• I owe Alaska an apology

    Just a few weeks ago, a friend called me on the phone and asked if I wanted to go on a fly fishing trip in Alaska. Apparently, there was a cencellation in a long-planned vacation, and I was being offered the opportunity to fill a spot. Although my initial instinct was concern that I couldn’t rearrange my schedule on such short notice, my wife pretty much told me I had to go (she’s awesome). And so last week I took off for a week to Iliamna, Alaska.

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    I’m not even sure what I expected. I’ve been to almost every state in the nation but Alaska. It wan’t even on my to-do list. I could not have been a bigger fool.

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    Alaska is simply unreal. On the one hour plane ride back home from Iliamna to Anchorage, I saw a pod of whales and an active volcano:

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    I saw eagles and bears, literally yards away.

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    And I caught fish, standing in a river, using nothing more than a rod, reel, hook, and some feathers and string. What’s more, I ate that fish just hours later on the side of the river.

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    This was, simply, one of the best experiences of my life. Words can’t describe the Alaskan wildlife. Mountains rise right out the ground to tremendous heights. Permafrost is full of wildflowers. It’s not that difficult to get completely away from civilization, to spend time where no machines have ever been. It’s spectacular.

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    I’m not the most outdoorsy kind of guy. But I’d go on this vacation again in a heartbeat. I need to start saving, right now, so that someday I can take my kids to do this. It was that awe-inspiring. Alaska, if I’ve ever maligned you, or spoke of you negatively in any way, I apologize. Profusely.

    @aaronecarroll

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    • SO glad that you had this experience. When I can, I have made career choices that allowed me to live in beautiful land/seascapes.

      Try Nova Scotia someday. Last night I watched a seal swimming off our dock, feeding on a school of fish.

    • A few don’ts followed by fly fishers: don’t tell others where you went; don’t kill the fish, and don’t take pictures of the fish you landed.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more… took a two week fishing trip to AK a few years ago with my lifelong fishing buddy and my brother. Although I can’t say as we had quite your degree of success on the fishing front, it was, nonetheless a spectacular experience. I too hope to return again before I’m too old to truly enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!

      Oh, and BTW… thanks for the ongoing inciteful and valuable health care blogs! Keep ’em coming!

    • Beautiful pictures!

      And, yes… start saving to take your family.

    • “I apologize. Profusely.”

      It’s cool, man. We knew you didn’t mean it. We’re just glad you came and made amends. Now we can cancel the continent-clearing megavolcanic eruption we had scheduled, too, so everybody wins!