I found myself working in Beluga, Alaska in what seemed to be an unbelievable chain of events that took place. I was attempting to sneak out of our camp and hike the three miles into Three Mile Lake to do some Pike fishing but was caught by one of my co-workers Romey Newton who decided he wanted to go with me too. Romey woke up his stepson Dave Welsch and the three of us headed down the trail to one of my favorite fishing spots in Alaska.
We drove our pick-up in as far as the first mud puddle then got out and started walking down the trail. The trail in there was very muddy and there were a lot of big deep mud puddles covering a lot of the trail. We went through the brush to get around some of the deeper puddles and walked through some of the shallower ones. A spruce chicken flew from a tree that was leaning across the trail and we saw an eagle fly overhead too. Romey was lagging behind Dave and I and commented that we should just go ahead as his knee was bothering him and that he would catch up to us eventually. So Dave and I went on ahead and after rigging up our poles we decided that we would push out one of the boats and fish where we could still see the trail in case Romey finally showed up.
We spotted several swans swimming on the lake and Dave spotted a beaver swimming in the lake as we started casting for Pike. It was one of those days the fish simply did not bite which I attributed to them perhaps just getting down with the spring spawn. We had two follow the boat but never caught a fish or had one bite.
We paddled the boat back to shore and headed back down the trail towards our pick-up. We never heard or saw anything from our other fishing partner Romey and were curious as to what happened to him. We were thinking maybe he fell asleep along the trail while resting his knee. We found his water bottle floating in one of the deep mud puddles that we had walked around coming in there. I picked up his water bottle and noticed a series of tracks where he had lost his footing near the end of the big puddle. Soon Dave found tracks that were leading back towards the pick-up and we knew that Romey must have given up near the big puddle and was heading back to the truck.
Soon we heard the truck horn blast through the woods followed by some laughter and some more talking. We found Romey in the truck wet up to his chest ......He explained that he fell into the big puddle and was wet up to his chest and decided to go back to the truck to get warm and hopefully get dried off again. As he sat in the truck he spotted an eagle nest directly above him and every time he would toot the truck horn, three little eagle chicks would look over the edge of the nest down at him. The more they looked down at him the more excited he became and just another example of someone in Alaska turning a bad situation into a very enjoyable event.
Back at camp Romey really got teased by the other guys. Things like "Hey Romey are the guys really buying you a snorkel?" or "Is that a floatation hat?" "What a crew, two die hard fishermen and one who just loves to splash around in the water.....Romie they have showers at the camp, you don't really have to take a bath in a mud puddle that is located 2 miles from here."
Not all of our fishing trips turn out successful, however here in Alaska there are so many other ways you can entertain yourself in the outdoors. No matter what type of outdoor adventure you choose don't be discouraged if it doesn't go as well as you had planned. In any event use the approach Romey took, be happy just to be outdoors in Alaska as there are a whole bunch of people who never get the chance to see our beautiful state. Despite being cold and wet he found a way to entertain himself by watching the eagle chicks while waiting for his fishing partners to return. We all need to really appreciate all that we have here in Alaska and when we have those days when things don't go right be happy and thankful anyway.
See you next week!
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