Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Slide Show...

I'm hoping this will work if I post it all by itself... Here's the slide show of all my entries in the photo contest. One correction - I took 3rd place in one of the categories. I thought it was a first, but I was wrong. But still, 8 blue ribbons, 2 red ribbons and a white is still a pretty good showing!

Holy crap. I won.

Yesterday was a pretty big day for me. Our not-that-big-but-that's-ok State Fair and Rodeo is this weekend in Kodiak. It's the last hurrah of the summer, and just a part of the Kodiak way of life.

Like any other State Fair, people can enter their homemade goodies, handmade crafts, or, in my case, their photography. I decided to go for it, and edited and ordered 11 different pictures in time to get them put together and dropped off on Friday night. There were 12 different classes for me to enter, 6 in color and 6 in black and white. I had enough for all the color categories, but fell short on a good black and white scenic shot to enter all six of those. So, with my 11 framed prints in hand, Jason and I headed out to the fairground Friday night to register my entries.

Yesterday, the gates opened at the Fair at about noon, and we got there at just about 1pm. That silly spouse of mine actually asked me if I wanted to grab lunch before heading into the exhibitors hall... HA! Of course, I didn't want to wait even a second to see how I did! Imagine my surprise when I walked directly to the photography table to see this:
And then, I turned to the right and saw this, too:

HOLY CRAP!! I won overall first prize, and overall second prize, along with a third premium for another shot (there were more than a couple third premiums). So, essentially, I got First, Second and Third! In addition, I took first in all but two of the categories I entered. I don't know how many pictures were entered in each individual category, but First and Second overall is exciting! There were quite a few entries overall:
I just can not believe how well I did!!! I'm so excited, and have already had some friends ask me if I'm going to sell some of the stuff! YAY!!! So now the work begins to try to get my stuff together to be able to sell some at one of the bazaars before the holiday season. I'm SO excited!!

And, as if that wasn't enough, we went fishing yesterday afternoon, and I caught a giant chum salmon. Not a keeper (yuck), but FUN to reel in and snap a couple pictures of (after making Jason run back to the truck to grab the camera)!

Ok, I had every intention of putting in a slide show with my pictures from the fair, but can't make it work and I'm not html-savvy enough to fix it! So, I'll put up a new post with those later on!
That's all for now! Enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Silver Season in Cordova!

Well the last trip to Cordova for the summer (Hopefully) has proven to be both frustrating and very rewarding. The "mudhole" that was refered to in earlier posts has dried up, which isn't necessarily a bad thing since it took 45 mins to drive to it. So as you probably already thinking, the fish are a little harder to find right now. We ended up going out the last three days and have had very little luck. Only about one fish for each of us, that is until today. Today we ended up almost having the three of us limit out (catch three each). I was able to make up for the last three days and limited out quickly. Zach and our swimmer (also a Jason) couldn't quite land the third fish each. Not that we were lacking in the fish department. I ended up catching the biggest fish I have every caught besides a halibut. Sorry Jeff, if you had been here a few weeks later we might have been able to get you one of these in Kodiak. Well that's all for the dialog, I'll just let you enjoy the pictures.

My Monster

Today's Catch = Good eating!

The Boat's Catch

The three of us (Jason, Zach, Myself)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wordless... Thursday?

Well, I'm a day late for the Wordless Wednesday, but I think these pictures will have to speak for themselves. Jason and I headed out past the base tonight after our dinner out to see if we could find the guy everyone's been talking about. And we did....

Taken from the side of the road:

Told you we'd try to find some excitement around here!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Last visit of the summer

I can't believe it, but it's already been a half a week since Mom, Dad and Heather left Kodiak. It seems like it took forever for August to get here, and now their visit has come and gone, and we're without any more planned visitors for the foreseeable future (Ryan? Josh? Who's next!?)

We had a great visit, with almost a week straight of the best weather we've seen in Kodiak this summer! With sun almost every day, and temps in the 60's, the three of them got to see a Kodiak that is rarely seen by anyone, let alone people who are only visiting for a week!
Much like our visit with Maryanne and Jim, we tried our best to show them all of Kodiak in a short period of time, including some time out halibut fishing for Dad! (Heather and Mom decided not to join us on that one!)

The visit started out with a bang on two different counts. First, Jason got sent out on a SAR case on Tuesday morning to Adak, AK (think Russia for location). Of course, the family was coming in on Wednesday morning, so it figured that he'd be sleeping in when they got here, since he didn't think he'd be home til 2 or 3 am on Wednesday. Knowing full well that I shouldn't have been relieved by the original plan getting him home "at least" Wednesday morning, I got a call from the Air Station on Tuesday night saying he'd be a bit later. Silly me, I asked how much later it could be than an early morning arrival the next day. Keep in mind, the call came at about 7pm Tuesday night. The answer to my question was: Thursday. So, dodging volcanoes erupting, and pulling the "my family is in town" card to get out of there, Jason finally made it back from Adak late Thursday afternoon, two days into the trip.

