Just returned from Alaska....not the Alaska I knew...
Folks upon my recent return from a week in Alaska I wanted to share some thoughts with ya'll. My last visit to Alaska was in 1967..40 years ago. How things have changed! Back in '67 Anchorage was a small town..just 2 paved roads. And Eagle River, Alaska was just a gravel road alongside a fishing stream. Not a single home and a few pull-offs at the favored fishing holes. (sigh...) My Alaska is now gone. Anchorage is now a bustling city..complete with belt-way traffic, by-passes, strip-malls and Wal-Marts. Eagle River is now a suburb. Houses are side-by-side, yards are now postage-stamp sized and crime is on the upswing judging by the sounds of sirens and screeching tires. The drive down towards Soldotna was once a full days trip. Now it takes only a coupl'a hours...passing countless bars and tourist traps. Back in '67 seeing an eagle was a treat...now they ring the walls at Clam Gultch picking up carrion from the halibut boats like so many white-headed vultures. No beauty here...just buzzards in top-hats and tails. Fishing for King Salmon on the Kenai River is reduced to trolling large lures behind guides and boats..no skill involved, needed, or wanted. I suppose it was inevitable...progress they call it. I'm glad I was there in 1967. And I'm even more glad to be back home in Pa. More to come when time permits my friends. Love, Audie....lost in my thoughts..
Although I was up there in the early 60's when My father was in the military, I don't remember it. I did get up there two years ago and although Anchorage was a city, I loved the two weeks mostly running around the Kenai, with a 3 day jump up to Mckinley. I did get a little frustrated at the combat fishing on the Kenai, but I accepted it and allowed the joy of a silver bending my rod take away all the people standing within a stones throw.
I would have love to have been further away from the Madding crowd but I would go back in a heartbeat.
Aye aerobb I rekkin' one shouldn't imagine that in the last 40yrs. since I visited Alaska that things wouldn't change..eh? Well, that is the downfall of us old codgers I rekkin'! We remember things in our pristine youth. The streams were not crowded with anglers back then. Except... The Russian....! We rode the ferry over and joined the pack of anglers thereabouts! We had the Kenai River purty much to ourselfs back then. (sigh..) Nowadays it's all $500,000.00 homes squatting on the river. And most of the folks don't actually live there. They just come up from the Lower 48 during the salmon run. Retired doctors, lawyers, C.E.O.'s of big companies and such. And the Outfitters. (another big sigh..) Outfits sitting along the rivers..chargeing $200.00 to take "chee-chackos" (greenhorns) out for a 4 hours of "fishing." No casting involved..just sit back as the guides bait the rods and hang them off the sides of the well-equipt boat to troll thru various holes. Hook a fish (10lb.) on the 80lb. test line and crank it in. No glory there..no skill, technique or pride. Afterwards they clean and fillet it and vacume pack it for you. Even send it home for you! No my friend..my Alaska is gone and will never be again. Now it is a haven for well-heeled tourists and the wealthy. I shall never go there again..for it is not there. Just a distant memory of 40 years ago. Audie....the oldfart..
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