I wish that I could explain what it is that’s made me feel so very different from how I have been the last few weeks but today feels like an incredible successful day when actually I haven’t done much of anything. Which isn’t true, and I recognise that right away but I felt like it needed mentioning.
Anyway! Today I’m going to babble at you about life at my Mum’s house in Alaska.
Cold Bay’s population fluctuates through the seasons, but is about 100.
When I visited last October the weather was not awesome. When you visit a place called ‘Cold Bay’ the clue is pretty much in the name as far as temperature goes. As part of the Alaskan Peninsula, Cold Bay is the last real ‘stop’ before the Aleutian Islands.
Whilst I was there, all of my Geography ‘nerdism’ was pinged. There’s an active volcano across the bay from my Mum called Mount Pavlof. I’ll never forget when she casually took a photo of the volcano and posted it on Facebook. It’s not until you actually get there and see the distance, (or google it!!) that you realise just how much water there is across the bay that separates Cold Bay from the volcano.
Whilst I was there it was inactive, but I still managed to see and do plenty despite staying during a quiet period of time. The bears were already making themselves scarce, as I would have done too were I exposed to the elements. I’ve never been anywhere SO cold before, but it’s mostly the wind that does the most damage.
Despite our rather frequently hunts for bears, I didn’t see any, but there were plenty of foxes and birds that were interesting enough to watch from the ‘relative’ comfort of my Mum’s home. They really know how to insulate up there.
I did go fishing though! I’d been once before, on board a catamaran-style blow up boat. In the middle of a lake in August in Washington State somewhere that he’d taken us before. I didn’t catch a single thing, but I imagine that had more to do with my impatience and the fact that I couldn’t just sit still on the water.
Fishing off a dock in the middle of the bay was a very different experience. Different in the most obvious sense that the water was open, there were no disruptions on the surface, I had bait on the end of my line AND the expert advice of a seasoned fisher at my side.
The easiest part of fishing this time was catching something. The difficulty arose when you attempted to bring whatever it is you caught OUT of the water. It takes a lot of courage (this is me talking) to climb down a ladder over the edge of a high dock, centimetres above water you know is FREEZING COLD to snag a Flounder and haul it back up the ladder. My step dad did this at least 3 times. Whenever something got loose off my line I think he was secretly grateful. Besides the huge flounder that we caught, some Irish Lord, and a bunch of seaweed!
The best part of my trip was probably the views. I loved them. We would often go out for a drive in the truck and even if we didn’t come across anything that we thought was particularly ‘interesting’ I loved nothing better than to give thought to exactly where I was, out on the peninsula, in the middle of nowhere in a place that was relatively untouched by humans. (When you decide to forget about everything that happened there in World War II – but I think the point is the same.)
I will definitely be visiting again, hopefully before my Mum & Step-Dad move away from Cold Bay, and again – I’m hoping that it will be during the Summer months when I can actually get out and do things more suited to a place like this when there are things to see and do in abundance.