Bush Country in Alaska…where the sidewalk (road) ends.
Our entire reason for going to Alaska was so that our boys could spend time with their grandfather, and see where he went every summer. But I knew they wouldn’t last 2 weeks out in the bush in Alaska fishing, or maybe mom couldn’t either. So the Adventures by Disney land trip through Alaska was a busy action packed way to sightsee so we could tack the Alaskan bush country part on the end.
Our 3 day adventure (we decided that the boys and mom could handle that long) into the bush country of Alaska was definitely off the beaten path. The only way in is by plane. My father in law has spent time there each year fishing and hunting for the last 20 years and he wanted to show us this little slice of the world. We flew in and were met at the landing strip (no airport there) by most of the town on their ATVs. No roads means no cars, internet people.
The homesteads here are along the Kuskokwim River. Many of the town’s men shuttled us by boat to our cabin for our stay. Years ago, it used to be an actual trading post for trappers, fisherman, hunters, and townfolk, and it had cabins for visitors. Although the place we went is specific to our family, you can find guides and places in the bush country to visit fairly easily, just a little internet searching and telephone calls, and you can book something great.
Meals were served in the big house across the creek, made by the family. Down home cooking with a lot of the day’s catch. Thank God my boys like seafood. Our days went something like this: breakfast, dress for sport, guides arrived, go fishing, come back for lunch, digest and rest, go fishing again, come back for dinner, go back out on the boat looking for wildlife, read books and go to bed. My father in law provided all the rods for our kids, the Alaskans did the rest.
Admission notice: I have never caught a fish before in my life. My boys have only fished at local lakes with dad and caught very small fish. Boy Howdie, this was different. It is easier to explain in pictures:
The first silver salmon of the season was caught by my son!!! It was one of the smallest ones we caught too!!
So, all my boys (even the 6 year old) could cast and reel by lunch the first day. As a mother, I was a little bored, but when your kids find so much joy in something, you can’t help but not love it. I’m glad we did it and those memories with their grandfather are priceless. He is mounting one fish for each boy that they actually caught, which I told them has to be hung in their own rooms:) We even taught them how to sing the fish head song from SNL after they carried some fish heads around in ziploc baggies that the guides had cleaned and gutted from our catch.
One night Hubby and Junior were out after dinner and saw a moose through the bushes.
Their guide said, “I’ll call it.”
He made a loud and deep Muwah sound several times.
The moose turned it’s head and walked through the bushes and straight into the water as if to say, “You rang?”
And as usual, no picture since I wasn’t with them.
The Alaskan people were the biggest treasure of the trip. The guides seemed a little rough around the edges, but they took such joy in guiding our boys and their mother to succeed. Their hospitality and kindness is what sticks the most about the bush country. They shared their homes, their food (which is not easy to come by up there) and most of all their friendship. There is something to be said about living with just the neccesities, even if only for a few days. My kids definitely learned a lot about their stories of survival and the importance of the preserving the wildlife for the future.
I don’t know that I could keep my boys from going back to the Alaskan bush if I tried….
But after big rainstorms and having to bulldoze the runway at the airport and mail a few bags home so that the plane could take off for Anchorage, this mother is done with that for quite a while……