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The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.
Hey humans! Instead of coming to you from the podcast studio in my house, I’m coming to you live from Johnson Lake State Recreation Area in Alaska, where we’ve been camping since yesterday. As I’m talking to you, my husband Luke is back in the van heating an unfortunate combo of canned hormel tamales, instant rice and a velveeta knock-off that he and the boys will love but I will definitely be skipping. I’m talking to you while walking down a gravel path against the lake, with this gorgeous purple blue lupine flower all around me and Im wearing my bright orange camp poncho, which looks ridiculous but is in fact wonderful. It will be at least a few days before you hear this, but right now when I’m recording this campground is completely full for the holiday weekend.
We’ve been on the road for a week – 7 nights as of tonight – as I work on the guide book on Alaska I’m coauthoring for Lonely Planet. We took a family adventure in the process, really enjoying the chance to linger in towns we’d only passed through before. It’s been really fun trying new places, hitting up some local food and generally just slowly working our way through some new stuff.
This book project has me trying a bunch of new things, since I need to personally do as many of the experiences I’m writing about as possible. I’ll talk more in a future episode about what this whole thing has taught me, but for now I want to challenge you to join me. Go out and try something completely new outside this week. It can be a new park or space. It can be a new sport or activity. A new walking path, or a new place to eat on a patio outside. If you want to get spicy, try something new you’re not sure you’ll like or that’s just far enough out of your way to make it inconvenient.
I could pick from a whole bunch of new things to tell you about, but I think I’m going to go with salmon fishing. That’s right — I live in Alaska and I had never fished for salmon. I actually don’t love eating salmon, but I do love feeding my family. My 11 year old and I went out on the Kasilof river today fishing today with a guide. We motored down the river, then pulled off at a gravel bar where we used fly rods to floss for sockeye. In some parts of the state snagging or flossing is allowed where you catch the fish with a treble hook caught on any part of the fish. Where we are, you’re cast the line out and wait to snag it in the fish’s mouth. It’s illegal to keep fish snagged anywhere else other than their mouth.
OK, so fishing – meh – not really my thing. But nonetheless we got up at 2 a.m. – yes 2 a.m. – to meet the guide at 3 a.m. It was … really early. We were done and back to the car by 9:30 a.m., I caught my limit and Huck caught half of his, and then we went to a coffee shop where I was certain it was one million oclock in the day but it was, in fact, not that much past 10 a.m.
Did I have fun? Yes. And it was entirely new activity for me. I think I’d like to try some other kinds of salmon fishing, and next year I think Id like to try dip-netting, which involves basically wading into the ocean and catching salmon in what kind of looks like a giant butterfly net when it’s perched on the back of cars. And I’m gonna be honest — I’m just too tired right now to decide if I’ll be back for it or not. But I know I’m glad I tired.
Now it’s your turn. Get out there and do something new this week — then share a photo of it with #humansoutside365. You can see photos of my stuff, including that fishing trip, on Humans Outside on Facebook and Instagram. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.