An Alaskan Vacation

Blue Dragon

Can't Re-Member
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Jul 18, 2005
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2,101
... where to start ...

Day 1: I have been fortunate enough to figure out a way to make it to Alaska to meet up with my buddy Jim, his lovely wife, and the cigar hounds for a few days. I stayed up all night packing, setting up my iPod, and salivating at the idea of heading up to Alaska for some fun. Jeremy dropped me off at the airport and I went to check in my bags.

The lady at the counter started giving me a bad time about how heavy my bag was, but I explained that after I went to Alaska, I was heading directly to Las Vegas for work. So then she starts razzing me about my carryon, "What, you didn't even put a pair of underwear in that bag? What if your luggage ends up in Tijuana?" She had me a little flustered since the lady sitting right next to her was reallly really cute. So flustered that I forgot the house warming present for Mary at the checkin counter. DOH! .. fortunately I remembered it right before I borded the plane and they brought it down to me. Whoow...

I then proceeded to take the red-eye over to Alaska and slept most all the way there. I landed at 2am (Alaskan time). I went down to grab my bags and ... no bag. I waited till the conveyor stopped and then went and called Mary to let her know I had to file a lost baggage report. If you looked at the line, it appeared that the whole plane didn't get any of their luggage. I finally got back to Jim and Mary's house to sleep around 3:30 or so.

The next morning, but still the same day really, I woke up at 8am having to piss like a racehorse. As I walked out the door I was met by Porter. I stopped dead in my tracks hoping he didn't think I was an intruder (he is a pretty big dog...145 lbs). He didn't budge, I stuck out my hand, and he let me pet him ... that was relief. :whistling:

Jim came home from work around 9am and we putzed around packing and running errands waiting for my bag to show up. I called the airline and my bag landed at 10:30am; they said they would drop it off at the house. At 3 pm it still hadn't shown up and we were supposed to be on the road to Homer. I called and told them they either had to get ahold of the driver and have her drop it off or fly it down to Homer. "Oh we can't do that." "Well, then you need to get ahold of the driver because we were supposed to leave an hour ago." "Let me see what I can do and I'll call you back." My bag finally showed up a half hour later. And we hit the road.

It was a beautiful drive down. It rained, got sunny, got fogged in, saw a moose.. the scenery is just amazing. I felt like I was back in Glacier Park. I really love the mountains!!!

Day 2: We are staying with Jim's sister and her husband, and I crashed downstairs on the futon. I woke up to a bright morning, no idea what time it was, and right after I moved, Amber came over and started licking my face. Jims dogs are awesome! So friendly and loving. It was a good way to start the morning.

Then a nice cup of coffee later, we got the gear all packed up, hooked up the boat and headed out for some fishing. I think we were on the water by 8:30. The water was mellow and there was only a very slight breeze, but the clouds were pretty think and low. We couldn't see the mountains and the glaciers at all. But Jim had it mapped out on his GPS where we were headed. We decided to start by fishing for some Halibut. We went out to his "lucky" hole and started fishing. This is the first time I have ever gone fishing for Halibut or Salmon. We snagged several. The first one I caught wasn't that big, but it was my first so they let me keep it. The biggest one I caught I let get away; I got it right up to the boat and then pulled it's head out of the water. Apparently that freaks the fish out and it started thrashing and popped itself off the hook. Chalk that up to a lesson learned. But we caught our limit and then decided to go fish for Silver Salmon.

