Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Change of Scenery... North to Alaska!

I'm often asked if I'm from Alaska. No. My mom is though, and her mom, and my Great Grandfather Pete Kavanaugh ventured to Nome in 1897 in search of gold. That is where my mom's family landed and stayed. We make it point to get up and visit at least every other year.

Our last visit in 2007 took us to Cache Creek for a few days of panning for nuggets (I seem to think it looks more like dust, but whatever makes mom happy). Ken Lee, owner of the claim we stayed on, ventured off the 'hill' to retrieve us and our gear for a 4 day adventure. The adventure was the 2 hour ride to the gold camp in a 4x4 that covered only 11 miles. We didn't stop for breaks on the way in. It was quite a rough ride on a one-lane dirt road with many holes and 'mudlakes' that could swallow the truck if you didn't stay in just the right track.

In 2006, we ventured to the Kenai for some fishing at my cousin's fish camp. She has a nice set up and runs a guide service on the Russian River during King season. She is just minutes by water from where all the combat fishing occurs. Unfortunately, we were in between the Kings and Silvers so there wasn't much luck fishing. We were skunked on clam digging at Clam Gulch as well. The only bright spot on that trip was our gold digging expedition on Bertha and 6 Mile Creeks. The area is very remote. It's easy just to park your rig, set up camp, and feel like there isn't a soul around. It does get a little creepy when you're next to a creek, in 10' willow and you can't hear anyone sneak up on you - and it's fall when the bears are looking for the last few berries before hibernation again.

I think the camping part was most fun. Mom hadn't roasted marshmallows and wienies on a campfire since I was a little squirt - about 35 years ago. She torched the first wienie - flaming good I might add. It was BLACK. The marshmallows fared only marginally better - at least Mr. Stick was green, and didn't catch on fire. We all had a great time, dodging the smoke and the skeeters until late in the evening. You can't beat the crisp fall air in Alaska to recharge your batteries. Pictured above are my husband Jon holding Mr. Stick and mom with the wienie that didn't get charred black.


alex said...

Actually he deserves to
Great story though.

Zan said...

Great story!! It's amazing how much Mr. Stick gets around.

Ransom said...

Oh, no! This is HORRIBLE news!!! Mr. Stick in NOME!!! My sister, Gabs and I had a run-in with him recently down here in the lower 48. It was awful. But, to think my sister might face him again all by herself up in Nome is frightening! (She is moving to Nome with her people in just two short weeks! And here I thought all she had to watch out for was the murderous gangs roving sled dogs...)

Holly said...

That is the best thing that could happen to that twisted twig! Flame on....err, game on!!!!!

Poolie said...

What Lisa forgot to mention on that little one-lane dirt road into Cache Creek was that it was *barely* one-lane. There was several places where on one side of the road it was straight up and on the side where I was sitting I could look down out the window and not see the road, but 500 to 600 feet down into the valley below us.