Finally back for the last entries about last summer. Held off publish some images since some publications wanted to buy first time rights. More to come.
After Goddard Hot Springs we turned back north past Sitka, through Sergius Narrows to Hoonah Sound. As we returned into a more sheltered environment we found a larger variety of beach greens and they were more abundant.
The unsettled weather continued during our trip down to Goddard Hot Springs, so we decided to portage into Redoubt Lake and from there hike the historic trail to the Hot Springs. We quickly found out how much richer the marine environment is, and we had to work hard to get enough food and use our saved supplies.
The summer and our subsistence kayaking trip has ended. We left the bounty of SE Alaska behind and drove back home to Palmer from Haines. Along the Alcan we were greeted by amazing fall colors.
More posts about the trip are coming soon to this blog, in Adventure Kayaker and Outside Online. At the moment we are busy digging out our overgrown garden, harvesting for the freezer, and getting our cabin ready for winter. Meanwhile see what has been Published in Adventure Kayaker:
The he trip is going well after 45 days and over 300 nautical miles we have reached Sitka. Here we are re-supplying on spices, oil and sugar. After several weeks of fantastic weather we now have a pretty good storm moving through. Hopefully we can continue towards Goddard Hot Springs tomorrow.
A male ruffed grouse kept me entertained in early May, as he called for females by beating his wings together. He had several favorite logs to stand on in my backyard. I like the pictures but they have busy backgrounds. For next year I will have to do some selective trimming in my yard to clean up the background as I now know where his favorite spot are.
Just finished two amazing mule packing trips into the UNESCO World Heritage site, Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco. The terrain is immensely rugged but the local mules were great, and sturdy on their feet. That said, I mostly walked with my camera while Nancy rode.
The impressive rock paintings are located on overhangs in the canyons.
A few of the more famous sites have board walks once you scramble up the loose rocky trails to the actual site, but we preferred the natural sites that hadn’t been altered. More photos are located at http://store.norrsell.com/Travel/Mexico/Mule-Trip-Baja-2015
A few sites are accessible during day-trips, but most sites requires a multi-day mule trip. I would highly recommend our friend Trudi with Saddling South for help for putting together a trip in the area.
A selection of my Alaska images will be on display at the Flying Squirrel Cafe in Talkeetna through November 12. Hope to see you at the opening reception October 10, 3-5 pm(ish). If you can’t make it to Talkeetna, see the images online.
What makes this so special?
With a variety of light-weight, compact, delicious, camping foods available, why would a person choose to paddle around eating weeds?
At times I ask myself the same. Wilderness time is so precious in our busy lives. Wouldn’t I rather go for a hike than sit under a tarp cleaning mounds of beach greens?
These kinds of trips aren’t lightweight. We don’t have to pack all that food, but the space is more than occupied by fishing gear, shrimp pots, collecting bag etc. It isn’t less expensive, compared to the cost of kayaks, and paddling jackets, food is cheap and the things we do bring, spices, and oil, and condiments, add up quickly.
While I relish the sweet illusion that by gathering your own food, this kind of life could go on indefinitely, we are still linked to the money economy more than I would like to admit. Summer will end all to soon. The colors will change. The bounty will disappear.
I do feel healthier out here. Is it outdoor exercise, or a diet, low in carbohydrates and sugars, closer to what our ancestors ate, that makes me feel more alive?
Mostly I enjoy that looking for food makes me notice things in greater detail. Is that a mushroom with true gills or little flat topped diverging ridges? Gulls are sitting on the water in a perfect line, maybe marking an upwelling current and good fishing.
Catching a gorgeous silver salmon or finding a blueberry patch dripping with grape size berries, I am in awe the earths abundance. Being surrounded by baby animals, catching a glimpse of a sea otter pup peaking out from it’s mothers arms, or a duo of humpback whales passing in unison, I feel a sense of optimism for the earth. Their is an abundance here. We are intimately linked to the world around us is in a most basic way. And as Fredrik says, “There is something deep inside of us that longs to gather food.”
Text by Nancy Pfeiffer – more stories and recipes to come.