WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2017
Thursday, 12 September, 2013 03:26

Kodiak – A Hunting, Fishing And Bear Viewing Paradise ….

And On To Kodiak ….
We drove the 125 miles back from Seward to Anchorage, dropped off our hire car and checked into our hotel. Next morning up early to catch the 1 1/4 hour flight to Kodiak Island in a twin engine Dash 8 turbo prop plane. The Kodiak Inn picked us up from the airport, and in no time we were ready to explore the town. Kodiak is a fishing town for both professional and amateur fisherman. The harbour is jammed with professional fishing boats, fish processing industry and recreational fishing boats. It is certainly not a tourist town, the major tourist attractions being bear viewing and adventure tourism like fishing, hunting, kayaking and hiking.

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Dash 8 plane for our flight to Kodiak

Our First Stops ….
We hired a car for 24 hours and had lunch at Henry’s Great Alaskan Restaurant which is by far the most popular place in town. After lunch visited a Pull Tab Parlor. The young girl was very helpful and explained that gambling in Alaska is illegal except for pull tabs. They are small cards and you peel back tabs to see if you win money. All the money raised goes to local charities. Of course we had to try and invested $5 to win $2, then invested the $2 to win nothing. We quickly decided this game is worse than poker machines but not for the locals.

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Pull tabs. Worse than poker machines

Exploring The Island ….
Kodiak has only 100 miles of roads of which only 50 miles are bitumen. It was a 20 minute drive to Fort Abercrombie to look at the ruins of the World War 2 gun implacements then a further 20 minutes to the end of the road heading north.

World War 2 Gun Implacements at Ft Abercrombie

World War 2 Gun Implacements at Ft Abercrombie

South Bound To The Other End ….
Next day we took off for Pasagshak, south of the township. Along the way we had to stop numerous times to watch the fisherman catching salmon in the creeks as the salmon were running. The salmon run is the time when salmon, which have migrated from the ocean, swim to the upper reaches of rivers where they spawn on gravel beds. After spawning, the salmon die, and the salmon life cycle starts again. The annual run is a major event for bears, bald eagles and sport fishermen.

Fishing for salmon during the salmon run

Fishing for salmon during the salmon run

A Fish Story ….
And as you can see, Rob even had a go at catching the salmon. He caught the fish shown below by diving off the bridge and catching it with his bare hands. And that is a great fish story.

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Robs 60 cm salmon caught by diving off the bridge

A Drive To Nowhere ….

We had a great day exploring the island and whilst we saw seals, bald eagles and lots of salmon, unfortunately we didn’t get to see any moose or bears. Along the road south there are numerous fishing lodges, the only surf beach on the island and to our surprise a rocket launching facility to send satellites into orbit. This facility is massive and has only launched 15 satellites since 1998 when it was built. Our claim to fame was that we drove 125 miles on an island that has only 50 miles of bitumen roads and we didn’t drive on an unmade roads. Work that out.

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A silver salmon over 60 cm long

The Weather Cannot Be Controlled ….,
We had planned a float plane bear viewing tour out of Kodiak, but unfortunately the morning we were due to depart, we woke up to either thick fog or low cloud and our tour was cancelled. The downside was we missed out on the bears, the upside was we saved $1000 so we can have a spend up in either Anchorage or Vancouver. We did however make use of the day by exploring the town which we hadn’t had time to do previously. We visited a salmon smokehouse and learnt the difference between king, silver and red salmon and ended up purchasing some beautiful red smoked salmon to take back to Anchorage.

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The local Kodiak brew. Not a bad beer.

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Sarah Pale Ale. Guess who.

The Local Brew House ….

We also found the Kodiak Island Brewery and this turned out to be very educational in a number of ways. We tried their beers and mixed with the locals, but we decided we were very much over dressed. Hoodies, tracksuit pants and gumboots are the fashion items in Kodiak for the locals irrespective of where you go. And for our final night in Kodiak back to our favourite eatery, Henry’s Great Alaskan Restaurant, all dressed up in our new gumboots and hoodies.

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Fitting in with the locals. Our new outfits.

Even though we missed out on our bear viewing flight we enjoyed Kodiak. In many respects it is the true Alaskan village. Devoid of tourists except for adventure seekers and absent of the tacky giftshops in so many other towns. The people in the village are very friendly and courteous on the roads and best of all the is only one set of traffic lights in the entire village.

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A successful day fishing. Bag limit is 2 fish over 20″ and 10 fish under 20″.

What Was That ….
Our 1 hour flight back to Anchorage was comfortable and we checked into our hotel. Whilst we were unpacking we felt the hotel shake really badly and thought a truck must have hit the building. Liz went down to see what had happened and guess what, it was a magnitude 4.0 earthquake. Wow, how exciting.

Comments

Posted On
Sep 12, 2013
Posted By
Rogerabyrne

The answer is stop driving round in circles or loops

Posted On
Sep 12, 2013
Posted By
Kerin

Hahaha Liz….you felt the earth move without Rob…tee hee

Loving your photos and stories….the smoked salmon sounds divine…probably spoil you forever. Love the gumboots too.

Posted On
Sep 12, 2013
Posted By
pekadane

Sarah Pale Ale aka Sarah Palin?

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