Jim and David were debating on where we should go fish for Salmon, and I started realing in my jig. I see it under the water ... and there is a huge fish following it. "Jim look." "Oh my god. It's a Silver!" .. There was denial behind us, so I tossed it back in to see if I could make it surface again, and sure as shit, it came following my jig again and me everyone saw it. "Well if that isn't a sign, I don't know what is." So we set up for Salmon right there and within a couple of minutes had both lines hit hard; they stripped the bait completely off the hooks. Then they did it a third time .. I think we found the right place to fish. Jim kept telling me, "it isn't normally like this." "This is a first" .. let me name them: This was the first time he ever fished for Silvers this far off the coast, it was the first time that he ever fished for Silvers in the same spot he just fished for Halibut, it was the first time he had bait stripped of three hooks within the first 5 minutes, and it was the first time he had a Salmon hit his line while it was still on the surface of the water. It was a good day for fishing. :cool:

We finished up when the fish just seem to stop biting and we needed to start heading back. Our bellies were hungry and we knew we would have a good meal tonight! :thumbs: We pulled in, cleaned and filleted the fish and headed home. For dinner we had fresh Salmon in a dill sauce, fresh Halibut blacked, and fresh Halibut grilled, along with some awesome Homer microbrew beer. Oh what a way to end the day!!!

Oh wait .. it isn't over yet. After we get everything cleaned up and put away, the fish all sealled and ready for the freezer, it is time for a cigar. I headed down to pick out something special and Jim turns to me and asks, "are you sure you want to smoke those? What would you think about smoking these?" My face must have looked like I was in shock because Mary's response was, "well by the look on his face, I'd say you have to smoke those." .. Jim was holding up two Dunhills. I couldn't freakin believe it!!! :love: :love: I never thought that I would see, let alone have the chance to smoke a Dunhill.

We sat out on the porch, looked across the bay at the mountains, and lit up one of the most unique cigars I have ever smoked. And it was truely unique. It was a very subtle cigar, and yet still tasty and complex. It was very mellow but still very full, not bland at all. I had the toughest time trying to put a finger on the tastes. Orange peel came to mind, but not bitter or acidic like an orange, but hints of the aroma. It also seemed to coat the inside of my mouth. Jim mentioned anise, and that seemed a good descriptor, but without any of the licorice taste. It was a glorious way to end a most perfect day. And I asked him why he decided to pull those out. He said he told himself that he would smoke them with the first CPer that went out fishing with him on his boat .... I am soo damn lucky that noone else made it up yet. :blush: But I also hope that any of you that were planning a trip out here make it just to enjoy Alaska and Jim in his element. :cool:

Day 3 and 4 to follow ... :thumbs:


Fish On!!! Swissy reeling in a 16.3 lb Silver Salmon!


Blue Dragon's first Salmon!!! Does it get much better than this??


Lots and lots of Halibut!!


Preparing to clean the Silver Salmon.


Filleting the Halibut.
 

Wurm

Bratwurst and Beer
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
6,140
:cool: I can't give it enough justice with mere words... thanks for sharing Cory!
 

geldor1

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Nov 16, 2003
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Just awesome. Thanks for sharing. :thumbs:

Have always wanted to visit Alaska. Maybe one day I will make it up there.
 

tkoepp

Lil' RASScal
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
3,007
Thanks for sharing Cory.. Sounds like a very good start to a great vacation. What a treat. Enjoy brother.
 

cookie_1978

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
3,351
Cory - great story telling. I can't wait to read about day 3 and 4 - Be safe and continue to have a great time.
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
9,212
Two of the good guys, Cory and Jim, having fun and sharing some good times, good food, and great smokes. It does not get better than that...... :thumbs:

Best regards, guys - B.B.S.
 

Satchmo

Why do they call it a Power Ranger???
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
1,881
Halibut and salmon fishing in AK is a dream come true man!!! Very cool trip so far. You will have to let me know what charters you recommend. I may pull the trigger soon for a long weekend.

Nice catch. I can taste the halibut!
 

denverdog

Not now chief, I’m in the F**kin zone.
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
3,346
Great stories so far Cory, keep em coming and have a great time!
 

sack

'From man's sweat and God's love, beer came to be.
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
4,858
Man! The fishing looks great, that one of my must do things on my list, thanks for sharing! :love:
 

Swissy

R.I.P. big guy.... see you over the bridge
Joined
Mar 26, 2005
Messages
4,609
he forgot to add our smokes...

Day 1:
Tat Noella Reserva Oscuro

Day 2:
LFD Lancero Oscuro
Dunhill Atado
 
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