We met Jeff, Paige, Aidan and Shea at the Courtyard Marriott in Anchorage for the turning over of the RV. After an orientation, we headed out to the Glacier Brewing Company for a late lunch. Aidan and Shea are pretty excited and have started a uTube video diary. It can be viewed at Aidan and Shea Graham. I hope they are not bouncing on my bed!
The next morning we were off to the airport for our flight on PenAir to St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands. After a few hours they cancelled the flight due to weather. We went up to the counter to obtain a ticket for the following day where we were told all was sold out for two days. I explained to the women at the counter that the following day was the only way we could go, but they didn’t care. I asked politely if someone else might be able to help me and 20 minutes later the supervisor arrived. He went back in to their secret room and 5 minutes later came out with two boarding passes for the following day. I sneered at the women in my mind.
The following day the weather was worse so we were grounded and I was sad. I really wanted to see Russia from the front porch of the hotel!!! However, no time to feel sorry for ourselves we had to find some interesting activities in the Anchorage area. We called our mighty travel agent to cancel the flights and the tours and see what refunds he could get. We then asked him to book a trip to Brooks Falls to see the bears.
While he was supposed to be on the case we raced over to the airport, rented a car and headed downtown to the visitors centre. The best women ever work at the VC. David called and could not book anything at Brooks Falls accept an overnight stay off island for $4800.00. That seemed a bit much. Candye overheard this and told us that she knew a secret place that was much more reasonable. She had the local phone number and as it was 4:50 she highly recommended that we call as they probably close at 5pm. The Alaskan people have 12 weeks to make money from tourists and yet everything closes at 5pm. Very curious.
Anyway, I called and got Ron who couldn’t have been nicer and thought he could squeeze us in for Wednesday. He said he would e-mail us the details and to go online that evening to pay and hold the spots. This could be great. The other woman Kami put the BearCam on the computer for us to see. She thought this was a more economical way to see the bears. Kami was a bit of a sketch.
We asked Kami what to do on Tuesday and she thought fishing would be fun. She called up the “boys” and booked us in. She even gave us a two for one coupon, so we were all set.
Drove to Drifter’s Lodge at Cooper Landing. It is about 100 miles south of Anchorage. It is a major fishing area at the junction of the Kenai River and Kenai Lake. The town was first settled in the 19th century by gold and mineral prospectors, and has become a popular summer tourist destination thanks to its scenic wilderness location and proximity to the world-class salmon fishery of the Kenai River and Russian River.
As we checked in, we couldn’t help but notice that Drifter’s Lodge was a Patagonia dealer. Doug couldn’t help himself and bought a shirt. Good thing as we all know he doesn’t have enough shirts. It has a find Drifter’s Lodge logo on the front and a large king salmon on the back. I am sure this will make him fish better. I had to buy a hat as mine was not in the car as I thought. Just what I needed, another bloody hat!
Hunter was to be our guide. Hunter was 20. He got hooked with the fishing bug when he was 6. Broke up with his girlfriend in Anchorage and headed to Drifter’s Lodge. We had a fine time fly fishing. The scenery along the river was spectacular. There is a very fast current and rapids – we got a rafting trip as well. Lots of bald eagles and kingfishers along the route. I was schooling Hunter in bird identification. It was a most enjoyable afternoon and we both caught Dolly Varden fish!
We got back to the hotel late and as I was starting to get a cold I thought soup was a good idea. I had a hankering for some Won Ton soup. I called the hotel and asked if they could recommend a Chinese food restaurant. Lucky for us there is one quite near the hotel that the staff all order from and they deliver. We hunkered down in the room for some fine Chinese and some Anderson Cooper. Had to get to bed early as we needed to up at 5:30am for the two flights to Brooks Falls.
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