Labor Day Weekend 2013: Many of my friends spent it in the sunny carolina’s, soaking up sun, drinking good drinks, and enjoying weather in the 80 degree range.
Not me: I went fishing.
Well, Matt & I went fishing. He heard from a coworker about a place where you can hike in to a lake and canoe around, so that is how we spent a glorious Sunday.
We drove up to the Nancy Lake Rec Area, and met a lady who owned a bunch of canoes. After exchanging goods for money, we prepared for our relaxing day on the lake.
The lake we went fishing on was called Red Shirt Lake. To reach this lake, we had to do a 3 mile hike to where the canoes were kept. This hike included carrying all of our fishing gear, canoe paddles, life vests, snacks, and warm jackets – all while wearing rain boots. (It was so rainy, had we worn our hiking boots our pants and toes would have been soaked!)
It was a really cool and peaceful walk in the woods, but since it is Alaska, we had to be on the lookout for bears and moose at all times.
Fun note: We bought bear bells when we first got up here (bells that you wear on your clothes that alert bears you’re coming so you can’t sneak up on them. It helps prevent you from becoming bear food.), but have yet to actually bring them with us anywhere. Several times while hiking we’ve said to each other “bear bells would have been a good idea today”.
Luckily (or unluckily), we still have yet to see a bear or moose while out hiking. C’mon Alaska – throw us a bone!
Anyways, the hike was pretty and went up several little hills, where I saw so many pretty flowers and berries that I wanted to learn about.
We also saw a spot where bears had been laying!
Once we finally reached the lake, we were blown away by how pretty it was. Since its a tough hike in, we were alone and hadn’t gotten a chance to see so much nature by ourselves.
We found our canoe and got to unlocking it and loading it up.
Once we were on the lake, we were golden. Matt set up our fishing rods, told me where to cast, and we got to floating and fishing.Low and behold, I catch the first fish! Now those of you who know me know I won’t actually touch one with my bare hands. No no no. I will pose with it on a line, and swing it over to Matt, but I will not touch it. Thinking about it just gives me the creeps. Ugh.
The type of fish we were fishing for are called Pike fish. Matt said they are strange because once you catch them, they continue to fight – they don’t just give up and hang from your line peacefully. Which is why when Matt insisted on getting a picture of me holding my fish – this happened:
I swear it wanted to kill me and eat me. And Pike fish have really sharp teeth, no lie.
After surviving that, Matt caught a fish, and we lazied around the lake. We ended up finding a cool island to go explore, so we docked and took a break.
After a while, it started to rain really hard, so we loaded up and started to head back in. We’d been on the lake for about 5 hours at this point, so I was also exhausted from my run in with a fish, and the perpetual rowing I was forced to do.
After putting the canoe back, it was time to hike out. By this time the rain had slowed to a light drizzle, and we were burning up from our jackets (it was 55 degrees out!). So we turned Matt into a giant thing by hanging our jackets on the canoe paddles. I think this also helped intimidate any potential bears: they would have seen his shape and been like “woah, giant human thing! Let’s not mess with that!” or at least in my mind they would have.
Another 3 mile hike back, we were done. We had a fun and successful day fishing; the first time Matt has ever taken me fishing in fact. I caught a fish, impressed him with my casting abilities, and proved I can help row a canoe when I feel so inclined.
As with any outdoors trip, we stopped for ice cream on our way home. Name of the town we stopped in: Houston. Though I’d add that since I thought it was so cool.
What did you do for Labor Day weekend?