The second major event was that Heather's luggage did NOT make it to Kodiak at the same time Heather did. Now, in most places, this might be a blessing in disguise. I mean, the airline gives you money to go out shopping to replace your lost items. YAY! Shopping! In Kodiak, that's a bit more of a challenge. Let's just say it's good that Heather and I are the same size! Come to find out, the idiot who checked them in at Logan (Boston) was too busy chatting to pay attention to which tags went on which bags. So Heather's bag ended up in Seattle, a guy who was going to Calgary had his bag sent to Kodiak, and a third guy who was going to Seattle theoretically had his bag end up in Calgary. Lesson learned: Watch the airline people put YOUR tag on YOUR bag before taking it off the scale and moving it behind the counter!!! Thanks to the AK airlines agents here in Kodiak, Heather's bag was located mid-day on Friday, and made it in Friday night. YAY!
We didn't let either event slow us down, though, making the most of the beautiful weather and the rest of what Kodiak has to offer. And now, onto the pictures:

This one was taken from the overlook at Ft. Abercrombie. I took a similar one earlier in the week, but it was missing Jason (and me), so we tried again later. Yay for tripods, so I could actually be in a picture!

While halibut fishing on Friday, we were treated to a beautifully calm, warm, sunny day (which means I'm two-for-two on the NOT puking while halibut fishing). Although we only got one halibut on our short trip, we were treated to a visit by a whale, not too far away from the boat. After we got back from fishing, Mom, Heather and I saw more whales hanging out in the same area when we went for a walk. It was awesome to listen to them breathing and calling to each other. Thanks to Dad's camera and the power of Photoshop, you can even tell that it was really a whale!
Pulling Mom away from the end of Spruce Cape and the sounds of the whales, we went to our secret stash spot for salmonberries, and ate a light snack during our walk. Mom managed to find one of the biggest berries I've ever seen! The ones all grouped together in this picture are on teh bigger end of normal sized. The one on the right was a monstah!

Saturday found us heading out the road for a picnic lunch in Pasagshak again. We stopped by the base to buy Heather a new camera, and then picked up sandwiches at a new coffee house/sandwich shop outside of town, Java Flats. From there, we made the long drive out to Pasagshak, on a gloriously sunny day. As we unloaded the car, we were talking about how neat the fog looked off in the distance, at the base of the mountains. Little did we realize, the fog was NOT that far away. By the time we found seats on some driftwood, and unpacked the sandwiches, we were sitting in the fog!
With our view gone, we ate our lunches, and decided not to stick around too long. We took two cars out, though, so that Jason could load up some driftwood for us to burn this winter. So, he did his best (with Dad's help, and a useless chainsaw) to load up the truck, and we headed back toward home. Luckily, the weather cleared on the way, and the girls (me, Mom, Heather and neighbor Christina) stopped to pick berries on the way, while the guys headed back toward the Buskin to fish a little.

Dad caught his first salmon, and brought it home to be filleted and smoked (the pink salmon are really best smoked). Here he is before trying to fillet his catch. He very quickly allowed Jason to step in and take care of it. He said he didn't want to ruin it, but, Dad - I think you just didn't like the slime!

On the final day of good weather, we headed back out to Spruce Cape to pick more berries, look for whales, and enjoy an Alaskan beach experience (which is just walking on the beach since no one in their right mind would go swimming!!!). Camera in hand, I caught a few last shots of the family in the sunshine.

And, of course, a good shot of what we saw a lot of this week - the back of Dad as he stayed behind to capture another picture. The man takes more pictures than me!!!

We finally encountered some of the famous Kodiak rain on the last day of their visit, so we headed into town to check out the museums and the Wildlife Refuge visitor center. So as to be sure that Mom doesn't think I under-represented here on this trip report, I'll include one final picture from the trip. Watch out - the Kodiak bears can be vicious!!

Hey, Mom, it would've been more realistic if you could've stopped laughing... I'm just sayin'...

So, that was the visit with the Waitt side of the family. We're happy to have the house back to ourselves, but sad that everyone has come and gone for the summer. We're looking forward to the next round of visitors - hopefully sooner than later! Remember, the door is always open! Though now we're just counting down the days until we get our chance for vacation - only about a month and a half til our trip to Florida and St. Thomas! We're definitely looking foward to that!

That's all for now! We'll try to make some of our own Kodiak excitement so we have things to share!