Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

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September 15, 2012

FISHING IN ALASKA


WITTNAUER FESTIVAL-STEINER 45MM-EKTACHROME-ISO 80*
... 1958 ... we'd arrived in alaska during its last few days as a territory, everyone was counting down the hours until it officially became the 49th state ... ship creek, which drained the marshes and bogs that wandered across the northeastern section of the city of anchorage, served to delineate the border between the city proper on its southern bank and government hill and the huge military installations looking down from the steep northern side ...

... all the dads would take us fishing ... we'd watch as they stood on the rocks, for hours pulling salmon from the cascading current ... as kids we were assigned a multitude of tasks ... bringing the huge fish up to put in ice chests so large that they barely fit into the trunks of the cars, that was great fun considering that some of the salmon were almost as long as we were tall ... delivering to the dads cans of beer, or, in the case of our own pa a refill of iced tea, was a delightful duty ... it was physically impossible to negotiate the rocky descent to the river's edge without spilling a small amount of beer, and, for some, early on was learned that instead of actually splashing the sudsy liquid along the trail it was equally possible to select a can, puncture it open, then, after carefully calculating the volume of beer that was likely to be lost, sip that amount before beginning to walk ... i, for one, stuck to ice tea, but i've an older sibling i believe perfected this exercise in three dimensional computation ... (i'm sure that years later, when he got his nasa scholarship, little did they suspect the source of his whiz kid ability) ...

... the bears would stay on one side of the river, we the other ... at times the furry creatures would be meal gathering within a short forty or fifty feet of our dads doing their own fishing ... we knew not to get too close, and, probably having been informed that our pa was packin' his treasured 1911 colt, the bears were also very careful to allow us a respectful separation ...

... here, however, a juvinile ursus arctos has treaded across the rocks into turf already staked out by our dads, a foolish mistake since adult homo sapiens sapiens are the one animal a young grizzly needs learn to fear ... luckily for this creature we children were up near the cars, thus some of pa's rather dramatic instincts were not triggered ... rather than drawing his trusty ol' hip cannon, which would've been the prudent course of action considering how close this bear appears to be, pa instead used the little german camera he seemed always to have hanging from his neck, thus allowing the bear more days within which to never ponder how close he had come to becoming a rug ...

*pa developed these himself, i just think they look better in a real kodak slide mount rather than the generic grayish ones he used ...as for the chemical stains, well, we all know he was much better at fishing and hunting than he was at colour transparency processing ...