Friday, September 10, 2010

alaska = fish

Mark loves to fish.  Specifically, fly fish.  So a year and a half ago, when he told me he'd like to go to Alaska with his dad, and some friends and their dads, I was excited for him, but a little nervous.
A)  Fishing in Alaska means getting on a small plane and landing in the middle of nowhere.
B) I was very newly pregnant and selfishly, I didn't want him to leave me alone with our newborn babe.  After all, who would get up early with the baby, when I was too tired?  (Always.)
C)  It would be 8 long days.

But plans were made and excitement was already building.  And I was happy for him.

And then we found out we were having twins.

Um, I REALLY did not want to think about 8 days alone with 2 babies.

But there was no turning back.  Significant sums of money were already deposited with the lodge and Mark was beyond excited.  And I wouldn't really keep him from realizing this lifelong dream.

So last week was go-time.  Mark left early Saturday morning, new fishing shirts and mosquito head-nets carefully packed.  After 3 connecting flights, including one scary (to me) small plane that landed in the middle of Nowhere, Alaska, the fishing expedition began.  With no cell phone coverage available, he called daily from a landline at the lodge.  Short and sweet, as his fellow fishermen were waiting to call home too, his reports were impressive - tons of fish, big ones at that, and beautifully cold scenery.

I missed him.  He missed me too.  It's nice to be missed.  And it turns out I can do hard things like take care of twins in the wee hours of the morning and get the other four where they need to be - with lots of carpooling and grandmotherly help.  I didn't like having him gone, but I am glad he got to fish in the coveted Alaska waters.
This fish looks impressive, even to me.  Probably Salmon (because that's what's in our freezer now), but I don't actually know for sure.

Mark explained this fish is red because it was spawning and about to die.  These ones get thrown back.

Mark and his dad.
Abandoned shacks by the river.  Can you imagine living there?  I guess if you really like to fish...
Beautiful sunrise.
The lodge.

At one point, before the trip, Mark suggested that I would enjoy a trip like this.  I assured him it's not my thing [even though I DID take a fly fishing lesson with my college friend, Jen].  He was certain I would have fun. 

Upon returning from Alaska, Mark agreed that this sort of thing would NOT be MY thing, nor any other woman's thing.  Think: freezing cold even with tons of layers, swarms of tiny bugs up your nose and in your mouth all day, less than modern lodging.   But fortunately, for Mark, all of those things were secondary to the success he had on the rivers and lakes in remote Alaska, so this trip was a happy, rewarding experience for him.


Gray Family said...

Jeff is extremely envious of the trip and would love to on the other, am grateful for Mark's catches! Yummy for us! Thanks for the Sunday dinner!

Gina said...

Looks like a great trip...for him. :o)

Aimee's Family Journal said...

I think salmon at hideous. Seeing Mark holding one with he bare hands is just YUCK!! But I am happy that you were able to make it so that he could have some man time. You are a wonderful woman!

Coincidently, the ID word I have to type in for my word verification to leave this note is:" sammen " Interesting. Wonder if that means anything fishy?

Nancy said...

Travis did this with his Dad and brothers when we were very first married and he loved it. But I definitely did not have twins at home at the time. Now I think it's your turn for a fancy expensive vacation, it's only fair!

amyegodfrey said...

Wow! Those fish are big, and red! The red one looks fake, it's so red. I'm happy Mark and Bill got to have that experience together. And I'm really proud of you for carrying on at home, Sarah! I knew you would be fine.

abby said...

holy carp...i mean, crap! those fish are nuts. alaska looks so beautiful. i'm glad he got to go! and good for him for taking such good pictures for the blog.

Sarah said...

abby, I know. I was impressed he took so many.

erin said...

I'm like Abby, impressed that he took so many great pics. Grant went on a fishing trip in upstate NY once, at least that is what he told me, but there was not a single picture to prove it. BTW, I think that scary red fish might give me nightmares! Glad he got to go, and that you made it through.

Jennifer said...

Sarah, our lives eerily parallel once again. Derrick LOVES fly fishing and two summers ago he and my bro took a tiny scary plane to the middle of Nowhere, Alaska for a three day fishing trip. Could it have been the same place? Probably. If you and I can both watch Stadium of Fire without being aware of each other's presence, I'm sure Mark and Derrick could have enjoyed the exact same vacation. Derrick was thrilled about it, too, but of course returned with maybe one blurry photo.

I'm glad you had fun, Mark, but that big red fish is possibly the most disgusting thing I've ever seen. No offense.

JenJ said...

Wow!!!! Way cool!!! Sarah, the first thing I thought of when I read about Mark liking to fly fish was our fun lesson! I don't think I mastered anything at all, but you were awesome!!

annie said...

Oh it's so fun to read someone else's perspective on Alaska! I live in nowhere, Alaska... well actually it's a real place, but I feel like I'm in the middle of nowhere sometimes! :o) We call that kind of fish DINNER sometimes. I happened upon your blog and decided to spy a little.... is that creepy?! So hello from the Top of the World (quite literally where I live). Keep enjoying life and if you need some good salmon recipes I have a few! :o)

-Annie @ carot-tops are green