Friday, June 13, 2008

Last Day in Alaska

This was actually the funnest day. I had never fished for salmon.

 We got up really early in the morning and drifted across the lake in our little power boat. 
We had been given instructions by our guide the day before and felt we were ready to catch some fish. We were not. 
 We got to the cove that the salmon were supposed to be in and all of the things he had taught us went right out the window. We couldn't see any of the signs that he told us to watch for so, so we drifted around for an hour staring at the surface of the water and holding our fishing poles in the air.
We decided to drive up the stream, not to catch fish, but to take some pictures. It was absolutely beautiful up there.
 As we started up the stream a crazy looking "mountain man" in another boat was at the entrance and said " There are no fish up there, I've checked." "OK" I replied, " we are just going to take some pictures." We head into the mouth of the stream and he shouts " I've been up and down twice, there are no fish up there!" I'm like " Dude, relax, we are just going to take some pictures." I guess I don't understand all the fishing rules. I don't think you can go into a stream if someone else is at the entrance. Kind of like a troll.
So we go up to the top of the stream and it is breathtaking. They say that late in the summer the bears are all along the shore catching fish. We saw no bears.
Well after our photo shoot we start to drift down stream and we think, what the heck we might as well put our hooks in the water, just for fun. So I turn down stream and think to my self, I wonder how far I could cast this thing, so I reach back and huck this thing 60 yards down stream. Way cool! The instant the hook hits the water, BAM! It almost jerks out of my hand.
 If you have never caught a salmon, they go crazy. Zooming side-to-side and jumping out of the water. It was awesome. 
 The guy I was with caught one too and that was our limit for that day so we drifted out into the cove and yes I had to stand up with fish in hand and say to mister grumpy fisherman "We are not from here and not quite sure what you guys call fish, but these were up there." I let it go at that, he had probably killed lots of creatures and I didn't want to end up hanging from his wall.
We ended our trip with one more time out to catch halibut. we caught a couple more and headed back to the lodge to clean up to head home.
I had a blast and highly recommend Alaska to anyone, it was great.
Talk to you from home

Monday, June 9, 2008

Alaska Glacier Day 3

This might be the coolest thing I have ever done.

I was unprepared for the experience. The beauty of the glacier and the color. You can not describe to someone what it looks like and pictures do not even come close to real life, but you couldn't be here so you have to look at my photos.
The glacier is over 1000' tall and these chunks fall off and float in the bay. They are this "blue" color that is the bluest blue ever. 
Now to appreciate the one picture of me in the snow. I begged the guide to let me get out on a floating piece of glacier. It is basically a small iceberg. He said no way, I can't do it. I persisted and there I am. I hopped out of the boat in water that is barely above freezing. They said that if I fell in I would freeze to death before they could save me. I think they were exaggerating
I am the only person who has ever got out of the boat and jumped on a floating chunk of ice. Of course, only me.
Having a blast and we are fishing again this afternoon.
Talk to you soon

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Alaska, Day 2

Ok, Day two. Not as big, but more of them.

Hot looking overalls too.
We went out this morning and the sea was so choppy I thought I was on the "Deadliest Catch"
We saw dolphins swimming right by our boat and we saw whales again today.
I didn't even get sick on the boat ride.
We go see the glaciers tomorrow.
Talk to you later

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Look who's fishing now. I have never caught a fish bigger that 14" and now this .

So far Alaska is a blast and it's only day one.
We landed on this lake in one of those planes that have floats for wheels. The only way in or out is by plane.
We went fishing as soon as we landed. We did not catch any salmon, but one whopper of a halibut.
We saw whales not more than 100 yards from our boat.
No bears yet.
Talk to you tomorrow

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Feeling Much Better

I am feeling much better, for any who might be concerned. Other than having a stint in, that has to come out, I'm good. 

Once again I have swore off diet coke and drinking gallons of water. How long will it last? Probably not long. Time blurs rational thought.

I know that in my last post I said "Man I hate to travel", but I am going to get to go on the trip of a life time this weekend. I get to fly on a private jet to Alaska and then get on one of those really cool yellow planes with the floats for wheels and fly into one of those lakes that can only be gotten to by plane. I am so excited!
It's all fun 'til the bear eats you.
They have WiFi at the lodge, but NO cel phone service. So I can post some pictures and a note or two, but no phones. Yippee!
Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

News from Tyler/ Man I hate to travel

Well as you can see, we just got a picture CD from Tyler. It is so cool to see all of the people and sites that he is experiencing. A few of the files were video files so we got to hear from him as well as see some of people and scenery of his area. He only has 18 more weeks. I can remember when he still had 18 months left. 

There are so many blessings that a family experiences while having a missionary in the field, but the one that is the most impressive is the growth in that young man. Tyler has matured so much and you could see it in every letter week to week. He has such a strong testimony. We can't wait for him to come home, but also know he has a lot more work to do in Australia.

