Of Love and Life Cycles

Dateline: June 29, 2014 (Our 40th Wedding Anniversary!)

In the morning, E and I exchanged cards and anniversary wishes. After 40 years together you would think there would be nothing more to say. But, I guess we’re both romantic enough to find something to tell each other that we haven’t heard before. The odd thing is that we sat in the cab of the motorhome (staring out at Resurrection Bay and the mountains beyond) as the setting for this memorable moment. Not some glitzy, dimly-lit, bistro with soft jazz playing in the background. It was just us in all our simplicity.

Motorhome Cab

After a lovely walk along the waterfront, enjoying the glittering bay, we hit the road and began to work our way back toward Anchorage. Along the way, we stopped at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association’s fish hatchery to see if we could see some salmon that were still alive. (We’ve had salmon for dinner four times on this trip!)

Hatchery

A very nice fish hatcher named Brian introduced us to an aquarium of fry, which are the only fish on site at the moment. The adults have already come and gone, and the smolt have already been released. One of the fascinating things Brian told us is that the body of water in which the smolt are released, if they have at least a few hours to “imprint” that location, will be the body of water that they return to as reproductive adults. So, even though it is part of their genetic code to return to their stream of origin, the genetic code does not specify exactly which stream to go to. In other words, if their parents were from one stream, but the aquaculture association releases them to a different stream, that different stream will be their new “home.” Salmon are fascinating.

Brian Fish Hatcher

Oh, Brian also admitted that after you work with these fish for a while, you do “get a little attached” to them, so that when some fish that you’ve released return after a few years as adults, there is a bit of pride associated with seeing them. Imagine that!

 

We made our overnight stop at a campground called the Williwaw Campground, which is part of the Chugach National Forest. It is a sweet, woodsy campground that is very quiet. It is nestled beneath mountains that have at least 5 or 6 glaciers spilling down from them. We walked 1.5 miles to a visitor’s center along a paved and boardwalked path that was entirely level. E found some ferns to touch along the way.

Feeling Fern

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