We took advantage of a gorgeous afternoon to take the boat up the Tazimina River to play. We put Regina's inflatable kayaks in our boat and took them with us across the lake and up the river.
Below is a view looking out of the mouth of the Tazimina River at about a third of our village. The rest of the village stretches out to the left and right.
Deep red salmon were everywhere waiting to deposit their eggs.
We found a huge bear track on the sandbar we were playing on.
It took two boat loads to get everyone up the river, so Dayton was the bear guard while Quentin went back for the next load.
Abigail needed some convincing that the water was much warmer up the river than it is in the lake by our house. So, her loving husband, Dayton, helped her out :)
Paul and Quentin brought the rest of us up in the second load.
Joshua and Quentin
Benjamin and David
Lavonne got to come along too.
Dayton doing a flip off a big stump that had pooled a deep hole in front of it.
Abigail, Dayton and I got to paddle the kayaks down the river for the trip home.
It's a pretty tame river except for the many sweepers that you have to stay very far away from.
While we paddled downstream, Paul took everyone else upriver until they bottomed out. It was an easy matter to get out and pull the boat off the rocks.
The kayaks made it to the mouth first. In the picture above we are waiting for the boaters to come give us a ride across the lake. The wind had come up so the waves on the lake would have been more work that I wanted to tackle.
Susan (me) back on shore again.
The lake is very, very cold. In the picture above Paul and the kids went together as a group to bolster their courage as they faced the cold water.
Sarah in the midst of a bunch of fireweed. The fireweed is our season indicator. Throughout the summer the blossoms go to seed and the leaves turn red from the bottom first and climb up to the top. When the top is red, summer is over.
Dayton and Abigail got a chance to go with Paul on a bear viewing flight. There was an extra seat so I got to go along too :) We went to Brooks Range in the Katmi National Park. Glenn Jr. and Carlin who fly for The Farm Lodge in Port Alsworth (and who Abigail worked for last fall) each took a load and Paul flew us in the Cessna 180. We couldn't take our plane because there isn't a runway there so you have to be on floats.
We flew to Port Alsworth to in our plane and then got in the float plane.
Below, Paul tied up our plane to the nearest tree as we lined up beside the many other planes there to see the bears.
I was walking on a boardwalk that was about 12 feet above the ground out to the first bear viewing platform and this huge bear in the picture below walked right under me and stood up to scratch his back. Based on the bark gone off the tree, it must be his favorite tree. It was amazing, I could have reached out and touched him!
The bear in the picture above and below was the Grandpa of the group. He was huge and he didn't move from his spot the hour and a half we watched him. He just stood there and grabbed the fish as they came to him.
The bear at the top of the falls caught his fish in mid air.
The two cubs above were walking along the river ahead of their mother. There were three of them and as we watched another bear made a rush for them and almost caught them before they scampered up the tree in the picture below. Mom came and stood below them for about a half an hour then they all came down, Mom caught a fish within just a few minutes, and they carried it off into the woods to eat it in peace. They actually carried it to a spot under the boardwalk that we walked in on. Our turn on the viewing platform was over as they carried off their fish. So, we got to follow them and watch as the three cubs fought over the fish and ate it while the mother stood guard.
Paul and I
Dayton and Abigail in the gift shop.
As you step out of your float plane, volcanic pumice rocks float all around you. They got there when the Mount Katmai volcano exploded in 1912. After we left the bear viewing area, we flew to Novarupta, a volcano that was formed when Mount Katmai erupted. It the picture below you can see volcanic ash that forms the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The ash is 600 feet deep from the VEI 6 eruption.
The cliffs surrounding the valley are beautiful green and purple.
Lake Iliamna is the largest lake in Alaska. As we flew over it on the way home, Paul pointed out an island to us that he says often has seals sun bathing on it. The seals are able to move between the salt water of Bristol Bay and the fresh water in Lake Iliamna.