Sunday, August 11, 2013

When We Retire - Alaska!

In preparation for Chickamauga Marathon, yesterday called for a 3 hour walk, the goal was to stay moving on my feet for 3 hours.  Walks that long can and do get boring.  One of the things I do to help with this is to pick a topic and try to focus on just that topic for the duration.  Sometimes it works sometimes it does not.  Yesterday's topic - going to Alaska after we retire.

It's not that we want to move to Alaska, we just want to go there for summers, to work.  I suppose it might sound odd to "retire" and then go somewhere to "work", but right now that is part of our plan.

We've been to Alaska twice, both times via cruise ships (my journal entries from first trip).  For us, cruising to Alaska seemed to be a good sampler package approach.  With the exceptions of Anchorage and Seward, the Alaskan cities we got visit were in Southeast Alaska: Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka.  Our hope is to get a seasonal job supporting the cruise ship tourist industry in one of these cities.  We'll see.  But in the mean time, it is fun to think about and it does help the time pass on a long walk!

Some of the pics (and reasons why we want to go back for an extended time):

Tracy Arm Fjord & Sawyer Glacier
Mendenhall Glacier

Davidson Glacier

Tracy Arm Fjord
30 lb King Salmon off the coast of Sitka
So for now the plan is to go on another cruise the year before we retire and besides enjoying Alaska again, talk with merchants & businesses to try to line something up for the following summer.

If you've never been to Alaska, I highly recommend it.


  1. Scott, I can so relate to the challenge of staying occupied on long training days. I've often said I appear to have about two hours of content in my head, because hours three, and four particular when training for a marathon are tough!

    Alaska sounds like a wonderful thing to focus on! You are right, it is fun to dream big and envision life in a different way.

    1. Agreed, 2-3 hours, not so bad, tolerable, beyond that I'm beginning to realize that I do not like it. This could be my last 26.2 as it will take the better part of 6 hours to complete.

      On Alaska, part of the thought process, considering the purchase of a TrailManor (learned about this from your blog - thanks!) and using that for our room & board up there.

  2. I went to Alaska after I retired via Cruise ship. Loved it!!

    1. Ditto! That is what got us started on this plan for what we really want to do after our "work a day" life is over.

  3. If you have Netflix watch the show, Flying Wild Alaska, to give you a real feel for the small town Alaskan life. The show is all about a family that runs the largest bush airline in the state, serving towns so small they have no restaurants! It is fascinating.

  4. Thanks Bob - I will look for that for sure.

  5. I lived near Fairbanks for a couple of years when I was in the Army. Fairbanks was brutally cold in the winter and awesomely beautiful in the summer. I would love to return there and I hope you get your wish.

  6. Wow what a catch. Alaska is on Barb and I's bucket list. I used your photo on blog. We have all heard fish stories was the angle. In your case, that had to be an effort to pick up the fish, let alone catch it. Impressed. If you want me to remove the photo I will. Hope not

    1. my fish story, I did have to use both arms to hold that fish up...

      I ended up on a boat with two guys from Alabama who knew each other and a Scotsman, named Alister who lived in Hong Kong. Our captain was Steve and the deck hand was his son, Cody. As we made our way out to where Steve thought the fish were, about eight miles out, Cody came around with the one-day fishing license and one day king salmon stamps. Ten bucks for the license and ten bucks for the stamp.

      There were four poles on the boat. It seemed fairly obvious, four guys, four poles, not exactly. Steve (our skipper) came around with a deck of cards and said, “pick one”. As I picked a card, I asked why. Steve said, “to see who gets first fish”. I drew a nine and that put me in second place. Alister drew the highest and therefore he would get the first fish. The way it worked was all four poles were in the water and as soon as one got a hit, they stopped the boat and reeled in the other three poles.

      It was not long before we got the first hit. Alister grabbed the pole, the boat stopped, the other lines came out of the water and the fight began. It took Alister about 20 minutes or so to land his king salmon. It was 25 lbs.

      Now it was my turn. The wait seemed much longer than it actually was, but finally we got the second hit. I was ready. The fight started. This fish was big, by far the biggest fish I’d ever tangled with. I reeled him in for a while then let him run, reeled in, let him run. After about 10-12 minutes, my left forearm was really getting tired. The fish was still out about 50 ft or so (there was a gauge on the rod). About another 10 minutes went by before I got the fish up to the side of the boat. Steve netted him (it was a him). It was a 30 lb king salmon