Taken at -20. Not bad!


Paul and a friend, took Simon Dip Netting from around 4:00 a.m - 11:30 ish.  Then they went back out with Hunter from 8:00 p.m - Midnight.  They caught a total of 15 Reds (Salmon).  The boys had a great time.  Simon was so excited to tell me that when he knocked out one of the Salmon, it's eye flew out!  They LOVED IT!  SO GROSS!!!!!  
I found the fish with the missing eye.  It is so obvious what is in this container, right?  I stuck my hand in this container to clean it out, It wasn't until I looked and saw what I was doing.. that I was grossed out!  

Ready and willing to help!

We have had days of rain, the sun came out and warmed up to 68.  Great day for processing fish.  

Heads and guts....

I got a new filleting knife, made the job so much faster, only took about 2 hours this year.  The knife cut like butter through the spine and ribs of the fish.

Don't keep

The Dip Net.

Paul was cleaning up after me and preparing to package for freezing.  We hope to canning soon.  Still makes me nervous.

I cut, Paul packaged.

My motivator, Olivia!

Top shelf is left from last year.  Bottom shelf, this year.  We tried a different packaging method this year!

June - July 2012

These pictures are from the Kenai River Festival.  There are so many Festivals with free activities for the kids throughout the summer.  This is one of our favorites.  The kids built rockets and got to shoot them.  If you build it correctly, it goes pretty far.  This activity was sponsored by the Challenger Center.

Hunter and Simon waiting for their turn with Archery.  There were instructors from Sportsman's Warehouse teaching the kids how to shoot.  The boys loved this!

The 20 foot rock wall was their next favorite.  The Alaska National Guard sponsored this.

Hunter is on the other side of the wall.

Abby getting her face painted.

You could paint a Salmon.  Trying to tell which one was my kids was a challenge.  Yes, their names were written on the bottom.  But where paint and kids come together, it's everywhere.  I think we got the right ones.  Boys and Girls club sponsored this.

The Wildlife Refuge sponsored fishing safety.  They were given a safety lesson and then got to try catch and release skills.

Abby as catcher.  Not her favorite position.  Her games were always entertaining to watch.  The first game was like herding cats to kids really cracking the ball.

Olivia enjoying a sunny day.  One of our daily activities is going to the courts/track near our house.  Paul and I run/walk the track, hit tennis balls, shoot hoops.  The kids join in or ride their bikes around the track, hide around the bleachers, play ball.  We usually end up "running" into friends there.  On a sunny day, this is our favorite place to be.  
It was been really warm lately, at around 65 degrees, we are playing in the sprinklers and looking for a lake to go swimming.  To those outside (Alaska term for, lower 48) 68 is probably your mid 80's without the humidity.  But if clouds pass by, it can cool quickly.  Lately we have had really nice warm days, then a week of 50's cold and rainy.  

Simon pitching.

Olivia playing low tide in the Kenai River.

Simon batting


Pretty sure this is Hunter

Yesterday (July 4th), we hiked with friends, Skilak Lake Lookout.  It was 4 miles round trip, took about 4 hours.  We packed lunch and ate at the top.  It was cold and very windy at the top so we huddled into some bushes to warm up and eat.  We definitely learned what to/or not to pack and how to pack.  Camel packs are on our to get list (water bags that you carry on your back).  It has rained the past couple days, so the beginning of the trail was very muddy!  

Views from along the way.

That is the Kenai River with a raft on it.  We were up 700 feet elevation.  The trail was about a foot to a foot and a half wide.  The kids did amazing!  The girls got real tired when it got real steep, I don't blame them, it was hard for me too.  Paul and I were carrying about 35 - 40 pounds on our backs.  The inclines were strenuous at times.  But we were very proud of the kids, they did great!  The difficulty of the trail was rated, moderate... it was not the mom's who picked it.  The boys had a blast hiding in the bear beds and jumping out and surprising us.  We though going down would be easier... of course.  Not so much, it was a different challenge.  Lots of roots to not trip over and ... steep, trying not to fall.  As sore as we all were and exhausted... we all had fun and agreed to go on an easier trail with the girls next time.

Skilak Lake

2 Eagles




The faces of girls loving the adventure!

Little rest break

The wind was really strong.  I had a challenge balancing myself to take pictures.

I love the dimensions of color in the water.

The black spot to the right of the tree is a black bear.  What hiking trip is not complete without seeing a bear?? We also saw lots of eagles and a porcupine....

The boys, our bear deterrents.

The boys have been asking when they will be "Alaskans".  I told them that after the winter we had (30 below), which is the coldest it has been in years, we are!  That made their day.