Or so we thought

We rise at 6:00 to heavy wind, rain and low visibility. We huddle under the tarp with coffee and toasted bagels wondering what the day will bring, other than what we have at the moment. We don’t break camp, as planned, and will wait till we talk to Denise via sat phone at 8:00. Logic being that if it is like this there, we aren’t going anywhere today.

The call at 8:00 reveals iffy weather across the region. With our weather report being; steady winds in excess of 20 with gust over 40 limited visibility and squalls every few minutes. The day progresses with calls every hour, our weather stays the same. Rick is flying but not in our direction.

Late morning Chuck , with disappointment, suggests to Rick that we call it off for the day. Our weather isn’t improving and we will have already missed flights back to Anchorage for the day.

Last night Camp is another night camp. At least we don’t have to break down everything and reset camp. There are three sat phones in the group; Chuck, Eric and Steve, and the site turns into an electronic village. Calls back and forth to Rick and Denise to handle logistics and the next group coming in, calls to families to let them know what is happening, and calls attempting to change plane reservations.

Now we get to plan for another night on the river, at least on the shore of the river.


The day is a more than one pot of coffee day. Birds aren’t flying nor are planes in this area. Boats from the lodge go by but we can’t see them nor can they see us, just the rafts. We huddle under the tarp or back into the tents as the day slowly goes by.

This weather rivals the end of the typhoon we caught on the trip with Ant.  Like all two day camps people come and go during the day. Find myself down at the water seeking some open space and Joe and I have a great conversation. About the trip, work, our other lives and other adventures we have enjoyed. Grateful to have the time to have this conversation.

As for other conversation on this weather day I would need a scribe to record them or a better memory than I possess to be able to recreate them. Alas, just know they were all delightful, revealing and entertaining.

It seems that there is only one rod still rigged among us and that Steve is the owner. It is getting forward dinner time so I pull out a box of flies and pick a specific fly to give to Steve with the specific instructions of, “Go catch us a Silver for dinner.” The fly? A Chartreuse Bubba Bugger. Why that fly? IT never disappoints!

Gretchen and David go with him to witness his efforts. We can hear them through the willows as they go upstream to a small backwater. There is laughter, giggling and lots of noise. Steve walks back into camp a few minutes later…


Dinner at Chuck’s Steam Side Cafe! Blackened Salmon, Black Bean Soup, and green salad. Not bad for Em Rats!


Well fed we head to the tents early, 7:30. The weather was draining even if we didn’t do much.

Went right to sleep and woke after what I thought was a long night’s sleep. It was bright out and I thought I must have really overslept? I roll over and Chuck is still in the tent, asleep? Check my phone for the time and it was 11:07 pm! But, its bright outside? It rained hard the rest of the night and I slept fitfully anticipating the weather and another possible delay.


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