One of my favorite salmon spots within an hour or so of Anchorage. Downstream there mass hundreds of anglers when the silver and reds are running. Up here as long as you have something to cross the creek in it’s much quieter. Of Course you have to share it. The “tundra tire” on this Cessna almost hit my truck as he had a bit of a downdraft when he came in over the trees, he pulled around to park. BTW the guy flying this plane had won it in a raffle and this was his first flight in it.
I had been driving through the jungle for half a day in this crappy 4×4 rental SUV and once the stress of river crossing after river crossing and through one mud bogg after another with nearly bald wheels I stopped for lunch. What I found was a hidden surf spot at the southernmost point of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica.
Half way up Mauna Kea on the saddle road crossing the big island of Hawaii there is a trail to the south of the road. 5 miles down that trail to the right is a Puka (Hawaiian for lava hole) about 100 feet around and 3o feet deep. This is the main entrance to the Emerson Lava Tube. This lava tube is nearly a mile long and a great hike. Bring boots, flashlights and a helmet is nice. Don’t forget sunscreen for the hike out. It’s sunny and at nearly 8,000 feet in elevation.
Whatever that is. 40 miles from Anchorage is the off road mecca of day adventurers, a spot to try out a new rig, fish, shoot and have outdoors fun (there are rules), the Alaska version of going to the beach (there’s sand, really). Here there is a 100 square miles or more of river floodplains, dunes, forests with the Knik river running down the center, a sharp valley of Alaskan ridge lines, capped by a glacier of the same name. Called Knik River Public Use Area (KRPUA)
One of the greatest, most inspirational and courageous groups I have ever trained with were PJ’s. Every thing, every skill, anywhere on earth every different civilian emergency medical and rescue services have to do, the “Jay’s” have to do while being under enemy fire. I have a friend that works in a PJ equipment shop and another that just retired after nearly 30 years of service, much of that with the rescue squadron. Each PJ has their own gear for being able to do advanced paramedic skills anywhere on earth from the sides of mountains to glacial cravvasses to raging surf while being shot at with a hundred pounds of gear. All their gear is kept in special lockers that can be loaded on an aircraft and sent anywhere in the world with less than an hours notice. Amazing folks. My friend left on his first deployment this weekend. He has strength of character and is well trained, I have faith I’ll see him on the other side in 6 months.
For many years I was a member of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group. As a group we worked directly under (and for) the Alaska State Troopers for cases of wilderness search and rescue, avalanche response, mountain and glacier rescue. We needed to be able to be on the road or in the air within 45 minutes for travel anywhere in the state. In addition to search and rescue duties we did a great deal educational with other SAR teams and public safety outreach. We trained tirelessly and at great expense both emotionally and physically in rescue rigging and wilderness search and rescue.
Michelle was born and raised in Alaska. On her first snorkel on her first day in Hawaii she met this young turtle who weaved in and around us for the hour we were in the waters off Kekaha Kai state park.
Often times things in Alaska mean something different than they do in the lower 48. Here some folks wanted to make a picnic of the afternoon. They flew about 100 miles west of Anchorage were not too many will bother their afternoon. There are no roads, towns, cell service or anything else you don’t bring with you.
I live within one mile of the gate of a major airbase and nearly under an alternate flight path. I get to see our military’s great aircraft in action from F22’s to EWACS. Tragically I was outside when a C-17 lost power after take off and lost all souls on board. The impact, over 3 miles away was both heard and felt. A friend was on the that aircraft on the previous flight a few hours before.