Prince of Wales Island, southeast Alaska/ Jeff Lund

So, there I was atop a mountain, looking down at a forest unstained (for the most part) by humans. Below were deer, bear and wolves in the trees, fish and whales in the ocean. On the hill, just me and my endorphins.

The same thing happens in the gym, not the animals, the feeling. There’s just enough something happening to insulate from the pain and provide a mild euphoria upon completing a workout. You did something. You’re stoked, you’re jacked, you’re buzzed, you’re high. …

Ketchikan entrepreneur inspired by home

March 2019 —

Matt Hamilton strolls through a miserable southeast Alaska storm with a portable speaker. Life is good though the weather is bad. Since the bridge to nowhere (the airport) wasn’t built, he situates the speaker under the protection of the tunnel at the top of the ramp that leads to Ketchikan’s airport ferry from nowhere.

As the ferry approaches with the Region V champion boys basketball, girls basketball and cheerleading teams aboard, the tunnel explodes with “We are the Champions” the popular Queen song that’s become the anthem of winning. …

Forgetting the flies in Colorado’s high country

Two years later I proposed on a deer hunt in southeast Alaska.

“Really?”
“Yep.”
“Really?”
It wasn’t the first time that I’d forgotten a key element for fishing, but this time I was six miles back in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness — three and a half hours west of Denver, CO — on a date. I was responsible for the fly fishing portion of the Labor Day weekend trip and left the flies in the car. When she lives in Laramie, WY, and you flew down for the weekend from Ketchikan, Alaska, this is no ordinary goof. …

Wanting to protect wolves in southeast Alaska is a virtuous endeavor. However, limiting a food source by siding with predators is a mistake, especially during a pandemic.

Many articles rely primarily on out-of-state organizations and ignore primary sources — residents — who would be impacted by measures to protect an animal that doesn’t need to be protected.

On Prince of Wales Island specifically, and Alaska in general, there still exists the opportunity to provide for oneself. There is the chance to live responsibly off the land by eating quality, organic, free range, wild, food which also reduces one’s carbon footprint.

The habit of always looking forward is dangerous

Backpacking with friends in Idaho’s Sawtooth Range during the summer of 2019.

The problem with having a favorite time of year is the temptation to wish away the rest of it.

Outdoorsmen and women, probably men more than women, can get so fixated on an identity that we can’t live year-round, we just punt away so much of our time.

This makes us risk totally miss the point when the time comes, especially if things start to go south. Every year my guide buddies tell me about the guy who shows up desperate for a 50-pound king salmon because he likely spent the winter…

What you need to know about the 5 species in the Pacific

A small king salmon caught off the coast of Noyes Island in southeast Alaska.

If you’re planning to make a trip to Alaska when Covid calms down, or you’ve never been to the 49th state but think about it every time you pass the seafood in the grocery store, here’s some things you should know about salmon.

1. The Pacific salmon basics
There is no “Pacific salmon.” There are five species of salmon that live in the Pacific, but no salmon called the Pacific salmon. If you see salmon advertised as such, it’s likely pink salmon which is the most plentiful. …

A small bear on a beach in southeast Alaska/JEFF LUND

It’s 1 a.m. and I have 25 students showing up to first hour in seven hours.

I want to get back to sleep, but my brain doesn’t turn off. This is not a comment on my intellectual brilliance, but rather the inability of my brain to cope with simple aspects of life, or just calm down.

Spring bear. Spring steelhead. Late summer moose after opening day blacktail deer. It’s a Tuesday, nowhere near an appropriate time for this level of excitement, but it does happen in Alaska. …

It’s tag hunting season for non-residents, so Jaden Bales (the Wyoming Correspondent) and I talk about off-season podcast listening habits, ice fishing, cow elk hunts, cow caribou hunts, the decrease of non-resident tag allotment in some states, why increasing population and improving habitat is important and what happens if you can afford the tag but not the hunt.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/3F0J96ySU6cmIOtKOXJCsV

Jeff Lund

Raised in rural Alaska, now a teacher and freelance writer in Ketchikan, Alaska. TheMediocreAlaskan.com

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