A Travel Tale

I wasn't feeling well last week as you know, but I had a very important business trip in New York that I could not get out of, so I suck-it-up like a good soldier and headed out.
 The trip there was uneventful, I was well rested from the weekend and got to fly First Class. I was eager to be in the big city. Little did I know that it was going to be the classic tale of the " Country Mouse/ City Mouse." 
After arriving that afternoon I courageously caught a cab from the airport to my hotel uptown. Piece of cake.
 I walked over to Central Park and if you have never been there it is awesome. I stayed all afternoon, but got scared when it started to get dark. I've heard stories.
I had meetings all the next day and wanted to get a good rest for my big day in the city.
After waking up to the pulse of the city, I headed down stairs to meet the day. I pushed my way through the big revolving doors and go around a couple times because it's fun. I stumble to the street because I was dizzy and have the bellman help me hail or is it hell or hayle a cab. Whichever it is, he whistled real loud and a cab screeches to a stop right in front of me and I hop in. 
I try to be so cool and  say "136 Franklin Street" and of course that is not enough information. The turbin slowly turns toward me and in a middle eastern accent the man says "Uptown or downtown?"
 I stare at the plexi glass and mutter "Uh, uh it's by a bridge." 
He stares back and asks again "Uptown or downtown mister, let's go the meter is ticking" 
I hold the note to the glass like a little kid hoping that if he reads it himself he will somehow know whether it was uptown or downtown. It doesn't seem to work. I suddenly remember and shout "I can walk to the World Trade Center site!" He hits the gas! "Downtown we go, please buckle now!"
Have any of you ridden in a New York City cab in rush hour traffic? There are no traffic rules or at least none of  the ones I obey.
 You can pass on the right, you can pass on the left, you can actually go into on coming traffic as long as you do so while honking your horn.
 We drove for over a 100 yards on the sidewalk because a delivery truck had stopped in the middle of the road, which I also guess is OK. I now know over a dozen swear words in Arabic. 
The "bridge" that the address was by was the Brooklyn Bridge, but I did not see the bridge because my head was in my lap as I prayed to Ala to get me there safely. It must have work because we came to a screeching stop right in front of 136 Franklin Street. I threw money at him and rolled to the curb and kissed the sidewalk. Never again! 
My meetings go well and I got the chance to walk to the World Trade Center site and go through the memorial. It was very emotional and so worth the effort. 
I was done and tired and ready to head back to my hotel. As I started to walk in the general direction of the hotel I got involved in another big city experience. I've seen it on TV, but now I was in it. A 15' wide sidewalk with a million people all headed home. I swear, wall-to-wall people. Solid people all moving like a "lava flow" down the sidewalk. 
I was just going with the flow even as the part I was in peeled off and went down stairs to the subway. The subway! I've never ridden on a subway.
 I push through the turn styles with the flow and a lady seeing my panic gives me some comforting advise "You'll be fine, just watch for your stop and get off when it's your turn." Sounds easy. 
I squeeze onto the subway and the problem is that at every stop, lot's of people get off and lots of people get on. I am having a hard time keeping track. I think it's my turn and I nervously get off. No turning back now, I walk to the stairs and head up. 
Now here's the weird part. You pop up out of the hole like a ground hog and look around. I could have been anywhere. I'm thinking Harlem, but no, I am right by my hotel. How cool? Much better than the cab ride. 
I crash I'm so tired and wake up feeling a little better and in no rush. My flight is not until 12:30 pm. I make my way down and do the cab thing again, but this time it's easy. "JFK Airport and take it easy we have 3 hours." I say. The same guy or his brother says "OK, mister, set back and take it easy."
I get to the airport with time to spare and make my way through the "shoes on shoes off" thing. My back is really starting to hurt, I really over did it with all the walking the day before.
 I know that I will be having to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes so I move my seat to the very front row by the bathroom. Big mistake! 
They start to load the plane and guess when row 1 boards? Yea, last.
 So I wait until everyone has boarded, my back is really hurting. 
As I step through the door of the plane the first thing I see is the 250 lb lady sitting by the only empty seat, my seat, and 100 lbs of her was in my seat.
 I try to find a little space to push my carry on into and sit down with my briefcase under my feet, because on the "front row" there is no compartment under the seat in front of you. 
It's then I meet the "grumpy stewardess". "Sir, you can not have that case under your feet." 
I stand to find a spot for my briefcase and there is none. 
"Sir, you have to be seated."
"Uh, ok, I'm trying to find a spot." Nothing, everyone is staring. 
"Sir, please you have to be seated." 
I'm looking, I'm looking, help.
Ahh! She pops up and makes this tisking sound, grabs my briefcase and heads down the plane and crams it in a overhead 3/4 of the way down the plane. 
Now I'm sure when the plane lands all I will have to do is say "Could everyone stay in their seats for a second while I come all the way back there and get my briefcase." Crap!
I plop down into my seat and smoosh the fat lady's arm because it's in my seat. Now she's mad. I try to put my seatbelt on, but she's sitting on it. Did I say my back was hurting?
 We take off and I have to go to the bathroom so bad I can't stand it. You are not allowed to get up until the plane gets to some special altitude that it is safe to pee at. Why? I'm not sure, but I can not wait, I unbuckle and head to the bathroom
 "Sir, you have to remain seated." 
I disregard and head into the bathroom. I'm in big trouble now. I don't want to come out. When I finally do I get glared at and return to my seat. My half of seat. It is the longest flight ever.
 I can't stay seated because I have no where to put my right arm. Her arm is not only on the armrest, it's past the arm rest. I can't rest it on her arm, so I hold it in the air. Did I say my back hurts?
 I try to stand, but am told to "Please be seated!" They are very serious about the whole "stay away from the pilots door" thing. It's the law. 
It is truly the flight from hell.
So after we land and I wait for the entire plane to unload, I walk back to get my briefcase.
As I pass by "miss grumpy pants" she says and I quote " Thank you so much for flying JetBlue." 
Man I hate to travel.
Talk to you later


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