few times before. THEN we headed into new territory for me … instead of dropping into Granite Basin and out on Perseverance Trail like usual, 4 of us pressed on to Summit Mt. Olds and down the other side to where it connects with the Juneau Ridge. Across the ridge and down Mt. Juneau we went and on out to where I started the day at my Jeep (base of Mt. Roberts)!! Basically, a big horseshoe loop from Mt. Roberts to Mt. Juneau. CRAZY! What good tour guide friends I have and what an amazing opportunity to glimpse God’s incredible handiwork!
So back to Sweetheart Creek … about 40 miles Southeast of Juneau in Snettisham is an creek that empties into the ocean, every July/August the Sockeye salmon spawn and migrate back to their birth place. This is one of the places where Alaskans can obtain a free permit and subsistence fish by castnetting, taking home 25 salmon per day. Below is someone else’s photo of Sweetheart Creek. We got there at 10:30 pm on Sunday night to start fishing, it was too dark for pictures … actually I did not have time to take pictures because they were hauling in 2-6 salmon on almost every cast! My job was to bonk the salmon, keep count of them and throw them in the cooler.
This is my picture of Sweetheart Creek, from a similar angle as the one above.
We got 35 fish Sunday night and netted the last 15 Sunday morning around 4:00 am.
This is Carl and Lee unloading the cooler from the jetboat to the big boat so we could refill the cooler.
Lee and Carl hard at work.
Headed back to Juneau at daybreak:
Fast-forward 3 hours … the slime line!
Only a few left to go boys!
Fast forward a few more hours … I catch the trail runners near the top of Mt. Roberts.
I had looked up at this part of the mountain at 6:00 am, wishing I was able to be joining in the proposed adventure … little did I know that I would be right there with them!
Dan and Marisha came from Gustavous just to run with us today!
The body of water behind these mountains is the Taku Inlet where Lee and I went camping with Mom and Dad in May.
“Sledding” on July 29! Actually the snow was pretty icy in parts and tore my butt up pretty good! Oops, I was more cautious on the following snow slides …
The rock pile is the summit of Clark Mtn, the snowfield behind is was we had just come down in the above photo.
So rugged and raw … makes one feel small.
Starting to show some sunburn on those cheeks!
Destination is Mt. Olds, the rocky mass in the distance that I cut the top off of in the photo. From here until the Juneau Ridge is all new territory for me.
4 people dropped off into Granite Basin and 4 of us continued on to Olds and the Juneau Ridge, Dan was the guide that led us up and over Olds.
Annie and I were the 2 gals that did the full loop! The Geaser’s used to say that there was only enough room for one estrogen on any trail run but I now think that is baloney! Annie from Reno, Nevada/Truckee, California is a strong, very capable trail runner … and super fun too!
Norris Glacier in the background, where Lee proposed 4 years ago! 🙂
Unbelievably awesome … so thankful to be able to live where I do and be able to do and see these amazing things! I wish I could function on 3 hours of sleep every day so that I can fish the wee hours of the morning and play in the sun all afternoon!
Today (Tuesday), I smoked some of the sockeye. Looking good!
Neka thinks it looks good too.
Please, please, please, pretty please?!? Sweet puppy dog eyes.
I also smoked some other locally caught fish that was been in the freezer since spring, the sockeye we caught yesterday are the red fish on the left. I love, love, love this smoked salmon recipe and I will share my “secret” if you ask nicely! 🙂