Today is the 6th straight day where the all-time high temperature broken. Yesterday the temperature reached 86, shattering the previous high for that day of 80 degrees. We have not seen rain in over a week, and fire is increasingly becoming a danger as the temperate rain forest here dries from the heat. There is no gap between the forest and the place we are staying. The sky is absolutely clear with no clouds. Right now from my window I have a clear view of Mt. McGinnis, and the Seven Sisters peaks overlooking this part of Juneau.
Sleep is becoming more and more difficult to find as the Chum and King runs start. Many times the best time to fish is late at night after our Project activities or early in the morning. On Sunday night I took a several guys fishing who did not have to work on Monday. It was fairly dark at midnight when we started fishing. By 2:00 a.m. dawn began to break, and by 3:00 a.m. when I drove home I did not need to use the headlights on my truck. I brought home several Chum Salmon weighing around 10-15 pounds each. The guys who stayed and fished all night brought home 16 Chum Salmon.
On Wednesday morning we left at 5:00 a.m. and hiked with our Staff up to Windfall Creek to fish for Sockeye. Every one of our Staff men caught and brought home a 7-10 pound Sockeye. Sockeye is the best of the best Salmon to eat and is a prize!
This weekend is our Project 3 day camping trip. We are leaving on Saturday night and returning on Monday evening. We are headed to a place called Sawmill Creek where the Salmon are running. A highlight from Sawmill Creek is the whales come close to the coast and feed on fish. To reach this creek we will drive around 25 miles to the end of the road. From there we will ferry all the students, staff, and gear 5 miles up the coast. A little over a week ago I met a neat couple at a church, and they are loaning us 2 of their 16 foot skiffs for the weekend. Along with the Alpha King (the 12? John boat I have borrowed for the summer) we will ferry everyone to Creek, and back.
The berries in the woods are ripe! Blueberries virtually grow everywhere in the woods. Yesterday I picked a pint of blueberries. Wild strawberries can be easily found wherever there is sunlight and a marshy area. They are amazingly big, and great to eat. Another berry called the Salmon Berry is just now starting to ripen. The Salmon Berry is similar to a raspberry, but is bigger and sweeter. It?s impossible to go off a trail and get into the woods without cutting a path through the Devils Club, an extremely toxic bush that grows everywhere in the woods. Another plant you will find growing in the woods is an extremely large leafy plant growing with 4? leaves called Skunk Cabbage. When you break a leaf the smell is almost identical to the smell of a skunk. One interesting point is people from Alaska tell me they cannot compare the smell of the Skunk Cabbage to that of a real skunk because they?ve never smelled a real skunk. No skunks are found in this part of Alaska.
The student who tore his ACL last week is able to walk with a leg brace. He will not have to return home because the doctors do not want to operate on it until it heals for 6 weeks. My time left here in Juneau is less than 2 weeks, and we have selected students to step into leadership positions and lead the Project for the rest of the summer after we leave. The growth we?ve seen in the lives of the many of the students up to this point is amazing. The mission for our Project is to equip men to walk with God and be His ambassadors for a life-time. We are seeing the character and foundation built in many of the lives of our Staff and students to see them lay down the tracks this summer that will impact their lives far beyond their time in Juneau.
No-See-Um is a tiny bug that comes out around dusk and will swarm you endlessly. Bug spray keeps them from biting, but only if you continually to heavily apply spray to your face and head every 20-30 minutes when you are fishing or near the water in the evening. Getting into a boat and going ? mile off shore will not help you escape. They seem to either follow you, or find you wherever you go. The fly fishermen wear head nets instead of applying bug spray.
On Wednesday morning as I was landing a Sockeye Salmon with my fly rod, the rod snapped in half. Fortunately the rod has a life-time guarantee. Unfortunately I?m done fishing with a fly rod for the rest of my time here.
On Saturday morning for our Staff Men?s morning fishing time we have a boat and are headed 40 miles from Juneau to the Icy Straight where we will fish for Halibut. There are 200+ pound Halibut being caught out there. We will only have around 2 hours of fishing time, but hope to bring home some big Halibut.