A Day Off!

Jen and I both work so hard at the tasks on the property that we catch ourselves not doing what we came out here to do– Enjoy the land and nature. We catch ourselves getting preoccupied in trying to finish and mark off as much as possible from our “to do” list. I am so goal-oriented that I would probably work nonstop until they were all complete, and then would sit back and relax. I’m so thankful to have Jen by my side to help encourage me to stop and take a break and do something fun. So when we awoke, she said, “Let’s go fishing!” And I agreed we did need a break…we started the morning off with fresh blueberry pecan waffles.
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Then, we hit the water to try our luck at a little cut-throat trout action. The trout aren’t in a feeding frenzy right now because the salmon haven’t made it back to the lake to spawn yet. Cut-throat trout love salmon eggs. The locals taunt us and say to catch as many as possible so that there are more salmon that hatch the following year. Salmon is and has always been the locals jewel catch around here. As we float down stream trolling the lakes, banks, and shallows, we had plenty of bites and small catches.
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Jen and I both caught some good keepers but she caught the largest of the morning. Looks like I’m on dish duty tonight.
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As we made our way down to the end of lake, we strapped on our hip boots and prepared to go set the trail cams back on what I now call “the moose highway”. We have been setting them out in 7 day intervals. We have gotten tons of moose and several grizzlies on film. We will be posting about these pictures in the weeks to come. We should be getting the mother load of grizzly picks on this next set. Knowing that last night was the longest day of the year, I knew we could get some good daylight shots of the bear we’ve been spotting on the cams. So there we went, into the woods with 2 zip lock bags of fresh dungees crab scraps and dead fish from the night before. This made jen feel a little uneasy. She already doesn’t like going into the woods, but we have to watch each other’s backs out here. It’s funny to hear all the songs we come up with as we’re walking through the woods. They say this is going to scare away the bears. I think if a bear understands English we’re screwed! Jens yelling, “hey bear, hey bear, we just coming in with crab and fish scraps so we can take pictures of you”..”don’t come out till were done!”….you literally just say aloud what’s in your head, like thinking out loud. Really loud! In hopes that it does work scaring them off. I tell Jen, I don’t scream. I’m a frontiersman. I just pull triggers! So, we make it to the spot where we got the shots last time, and there’s plenty of signs. Nice bedding areas where they have been lying down and scat everywhere. As I start clearing branches and strapping up the cameras, Jen spurts out, “Did you here that?” I paused briefly but neither one us heard anything. I’m strategically hanging the bags above the cameras in the tree so that we can get the best shot. Jen, again says, “Listen. Did you hear it?” This time I heard something really large sloshing through the marsh and it sounded like multiple animals. Typically this would be a moose because bear don’t really travel thru the water, but it was big and coming towards us. I’m envisioning a group of bears B lining for the scent we just strung up. At this point, Jen and I were both running on top of the water back to the boat. Then, “Damn it!” In our haste to vacate, we forgot to turn on the camera!  Now, if we were hesitant to come into the woods before, Lord knows this frontiersman didn’t want to go back. But, we had to go back. At this point we were both singing songs from “Westside Story”, which Jen made me watch the night before. Now this frontiersman was hurrying through the woods singing from the top of my lungs, “I’m so prety”. We made it back to the boat fine and off we went. Not more than a hundred yards from the shore my guess was comfrimed. I spotted a large cow moose and 2 babies swimming across the lake. I was highly impressed to see the distance they swam and what great swimmers they were. We watched for a minute and then they scurried off into the woods.
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Next on our “day off” list was an “outhouse tour”. Jen has me building her an outhouse because she doesn’t like using her honey pot. As her husband, I must provide my wife with an outhouse…lol. For some reason, she thinks this will be better.
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(This is not our outhouse. Those pics will come next week when it’s finished)
We first stopped at an abandoned cabin that was hit by an avalanche. We found an amazing door that we could salvage for the outhouse.
After that, we took off to some of our friends’ cabins on the larger lake to inspect their outhouses. After the outhouse tour, the locals are going to think ours is an outhouse palace when I’m done.
Along the way, we saw how unforgiving nature is out here. As we watched, a mother swan swam by with 3 baby swans, an eagle flew by and scooped up one up right out of the water. An amazing feet of nature right in front of us.
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While we were on this side of the lake, I wanted to go check out another unforgiving nature spot where weeks before we spotted a bear shredding and consuming a dead moose carcass. It was dragged 300-500 yards from where we first spotted it. This was a big moose so it really demonstrated the strength and power these bears have. The wolves and eagles had their share when the bears were done and stripped the bones clean.
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The moose bones were so huge, it was like holding something prehistoric.
Finally, we made the long trek into town to attend the greatly anticipated Fisherman’s Salmon BBQ, a big to-do in Haines every year.  We sampled some great salmon. The whole town showed up for the feast (yep, everyone’s here!)
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Enough playtime, I’m going to catch up on my beauty sleep…
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5 thoughts on “A Day Off!

  1. Would you two quit chasing the bears!! It scares me to death to think of the two of you walking through the thick brush right through Bear Country!!!!!! You need to take more days off and enjoy your surroundings!! I love and miss you so much!

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