Fish, 4 Wheelers, Great Food... Oh' Alaska
Life at Igiugig Lodge.
Every morning I wake up around 5 AM to think about breakfast over a cold cup of coffee, it's pitch black, 40 degrees, no electricity, and all you can hear are the waves crashing outside. Around 6 AM the sun begins to rise and this is what I see outside the window.
Life is somewhat like this at the lodge, except for the fact you will also be doing lots of fishing. I myself do all the cooking and spend about 15-16 hours a day in the kitchen and love every minute of it. My goal is to make clients feel like this bear come 9 PM. Today they came back from the field sore from catching too much fish, I put dinner out as soon as they walked through the door and an hour and half later everyone passed out.
Fishing. When the guys leave around 8AM I prep dinner then take a two hour siesta on the beach just to get some Vitamin D and love from the sun.
When I'm not cooking I'm fishing, and when I'm not fishing I'm playing guitar, and when I'm not playing guitar I'm wishing I was.
Here's the view of the lodge from the beach. The barrels are for erosion control. The Easterlies can come at us at 70 mph towards the end of the summer so the beach is constantly morphing. Lots of wind and I can't wait to feel a storm.
Here is a picture Rachel took of the fox that hangs around. You can feed him by hand. Yesterday I was playing guitar on the beach and he came right up to the back of my head to sniff me out.
The lodge power station... a diesel generator that's about 30 years old. We turn it off as much as possible to conserve energy. This is the reason why I may not be able to post for several days on end. No communication = smoke signals. Melia
The lodge garage.
The river next to our lodge where the chum salmon are just now dropping their eggs for the trout to eat.
Looking onwards to the village. Roughly 20 some houses... 50 people.
A picture Quinton took of the Rainbow Brad and Bob caught last week. That's a usual for this place. The barge taking the tanker away to get refueled. We have a gas station in the village, 8 bucks a gallon. A gallon of milk is like 10 bucks. A head of lettuce is 6. You get the picture, expensive.
A common scene outside our lodge, locals fly fishing.
The 'houses' across the river.
Looking outside the front of the lodge.
Trying to catch the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
If I don't catch any on the beach I jump on the boat.
Golden. I don't care for size. I got a fish that's all that matters. Thanks.
And if the boat don't work jump on the horse to find an active fishing hole.
Brad bringing in the groceries.
Quinton taking the groceries back to the lodge.
Here's my shopping cart.
Now let's cook. Here's the Sous Chef thickening da Beef Au Jus.
Stockyard steak from Chicago... 25 bucks each wholesale. The best steak I've ever had.
I haven't baked much, but I have time to practice now. My first loaves of french bread.
Here's my second round with baking bread... this is a cheese bread. Looks good tastes better!
Friday we had roasted turkey, homemade stuffing, fresh gravy, cheese bread, mac' n cheese' baked casserole, homemade baked beans, caesar salad, and homemade sweet cherry and blueberry pie.
Slow roasted pork shoulder roast (with rosemary-mustard gravy)
Sweet Chery Pie! Reminds me of someone ;)
This is what I did up yesterday.
OMG, 5 flavours in one. I overdid myself on this one.
This is what I eat normally... smoked salmon, blueberries picked right outside, salad, cookies.
The biologists doing their biology stuff. Cool thing is they give me fresh mushrooms to cook. I let them eat them first and if they survive after 12 hours of indigestion I will try it.
A dank 4 cheese wild mushroom pizza.
This is the main office headquarters in the village center, which is also the airplane hanger.
Here are a few pics at the headquarters hallway. Good ol' days.
Igiugig is one of the first Eskimo villages in Alaska to promote conservation and recycling. The story is of a man that came to village in the 1980's from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. He did some trapping for biology studies and stayed in the village and met a special woman. He decided to stay in the village and help it by writing grant proposals to the government for environmental and local community projects. Many times he was given the grants and would ask local natives to fill in the jobs needed to execute the task, i.e. someone to create a landfill and manage it. By doing this brought employment opportunities to village, as well as good health and a different way of life. I've heard many good things about him and what they say is that he basically cleaned the village up. He passed away a few years ago and now his three daughters have taken up his role and write grant proposals all the times for green and educational projects.
The herb garden.
A yurt. Sustainable, cheap, easy to construct, portable architecture, and roomy.
Fresh eggs. The calendar said that yesterday 8 and a half eggs were gathered.
I recycle aluminum pop cans too, do you?
BP doing good.
Rock On Little Can Crusher!
Loving it. And what's next? 4 more weeks of clients, fishing, beach life. I'm working on a possible future opportunity to cook in Panama, but I will leave it at that for now. Eat well, smile, sleep good, embrace the sun. The simple things. For 5 days I didn't have internet and I loved it, in fact, I wouldn't mind it if I didn't have it forever. When you're not starring at the little box your starring at right now, you're usually out walking and talking, being active and living holistically, or at least I hope so. Well, over and out, time to get off my arse and do some planning for tomorrows meals. One of the visitors brought me 20 lbs. of special steaks from California, more or less like my Nannies Cowboy steaks.
To keep Igiugig alive, put an end to Pebble Mine. Google it. I will talk more about this later when I get my facts all together. Stop Pebble Mine. Save Bristol Bay. Renewable Resources Coalition.