Friday, September 4, 2009

From Coffee Grinders - Soldotna, Alaska

I'm at my favorite coffee shop/internet cafe in Soldotna. The Fisherman is out on a free trip, sort of a training trip. They have flown 4 clients to Delight Lake down south on the Kenai Peninsula. In the 9 passenger DeHaviland Otter there were a few seats open so The Fisherman got to go. Perhaps he'll get some gigs there next year. Delight Lake is right near Desire Lake, which I've heard is also called Bug Lake - at least by some. Gives you a good idea of what it's like to fish there. The Fisherman was told, "As long as you don't mind insects flying all around and bouncing off your face, you'll be fine."

Meantime, I've been tooling around town. I love Alaska, but frankly, Soldotna doesn't have much to offer. It's a functional town. It has everything you'd ever need along with a few gift shops. Other than that, there's not a lot to do if you're not into going to the river and throwing a line in. I prefer tourist towns. Towns with several gallery shops, a marina, and tourist shops. Seward has the Sea Life Center, a glacier and the marina. Homer has lots of galleries (more than any little tourist town I've seen), the marina, and some museums I've never been to. Soldotna has a little gallery/knitting shop where I spent some of this morning. Yes, I came away with some yarn. And a pattern. I'm going to try my hand at hats.

Monday, August 31st was spent flying. Had a 3 hour layover in Seattle. I love SeaTac airport. They have a really nice gallery shop called Fireweed and the food court has a HUGE glass window that looks out on the runways. It is concave in that it curves away from you following the architecture of the floorplan which curves outward and it's convex in that from floor to ceiling it is curved inward in the middle. It's very cool. It's about 250 feet long and 50 feet high, made up of glass panels with steel at the junctures which horizontal and vertical cables run through.

I also saw some beautiful things from the air. On the first flight I saw the outskirts of the Grand Canyon. On the northern flight I saw, turquoise lakes puddled at the bottom of surrounding mountain peaks, rippling waves making intersecting arcs on the surface of the water, and a very special sight of three little mountain lakes. They were right next to each other. In my little distorted picture, they looked like they were about an inch apart. The amazing thing was that one lake was turquoise blue, the next was a pale milky green and the last was ocean blue. Very peculiar and very beautiful.

Tuesday, Sept. 1st we spent at a wildlife park. It was fun seeing all the animals. We drove down to "home" in Soldotna. Home base has moved since I was last here. When school starts in the fall, all the guides get kicked out of the schools where they've been allowed to camp all summer. So there are a couple weeks when The Fisherman has to find another place to camp. We're at a church a couple miles up the highway from his work.

Wednesday, Sept. 2nd we did boring city stuff, like laundry, computer work for The Fisherman, and I got myself organized and assimilated into the van. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant here. Nothing like Sylvia's or Manuel's in Phoenix (just thinking about either of them gives me cravings!) but we found a couple items we like. We went to the Wednesday night service at the church. Very nice people and it was fun meeting fellow Christians from another place. I always enjoy the sense of family there is among Christians even when they're strangers.

Thursday, Sept. 3rd The Fisherman had to work a couple hours. Things are winding down pretty quickly in the fishing season. They flew across the inlet to take some motors off boats and haul them back in the plane which had some seats removed. They still have some boats over there and it looks like The Fisherman is scheduled with clients on the 7th but that will be his last gig. We grilled up some salmon for dinner and watched a movie. We've both been REALLY tired. I don't think we're drinking enough water, hard to do when there's not an easy bathroom around. But we manage.

We're going to try to make trips to both Homer and Seward before we hit the road for home. That will be fun. Like I mentioned above, I like those towns. The Fisherman does too. We often toy around with the idea that we COULD sell our property and buy something closer to either of those towns. But when we think of our view and all the work we've already done, we just can't seem to part with it. Who knows, maybe someday we will. But for now, we'll just keep plugging away at what we have. We'll be doing some work on the cabin while I'm here, too. It will be fun to make more progress on it. We're still doing interior boards. It's still a construction site. For now, there's stacks of boards, piles of insulation, ladders, and tools everywhere. Maybe we can clean it up a bit so that next May it will be a little more comfortable to hang out in.

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