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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rainy Day Fun

Hiking in the rain - checking on archaeological sites and going fishing

When we're on Afognak I love it when it rains.  A good rainy day creates appreciation for the teepee and woodstove. Nothing quite like the cozy feeling of coming back from a hike in the rain and drying out by the woodstove.

This year we had two sunny days sandwiching a day of sprinkles and clouds.  On the rainy day we went for a hike.  Our ultimate goal was a small stream where you can catch silver salmon from the beach.  But really it was all about the journey.  We hiked through the woods and along beaches and checked out the abandoned village of Afognak as we went. Afognak Village was abandoned 51 years ago after it was partially destroyed by the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964.  

I also documented the conditions at various archaeological sites along the way.  Back in 2012 I helped other archaeologists survey the village (click here for post), and I have been keeping an eye on how the various archaeological sites and the old village buildings have been doing ever since.  Are they getting vandalized, eroding, dug into by bears etc?  By monitoring their condition I can help to protect them, and get an idea of how long term trends like sea level changes are effecting the sites in general.  

At the halfway point of our hike we did some fishing.  Brooks tried out his fly rod while Stuey, Nora and I fished with spinning gear.  Stuey hooked a silver on his first cast but it got away almost at his feet.  Nora did manage to catch a little jack silver.  I caught a few too, but lost interest when we decided we did not want one for dinner.  Last year we canned our catch to take home (click here), but this year we already have enough canned fish at home to last the winter.  We did have a hard time dragging Brooks away from the fish.  Patrick

Is this combat fishing on the Kenai?

Nora catches a jack silver

Brooks flyfishing

Small silver

Documenting damage to an archaeological site

Checking on the Petroglyphs

The trees dead when the land sank 51 years ago during the Good Friday Earthquake

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