by fishingpoet on July 31, 2013 · 20 comments

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My journal holds a breadcrumb collection from the path I just traveled. Loosely penned notes, dates, times, temps, names. Hopeful reminders that will eventually congeal as sentences and full-blown thoughts, filling pages, taking me back. Glaciers and timbered mountain wilderness in evening light from the cockpit of a de Havilland Otter. Dappled sun and hushed spruce-path steps, blazing trails in six-foot fireweed, whistling to the possibility of bears. Tight line after tight line after tight line of toothy, big-shouldered, colored-up pinks throwing haymakers in glacier-gray water. Bald eagles in moss-laden riverside branches, stealthy and silent but for the occasional sharp cry to their mate around the next bend. Falling tide exposing rivers within rivers and soggy, shell-sand-grass-stone acres of what looks like the landscape of another planet. Catching bright, frantically strong and eternally hungry dollies amongst the pinks and chum, brown bear and wolf tracks on the sand bar behind me next to my own. Late night picnic table conversations and laughs and schemes over beers and bourbon about music, kids, work, fish, stories, environment, politics, food, love, loss and travel, punctuated by the occasional silent stretch, each of us retreating into our own thought-filled minds. Heavy morning mist clinging to the rising mountains, filling the valley, filling my nose and lungs as I stand, eyes closed, inhaling giantness.

Before I flew west, I was a long way from Alaska.
Now I’m back east, and I’m a long way from home.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Sepelak July 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Wonderful. I await each and every word, thankful that they sent the right guy to tell it the right way.

Steve Z July 31, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Dude. Awesome. There’s no going home.

Chris July 31, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Beautiful, my friend… just beautiful.

Larry Snyder July 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Matt…. that sums up Alaska, no matter whether you’re in Juneau, the Kenai Peninsula, Bristol Bay, Talkeetna, or Kodiak..
Well done, my friend!

fishingpoet July 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Thanks, Mike. I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me. Looking forward to reliving it all as I get the words down.

fishingpoet July 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Thank you, Steve! Home is certainly taking on new levels of meaning/being.

fishingpoet July 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I will be eternally grateful to you for the opportunity, Chris. It was a special trip.

todd tanner July 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm

It’s becoming apparent that rather than simply discussing rods on the phone, we need to fish together. Montana or NY?

fishingpoet July 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Thanks, Larry! I hope I get to test the merit of that statement myself eventually :)

todd tanner July 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm

By the way, those are some beautiful words.

fishingpoet July 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I think that’s a fine idea, Todd. Either destination.
And thank you for the shout.

mike schmidt July 31, 2013 at 3:09 pm

you write real pretty ;)
Awesome stuff my friend. Alaska is a place that grabs on to you hard once you have been there and instills a need to get back like only a handful of places can. I can’t wait to see the full blown writeups you put together.

fishingpoet July 31, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Yea, Mike – I will be back. I’m bringing reinforcements though…in the form of my fish-seeking kids.

Aileen August 1, 2013 at 9:26 am

I want to go home, too. Beautiful, Matt.

fishingpoet August 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

Thank you, Aileen. I appreciate the note.

Blaine Peetso August 3, 2013 at 1:22 am

Absolutely wonderful. This sums up all the reasons I want to go and the one reason I am scared to.

Once you’ve been . . . how do you ever leave?

fishingpoet August 3, 2013 at 8:13 am

Thanks for the shout, Brian. The leaving is temporary…more like “see you soon” instead of “goodbye.” More importantly, it never leaves you.

dp August 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm

i’ve been to alaska, it’s sticky and it stays put in your soul.

Jennel October 4, 2013 at 8:44 am

Wow, looks like Alaska was an amazing trip. Its someplace I’ve always wanted to visit and seeing your photos just makes me want to experience it even more. I’ve been disappointed I haven’t seen any updates recently on your blog and also I was curious about the release of your film. I still haven’t received a copy that I pre-ordered in May. I knew the release was delayed so I’ve been trying to be patient. If you could just let me know where things stand that would be great. I hope all is well with you and you are enjoying a new adventure that we will soon be hearing about.

fishingpoet October 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Hey Jennel!
Thank you for your the shout. It was a tremendous experience. Almost unreal at times. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus with the blog (and social media in general) for a little bit. I’ll be back in due time with the blog. As for the film, we’ll be back in the edit suite this month and are looking at a spring release (fingers crossed).

Trips are thin this fall. But there are a couple in the works. Stay tuned :)

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