Friday, June 27, 2008

Dogs harassing moose

This just in from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

During the past couple of weeks we have received several phone calls from Gustavus residents about dogs harassing moose. Cow moose have just recently given birth to calves, and roaming dogs can not only stress and injure the adult moose, but can kill calf moose. So please do your part to assure that your dog(s) are not part of this problem.

It is important for dog owners to know what their dogs are up to, and if you know or suspect your dog is harassing moose, take actions to address the problem. It is illegal under Alaska Fish and Game regulation to allow a dog to harass wildlife.

If you observe a dog harrassing moose, please call Neil @ 465-4267 or Andy @ 945-3620.

Thank you for helping address this concern!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Top 10 things I learned during my Yakutat trip

Here are more scenic photos of our Yakutat trip, and here are some of the things I learned during this trip:

  1. Airport security will detain you if they find a 22-shell in your carry-on backpack. They will also take down your name, address and social security number. This is especially true if you are wearing overalls.
  2. Airport security will most likely not discover bear spray in a checked bag.
  3. The Travelodge in Juneau has an awesome Sunday brunch. Yum and double-yum!
  4. You can literally catch a fish a minute if you're on the right spot.
  5. It takes a minimum of 3 good swats to kill a Yakutat mosquito (and they might leave a bruise -- really).
  6. Bring bug spray -- and lots of it. Reapply frequently.
  7. Bring bear spray -- and keep it handy. Bears are everywhere. One recently went after a teenager on his walk home from school right in town.
  8. If you have a chance to go to a Yakutat wine tasting, go! The food is awesome, there's plenty of it and they don't want to haul around any wine so make sure you stay until the end for all the wine you can consume without passing out.
  9. Expect to pay $25/bag for sackcrete/quikcrete.
  10. About the only laundry detergent you can find is made for front-loading washers, which is somehow (??) different than regular laundry detergent (but it still works). I'm guessing someone ordered the wrong thing or that's what the barge brought in and they're stuck with it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Working in Yakutat

Robin and I both spent last week working in Yakutat.

As part of my job, I went to Yakutat to attend public meetings and a city council meeting to talk about SEAtrails and determine what trails Yakutat wants to list as part of the SEAtrails network. This, of course, meant going out on the area trails. (A really tough part of my job!)

See photos of our Yakutat work. (Be patient ... other photos of Yakutat scenery to come soon.)

If you go out on trails in bear country with the Forest Service, they require a certified rifleman to accompany you. (This is a good thing.) There was fresh bear scat (poop) all over the place and plenty of bear tracks. We went to about 5 trails, including Harlequin Lake, where you can see icebergs and the Yakutat Glacier. We also toured one of the public use Forest Service cabins and one of the airstrips. The airstrips are basically clearings in the trees (in the middle of nowhere) where anyone can land their plane, provided the strip is long enough for their plane, of course. And it's light out. And not too windy. And they're not worried about trees, flat tires, etc. because these strips aren't paved, lit or maintained.

For Robin's work, we did a bunch of projects, including enduring an incredible amount of mosquitos while digging a post hole for a radio antenna installation and painting a fuel tank. There were so many mosquitos it was impossible not to paint them into the tank, which is now a non-skid surface thanks to the thick mosquito coating!

We rode along with the Park Service on what's called a "transfer". That's when Park Service people are taken out to board a cruise ship for the day and talk about the area. We went out on a little boat, rode up alongside the huge cruise ship, the cruise ship dropped a rope ladder, and the Park Service people climbed up the ladder onto the huge cruise ship. It's really neat but pretty darn scary!

We were lucky because they had two transfers the day we went along. This meant we had to hang out on the water for a while until the other cruise ship came into the area. Robin fished for about 10 minutes and couldn't keep his line in the water because there were so many fish biting. He literally caught at least 8 fish in about 10-15 minutes. It was hysterical ... no one could believe how many fish he was catching. (I stayed clear of the harpoon!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Office and house pictures

Here are a few pictures of my office and our house. I'm still in temporary office space but things are going well, with work being as, well, difficult, as ever. ;-)

Today, both Robin and I head to Yakutat for work. (Yakutat is Alaska's surfing capital.) I expect to have some awesome photos from this trip, so stay tuned!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Emergency room

We took my sisters (Betty and Pat), both nurses, out fishing while they were visiting last week. One was armed with a video camera; one with a digital camera. Unfortunately, no one was armed with a first aid kit.

We caught a big fish. A really big fish: a 150-lb+ halibut. Robin and I wrestled it up to the surface while Betty and Pat documented the event. Once you get a fish up to the surface, you then have to harpoon it. (Yes, putting a spear-thingy through its body.) That's when the excitement began.

As I was harpooning the halibut, the fish bucked, kicking the blunt end of the harpoon back at me (better than the sharp end!). This resulted in a through-and-through gash from my outside upper lip to the inside of my mouth. Yes, it hurt. A lot. While Betty and Pat were tripping over themselves to get the best paparazzi-inspired shot, I was cursing at them to get me something to mop up the blood running down my face.

(See pictures of the fishing adventure and my injury.)

There was so much blood we didn't have to worry about additional cleaning of the wound. Both nurses and Robin (a first responder), said I needed stitches. We went back to shore and called the home of the local clinic staff person, a nurse practicioner. She met us at the clinic. I got four stitches!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bear season

Less than one month remains of bear season and the bears are around. One of Robin's friends shot a black bear and we now have bear brats, bear burger and bear roast. (It tastes a lot like beef!)

Reportedly, you can get trichinosis from eating bear so you must cook the meat thoroughly.

Here are some pictures of what I've been up to lately, including pictures of a porcupine, turkeys, a campfire cookout, a 10 p.m. sunset and more.