Monday, July 24, 2006

Alaska: Chapter 1

Hello from beautiful (and might I add) chilly Alaska. From what I hear Boise is quite toasty with temperatures around 105 degrees. This 55 degree weather feels pretty good, to be honest. We have had a fantastic time so far. The people in Alaska have gone beyond the call of duty to make us feel at home. Today is an off day, no concert scheduled, and so I'm getting caught up on my e-mail from Alaska Christian College.

We flew into Anchorage Thursday evening at about 9:oo PM (11:00 MST). Royce picked us up, dropped Jeremiah off (he flew out that night for Boise), and we then headed for Soldatna, a 3 hour drive. We stopped for fuel and food and then tried to find a motel in the area. Due to this being prime fishing season in Alaska, we weren't able to find a room where we had intended. We finally found a room at a slightly seedy motel in the middle of nowhere. We got in bed at 2:00 AM. The alarm went off at 4:00 AM for our first fishing trip on the Kenai River. We were supposed to go halibut fishing, but got blown off by high winds. So, instead, we went trout fishing. Kenai River is the #1 destination for fishermen all over the world. I have never fished before, so I started out at the top. Unfortunately, it was just catch and release fishing. I caught about 6 fish, 5 of which were tiny and 1 that was medium size. All the other guys caught pretty nice size fish. Needless to say we were wasted by the evening concert. But God came through. God has a way of making great things happen when we're at our lowest. 3 people gave their hearts to Christ Friday night and we sang to a packed-out church in Sterling. Awesome!

All of us were scheduled to go King salmon fishing at 4:00 AM Saturday. Doran and I decided that it was going to be too early, especially on only 2 hours of sleep from the previous day. So, we slept in, and felt really good about it. Royce has been obsessed with catching king salmon. This was his seventh time to go and he had never caught one. Fortunately, he pulled in a 45 pound salmon. Needless to say, he's been in a good mood. He smiles much through his moustache. He often stares out the window, smiling, with a dreamy expression on his face. He da' man. By the way, Dan didn't catch squat.

Saturday evening we were in Homer, AK for a concert. A good time was had by all. I tried halibut chowder for the first time and it was delicious!

Sunday was a great day with 2 concerts in the area. Sunday evening's concert was outside at a fish camp and preceded by a meal. Now, I've been to a lot of pitch-in dinners, but never one where barbequed llama was on the menu. This food critic's description: it tastes exactly what you think a llama would taste like. After the meal I fought overwhelming urges to stare bug-eyed and perk my ears.

Today we were supposed to go halibut fishing, but once again the waves were too choppy and we weren't able to go. So, Doran and I opted for a nice relaxing round of golf. I use the term relaxing much the same way I would say that boot camp is relaxing. Doran shot an amazing 122 while I came in one stroke down at 122. We bought 3 sleeves of golf balls and ended up with only 1 original ball left. We did find many other golf balls, though, during our frequent treks to the underbrush to track down errant shots. I also found out that the majority of the Alaskan mosquitos nest in the underbrush on the Kenai Golf Course. For some reason, they swarm persons who tramp through the weeds. I am one big lump. I am a mosquito lollipop. I should look pretty interesting tomorrow evening.

We're going to be heading up for the northern part of Alaska tomorrow. I don't know if I'll find a computer before I'll get back, so just stay tuned for further details.