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Year 2014 - a lot of work and little salmon
It was a very difficult year.
would you rather go straight to the photo album?

2014: Soccer World Cup, the rear expansion, in between fishing and badly depressed. . .

 

Arrived in Anchorage on June 5th, I packed my boxes and carry-on luggage onto a cart, put my BOSS on a leash and walked from Terminal North to Terminal South to catch the Grand Airline flight to Kenai. As always, it was an experience: All window seats and there were four of us (with Boss 5). The single-engine machine with 8 seats flies quite low and so you can experience flying "up close" - which is certainly not for everyone, but the landscape can also have an effect on you. After about 20 minutes arrival and landing at Kenai Airport. Susie's brother Mike had parked my Expedition outside and I actually only had to change trains, drive off and - after a short stop at Fred Meyer for groceries - was finally HOME after another 20 minutes.

 

Here I was a little shocked because of the many fallen and snapped trees - it was apparently a stormy autumn and winter. Finally, a few days later, I cut out 40 trees  and "disposed of them". But the cabin was fine, no frost damage, everything worked, even the phone was working when I arrived. BOSS felt right at home - he had enough sticks to carry and play with. 

 

Otherwise it was a pretty turbulent summer. But I had my BOSS with me - just a great dog !!! 

 

It started with putting together my building materials, briefly comparing prices - I had enough time - and ordering. So I waited for the deliveries from Home Depot and SBS, which - by Alaska standards - went quickly. Renate, Klaus, Ilona and Erwin came on July 10th, 2014 and so I had a good 4 weeks to build the "ground floor" and the ceiling. I have to say that for an "old man" like me it was quite a challenge and a lot of effort - but in the end it worked out.

 

experiences in between

Once I was able to go fishing on the Kasilof River with Susan, Butch and Jake. A really great day, with the result that I had my 3 Reds "in the bag". I grabbed a few more from the Smily during the day - tedious, but nice thickness! The other thing was rather ugly. I had caught a nasty virus - probably from working in the rain, sweating and exerting myself. It finally forced me to lie down for almost 2 weeks. It was the whole range: fever, chills, body aches, severe cough and everything else that nobody else needs. Ultimately, I felt better at some point and I was able to finish the rear part of the expansion in time.

 

As I said, on July 10th  went to Anchorage to pick up my wife and friends. In between there was always a game of the German team at the World Cup - right up to the final, which we were then able to see together with 15 friends in the shell. It was a great day and a great win.

 

For the "first floor" I made the side walls and Klaus helped me to set up the roof beams and the roof struts. I have so far everything in the picture on meine cabin side held. A week later the boys Alex, Markus and Tobias came. They then helped with the roof and the steep work that was dangerous for me. Towards the end of my Alaskan summer everything was ready for the winter and waiting for 2015. . .

 

At this point, my heartfelt thanks again to Klaus, Alex, Markus and Tobi - without whom I certainly would not have made it all. THANKS

Of course there was also fish.

Renate and I usually went fishing "to the island" after dinner, our favorite fishing spot in Soldotna. There we sometimes stood in the water for several hours until we finally caught our 6 salmon (2x 3) legally. Well - it wasn't like 2013, thank God, where we had two days on which 230,000 Reds moved in the Kenai River and the run was actually over after a week.

This year it was quite tedious with the salmon. Sometimes it was 25,000, sometimes 60,000 who moved into the river. We often wondered where they were because the fishing was anything but easy this year. . . .
If you want to see the graphic larger, just click on it.

Graphic on the left: date, entry per day and yearly total(click to enlarge)

 

Fish and Game's numbers and graphs show how the 2014 run unfolded. Tough - but for those who were there longer, it was actually always possible to "get booty". To make matters worse, at the end of July the Sockeye (Reds) were joined by the Humpbacks (Pinks), which are not particularly tasty and have become quite unpopular due to their ever-increasing appearance. 2014 was just another "humpback year" - which, as I said, nobody really needs.

 

Unfortunately, by the time we left on August 7th, no silver (silver salmon) had moved into the Kenai River - or only a few - and so we missed the often very impressive drill of a large silver.

 

What we missed a bit this year were the boat trips on the Kenai River and on the Gulf of Alaska in Homer.Due to the high cost of our construction and my illness, it was unfortunately not possible for us to visit the sandbanks of the Kenai River in order to catch our salmon there in the wild and without tourists - or maybe one or the other Put our boat on one or the other gravel bank. 

 

Just as little  we were still able to catch the halibut once or maybe twice. That's always a great experience, which I was very reluctant to miss this year.

Our friends fell just as short this year as our beloved boat trips. We met Susan, Butch and family three times, I only saw my friend Jeff twice and spoke briefly. I hadn't met our sherry at all, Renate only once. That's one thing that will definitely not happen again and I'm sure I'll change in 2015!

I promise!!

2 days before we left Steve came from LA. We have been close friends for a number of years and he offered to accompany us on our departure to Anchorage and safely deliver our car to the "Safely property". He had something to do in Anchorage, so the drive home was a little more relaxed, Klaus and Ilona didn't pack the car that full and we were able to drive comfortably with 2 cars. We had booked an alternative flight home. We flew with Iceland Air to Reykjavik and from there, after an hour's stay, on to Frankfurt. That was the case when booking and seems to be an alternative if you don't mind the longer flight and the stay.

So we reached Frankfurt am Main on Thursday, August 8th, 2014. It was another great summer, despite all the adversities, and we are looking forward to Alaska 2015 next year - or in 10 months. 

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