GAFA Day 7: Headed Home

The Great Alaska Fishing Adventure has run its amazing seven-day course, and John and I are sitting in the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, waiting for our 8 p.m. departure for an overnight flight to Atlanta and then on to Savannah.  We leave Alaska, of course, with mixed feelings.  On one hand, each of us is anxious to get back home to our loving wife and jealous friends.  On the other hand, leaving a place as beautiful and awe-inspiringas the Kenai Peninsula is difficult indeed.  Alaska adventures produce tranquility and excitement in equal measure and few people are able to make just one trip to the 49th state.  This was my fourth visit to Alaska and John’s first, but I predict we will return again someday.

We said goodbye to our gracious chalet hosts Jan and Don Shields after an extended snooze this morning and headed into Soldotna for a 10 a.m. appointment to pick up our fishy bounty.  Each of  us return home with about 20 pounds of salmon and an equal weight of halibut.  I noticed this morning that the going price for salmon was about $12 a pound and $25 for halibut.  Our flash frozen fillets won’t offset the trip’s cost, of course, but good eating for the next year makes the financial outlay more palatable.

We had thought about doing a little sight-seeing on the way back to Anchorage, and decided to stop in Hope, a little town I visited twice before on motorcycle adventures and the home of the best pie I tasted in Alaska.  Pie was to be our lunch today, but when we arrived at the restaurant–which had changed ownership since my last visit–we discovered that the horde of salmon anglers who descended on the town this weekend to fish the creek for silvers and pinks devoured all the pie in town.  I was crushed, and after a quick drive through what’s left of the historic gold-mining town, we left a pieless Hope and drove the remaining miles around Turnagain Arm to the airport.  There, we unloaded our luggage and fish and returned the POS Focus to the rental company.

My camera remained in its bag all day, so there are no new pictures.  But I know that most people come to to see pictures, so I’ve added a few more taken over the last week that probably should have made the blog earlier but didn’t.  Tomorrow I’ll make a final post to wrap up the GAFA 2018 blog.  Thanks to all who took time to join John and me on this wonderful adventure and to read my ramblings when they probably should have doing something constructive at work.


The entrance to Stillwaters Chalets in Soldotna


John checks out our lodging on the first day.


John called this my J.C. Penny catalog pose.  I was just enjoying the view from the chalet deck.


Silver Salmon caught on the Kenai River.


Rainbow trout caught on the Upper Kenai River.


I’ve hooked a Pink Salmon.


Waders were the uniform of the day on the Kustatan River flyout.


Another shot of the Griz that challenged our right to fish in his river.


Waiting in vain for a halibeast to gobble my tasty fish-head bait.


Another shot of the eagle perched high in a tree across the river from us.


Fishing friends ready to float the Upper Kenai.


Getting to my camera before Jordon released the trout was always tough.


One more cast, just let me make one more cast.


Our drift boat sits ready for its trip through the canyon.



5 responses to “GAFA Day 7: Headed Home”

  1. harleysrider says :

    Thanks for taking us along on such a fabulous trip!
    Will be super happy to have my hubby home and very grateful for adventurous friends.
    Safe and incident free travels! 🙏🏼

  2. nuke53 says :

    Glad you guys had such a great time and the chalet looked awesome! Got to love those red eye flights but hopefully you are returning as you went in 1st class!

  3. Ruth says :

    No more adventures to read about at the beginning of my work day. 😦 Thanks for taking me back to Alaska again. Glad you guys had a great trip and got lots of fish. Fill those freezers up. Dennis where that ponytail come from?
    Safe trip home to Marilyn and Sue.

  4. Steve Brooker says :

    I love the color of the glacier feed river.
    Nice boat trip with or without the fishing.

  5. Brad Dykes says :

    Fun reads Dennis, what a great trip…

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