Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kodiak's Farmer's Market

Fun at Kodiak’s Farmer’s Market

Every Saturday starting at 11:00am Kodiak’s Farmer’s Market opens up. It’s full of goodies, greens, and people! A lot of fun…

When Tom and I went this last Saturday, it was our first time there. Back in Kansas the Farmer's Markets are full of local growers, craft-makers, and baked goods, flowers and music. This Farmer's Market had it's own flair...

When we pulled up we saw all of the cars parked right around this building.

After we got closer, we saw that under the awning were several picnic tables and booths with goods...

The building was packed full of people. It was hard to maneuver around everyone, but we eventually found our way to several of the tables.

The first booth we came to was filled with home-made soaps (something my step-mother, Claudia, makes a great deal of and blesses the rest of the family with her amazing creations)...

I kept the woman's card so I could get more home-made body scrubs from her when I ran out. She had a beautiful card of the blue mountains.

The table with vegetables was too good to pass up. We bought lettuce and kale. The woman selling the veggies gave me a fantastic recipe for "Kale Chips" (cut up the Kale leave in to small pieces, sprinkle with olive oil and parmesian cheese, and bake for 2 minutes in the microwave...crunchy and salty...yummy!).

Next, we saw a picnic table covered with frames that had been decorated and embellished beautifully.

It was hard to pass up the multiple tables with yummy home-made pies, jams, cookies and's out the window! We ended up buying a very small rhubarb pie that had two bites of yumminess (one for Tom and one for me). Mmmm...

We found out that the jams were the first of the season made from "Salmon berries" that cover the landscape in the summer. There were jams filled with spruce berries, sage, fresh mint, and several other unbelievably tempting creations. If we had had more cash, I would have splurged!

The people were so friendly...

Ear-rings came in several shapes and sizes...and colors...

Baby hats hade been knitted and crocheted...

Baby chicks were for sale...

Finally, fresh bread was ready to be bought...

This all took place at the Fair Grounds, just South of the Coast Guard Base. Tom and I are ready to go back next week!!! What fun...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Salmon Fishing and a Buffalo Stampede!

Salmon Fishing and a Buffalo Stampede!

Tom and I went camping at Pasagshak, a location that is the Southern most part of where the road takes you on the island. There we hung out with some friends, Tom went salmon fishing, and, yes, there was actually a buffalo stampede!

When we got to Pasagshak that night, the sun was out and it was gorgeous! I could not have asked for a more beautiful day.

Some of the locals were fishing for salmon by putting nets out in the bay (which you cannot do until you are a resident). The husbands would catch the fish and the wives would fillet them on the beach. The birds (including several eagles) would swarm around to get the leftovers.

This is the view from our SCAMP camper (that we took out courtesy of the Coast Guard - one of the perks of working for them). This is where Tom would be fishing the next morning (getting up at 4:00am...ugh). This is where the salmon spawn and go up that stream you see on the right.

The next morning it was cloudy, rainy, and miserable. Nothing was going to stop the men from going fishing, though. Around 11:00am they headed back to camp. Joe caught a "red" salmon and Tom had caught a smaller fish, but decided to let it go.

(The three pictures above, and some of the buffalo, were taken and provided by Joe's wife and Tom's co-worker in the Work Life Department, Debbie. Thank you, Debbie! They turned out great!)

Right after the men got back in to camp, I heard Joe yelling, "The buffalo! The buffalo are coming!" I thought he was making some reference to a name-brand boat or something. Little did I know he meant ACTUAL buffalo! They were coming right down the road and then decided to cross the river right where all the fly-fishermen were fishing. It was say the least!

We were shocked and then amazed at seeing a herd of about 50 buffalo go rumbling by, clippity-clop, clippity-clop.

Later, after Joe and Debbie had to leave to go to a wedding, Tom and I decided to go exploring some more. We had heard that Kodiak had a launch site that was being considered for launching space craft. We wanted to see if we could get a look.

The road went by the launch site (which you can see behind me in the next picture) and down to another beach. We decided to go beach combing and found some goodies...

The waves were rolling in and we noticed that although there were campers on the beach that had their surfboards, they weren't yet out in the water. It was really COLD! I had three layers on, including two down-filled jackets and a raincoat. I was just barely warmed by this! Brrrrr...

On the way back we saw a deer. He was much smaller than what I'm used to seeing in Kansas and he didn't seem to be too concerned with us.

Tom went back to fishing while I holed up in the SCAMP, and after too long he finally came back with his red salmon. He wanted to catch two of them, but was happy he caught what he did.

We stayed one more night at Pasagshak before we headed back home on Sunday. I told Tom that next time it was that cold and rainy I would be staying home...I needed the comforts of home more than I thought!

But, when the sun is is simply gorgeous (and warm!).

Fun friends, fun times, and fun weekend...all-in-all.

Marine Research Center - Touch Tank

Marine Research Center
With a Touch Tank Full of Local Marine Wildlife!

When we got in to Kodiak I knew right away that I wanted to go to the Marine Life Research Center because I had seen online that they had a touch-tank full of sea anemonie's, star fish, rockfish, and crabs.

At one point in my life, I wanted to be an Oceanologist. After taking Oceanography at Kansas State University and Biology at Central Oregon Community College, I realized I was not as cut out for it as I thought I might be (my grades were horrible!). So, off to find myself in other ways I went...only to land on being an art therapist (another passion of mine).

In the meantime, I kept my love for marine life in tact. So, as soon as I could I grabbed Tom and away we went.

The main lobby was filled with a map of Kodiak (the purple circle is where Kodiak City and the Coast Guard are located - just a very small part of a much bigger island)...

And, there were pictures of all the local wildlife on the walls. Connected to the lobby was a conference room that sported amazing views of the islands that were just beyond Near Island (where the Marine Research Center was located - a bridge connects Kodiak City to the small island).

There was also a rather large stair case that was at the center of the lobby. It took us down to the HUGE aquarium and the touch tank downstairs.

The aquarium was filled with VERY large crabs, star fish, and other marine life.

This picture gives you a really good idea of how big these crab get. If you have seen on the Discovery Channel, "Deadliest Catch", then you know that these crabs are big and caught in very cold waters.

The Touch Tank was just beyond the Aquarium, and Tom was the first to stick his hands in while I watched and learned...

The water was very, very cold that our hands would numb within minutes, making it painful to keep them in the water. It was so cool, though. I got to touch everything you see in the pictures above.

While I loved the hands-on experience, Tom really enjoyed looking at all the different salmon on the Salmon wall downstairs. There was a great deal of information on where each spawn and when.

Turns out there are several different types of salmon that spawn in the Kodiak waters.

It was such a great day! Tom and I really enjoyed ourselves. I cannot wait to take friends and family there when they come to visit! (hint, hint)