March . . . In Like A Lamb; Can The Lion Be Far Behind?
Posted By Linda Branham on March 11, 2013 @ 7:07 pm
It is March but the temperatures have been in the low 40's in Anchorage.  The Iditarod dog race is well on its way and I saw my first Robin over a week ago.  Chris took a couple of friends flying on day two of the Iditarod and they were able to see many teams and mushers on that famous adventure trail to Nome, the 1,000-mile long sled dog adventure.  I've included a photo taken on the Skwentna River, (thanks to Todd Kuster) where Chris landed the plane on ski-wheels to get a better look.

The Midwest and the East have been hit by major snowstorms this last week, which always makes Alaskans sort of chuckle, as we have more snow on the ground most of the winter and they are reporting it as a "disaster."  We justify this by telling everyone that we are “prepared” and "those people" are not.  Studded tires and 4-wheel drive are a way of life in Alaska. We complain if we don't get enough snow, as it puts a damper on skiing and all the other outdoor sports Alaskans love.

I must give kudos to Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport, as the only time I've seen them close was due to a volcanic eruption, where you couldn't see your hand in front of your face, much less the runway.  They take snow very seriously and are well prepared.  Living only 10 minutes from the Anchorage Airport we feel stress when the wind is howling out of control and you know there will be a few big bounces over Cook Inlet on the approach or the departure out of Anchorage.

Yesterday we had to change over to daylight savings time, which is so absurd living in Alaska, as we are getting over 5-minutes of added daylight every day in March.  By March 17th we will experience sunrise at 8:09 and sunset at 8:08. Do we really need daylight savings? March 10th was an eventful day for several reasons, we had a snowstorm and several earthquakes in one morning.  You are never bored in Alaska, if you are Mother Nature will wake you up with some sort of surprise.

This is the time of year we are welcoming back our staff.  They all seem to have something very interesting to do in the winter.  Many of our guides like to work in South America, or at least a warmer climate for the duration of winter.  Wherever they can find fish, you will find them. We are so lucky to have such a great staff of knowledgeable people.  I brag about the guides in East Africa as being so learned, but so are our Alaska guides.  A couple of them have one of the best collections of photographs of plants and flowers I have seen in Alaska.  Plus they know what they are looking at!  If you are curious about the flora and fauna you see out on the tundra, just ask your guide, he or she is bound to know.  In fact I'm sad to say, Scott O'Donnell has become such an expert with wild Alaskan mushrooms he has sort of pushed me out of my once exclusive territory.  He has recently discovered a delectable species growing outside his own cabin, (Agaricus Campestris) and if you dare to approach, or heaven forbid, pick it without his permission, well . . . you would encounter a very specific wrath! When he finally does pick them, the head chef usually comes up with a preparation fit for a King. . . or Scott.

Speaking of Kings, if you  haven't seen our new video on this website, you must be asleep at the wheel.  Didn't Dave Goodhart do an outstanding job narrating?  He has done a lot of that type of work during his fly fishing career and made some incredible documentaries we have all seen on TV.  Sure hope he doesn't give up his day job though, we would miss him.

Also Denver Miller has done an amazing job with his photography and aerial photography, especially the most difficult job of all, editing the entire thing into something so beautiful. Also thanks to Ryan Davey for his footage that he shot at Royal Wolf Lodge.

Also, can't leave out Chris, who took the door off the plane so Denver could lean out and take videos of the lodge. While we all pretended we didn't notice the plane circling us overhead, nonchalantly drinking wine and looking upward from the deck so we wouldn't miss a thing.

A big applause to our guests that were in the video; John Mues, Bob Pease, Rob Ramsey, Andy Horowitz, Dave Pennock, Pieter Ras, Steve Jones, Mark Hopkins, Scott O'Donnell, Jim Andras, Mike Orloff and we can't forget those magnificent bears of Katmai National Park.  Last but not least, the beautiful rainbows that make it possible for us to share this unbelievable wilderness.  We only hope we can keep them healthy by treating them gently, and by helping to protect the waters they need for their longevity. The world gets smaller when greed runs rampant, and the creatures of the wild get put on the short list of "expendable."