Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2007 The Year in Review

I have to say that 2007 was one of the best years of my life! In this post there will be more images than narration but I wanted to post some of the stuff that took place over the past calender year.

NEW YEARS DAY WALKING OUT OF TOLOVANA 2007



CARIBOU HUNTING WITH LARS ON THE NORTH EDGE OF THE BROOKS RANGE


The black specs are caribou but they were only about three miles in so we could not shoot them...they needed to be 5 miles in to be legally harvested.

It was a great trip but we did not put any caribou in the freezer.

CHATANIKA DAYS OUTHOUSE RACE

George, Trevor, Ed, Melissa, and I geared up for the annual outhouse race at Chatanika, our outhouse did not show, but we were lucky enough to get to use "Old Faithful". It was a heavy beast but it certainly had character.



HIKING KASUGI RIDGE WITH TREVOR

This trip gave us the best of both worlds...we started out with phenomenal weather that allowed us to take our time and deviate from the trail. But then things turned really raunchy (like they tend to do in the Alaska Range in the spring) and forced us to put in a long day to get off of the ridge.



FLOATING THE DELTA CLEARWATER


This was a nice weekend that was set up by Lars and Sharon. This trip really let us feel like spring was here. There were thousands of migratory waterfowl moving through and the river was nearly void of ice.


BACK TO WISCONSIN FOR BRIAN AND JANESSA'S WEDDING

It was great to be back in Wisconsin to see family and friends. Sadly, I do not have any pictures of the wedding...but I do have some pictures from an ear candling party, bear baiting, and boating.



Mom and Kerry took me out on their swanky pontoon boat...we had a nice tour of the lake and finished with a nice landing by the retired pilot.

KING SALMON ON THE KLUTINA

Brett and I went on our annual King Salmon fishing trip. This year trip was a blast: we learned about a river that we had been unfamiliar with in the past, we actually caught fish, and we were witnesses to the biggest barroom brawl that I had ever had the pleasure of watching.





'BUTS IN VALDEZ

George and I met up with the Tonne's with hopes of filling the freezer with some halibut. We caught our limits, and although nobody in our party contended for the derby prize, George hauled in a bonus salmon shark.

George wanted to get a quick shower in before bed...he slipped on the rocks and and cut himself up a bit, but at least he was able to exfoliate.

SALMON SHARK OFF OF HINCHENBROOK

Brett and I joined Dad, Katz, Evan, and Gary on a salmon shark charter in Valdez. After a little looking we eventually got into these big predators. Aside from the four in the picture, we caught, tagged and released one and lost several others. It was one hell of a trip...these brutes weighed from 350 -400 pounds!



Blood in the water. Once the sharks were brought next to the boat they would get shot with a "boom stick". It was a 4 foot rod with a pistol cartridge in the tip that would get driven into the sharks head.


This was the big one from the day. It weighed over 400 pounds. I've been eating shark ever since: pickled shark, shark-ka-bobs, oven fried shark, shark fajita's, grilled shark, smoked shark...

$100 DOLLAR CAR


I picked up this sweet ride to help reduce fuel costs. Josie and I commuted back and forth to Delta Junction for work. It has already paid for itself a couple of times! I call it "The Shark"

FINISHED!

I tied up all of the loose ends associated with finishing my M.S. and headed for the mountains!

EXPLORING THE WRANGELL'S

I have been dreaming of finding a good walk in hunting area for Dall Sheep, so this year, after a bunch of map reading and head scratching, I finally attempted to punch into an area in the Wrangell Mountains. I really got my butt kicked on the first day and ended up getting cliffed out and sleeping in a fairly unnerving location. But after I backed out of my situation I managed to make my way back into sheep country and enjoy the rest of my time in the mountains. I saw one nice full curl ram that will have me back there in years to come!







This canyon got pretty tight and ultimatly dead-ended at a waterfall. I got to start this trip off with wet feet.





Kicken back with a good book or glassing some Dall sheep it was great to spend a little time in the Wrangell's. This trip was just what the doctor ordered.

FLOAT, SOAK AND HIKE...A TRIP TO KANUTI HOT SPRINGS


Ed hatched a last second plan to try to access Kanuti Hot Springs by paddling down the river to the spring and then breaking down our boats and hiking out. Ed and Dan both had Alpaca Pack rafts which weighed in around 5 pounds whereas the boat I had was a bit bulkier and quite a bit heavier. It was a great trip that allowed us to paddle the Kanuti river, basically along the Arctic Circle, get a great soak in a wilderness hot spring, scare off some grizzly bears and have a great hike out.


The hike out was pretty spectaular...from the ridge you could see north to the Brooks Range. Below, Dan had reached the pipeline access road along the Haul Road.




BROWN BEARS IN BECHEROF

Over a year of sceming went into this memorable outing. Brian, Nathan, myself and my Pa flew out to a drainage on the southeastern tip of Becherof lake. The trip did not disapoint; the weather was brutal, the bears were plentyful and the comeroderie was unbeatable!


Nathan fends off this opening morning brown bear and ultimatly prevails.



The big brownie was host to about 40 feet of tape worm...pretty grodie!



The fishing was fantastic...I was hard not to hook up for the first few days that we were in camp.



Brian had a hard time remembering how to use his hunting knife and nicked his thumb a little.



TOLOVANA NEW YEARS 2008



Things got mighty rowdey once the clock struck 12:00 on New Years eve.


A few of us took a late morning soak before hitting the trail on the first.




Josie and Lucky give Bernie some help on the way up to the top of the dome.


Life is good...365 days have passed since the first picture on this post; and I am on the same great trail, headed in the same direction. I hope 2008 will allow me to keep moving in the same direction as well.

4 comments:

Ed Plumb said...

Dude--you are living a good life. I am fortunate to be part of it. Looking forward to more adventures in the upcoming year. You make every trip a memorable one.

Fwx Sharon said...

Wow Brian! You are livin' the life. This is a nice blog. Hope to see you sometime this year!

Patrick said...

Holy moly, you've done some awesome stuff. Happened across your site when searching for the date of the 2008 Chatanika days. Maybe you've got some suggested trips for a novice but able outdoors man such as myself? A trip like your rafting to a hot springs & hiking out is something I aspire to do!

Leena Roy said...

with the passage of time this information is doing good for me.

Caribou Hunting & Muskox hunting