Once again, guests arrived from far and wide. Thea Feyereisen and Maureen Wegleitner arrived from Hudson, Wisconsin. Tom Wegleitner (Weg) arrived from Vadnais Heights, Minnesota. Tom Feyereisen arrived from Anchorage, Alaska, and Matt Scaer arrived from Seattle, Washington. Additional guests at various points included Father Jerry from Bethel, Alaska, Father Maichi, from Aniak, Haveland pilot Will from Wasilla, George, Lisa, and Keanna Siavelis and JC, Beth, Ted, and Tania all from Aniak.
Subsistence fishing regulations were still being imposed on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday so the first order of business for the guests arriving on Friday was to get some drifting in. We had some fairly good success with reds, kings and chums, and some excellent video was shot from the observation boat. Matt was even observed liberating a red from the confines of the driftnet. Several children were on board to work the age old art of fish de-mobilization. If you desire to view the video, you'll need to borrow it from someone who has a copy, or pick up a copy at the Crow Village gift shop. Needless to say, the first meal consumed by the guests included a delicious entrée of fresh wild Alaskan salmon. Only 3 words were required to describe that entrée: DE LISH US.
The following day included some work on re-aligning the french doors, construction of some permanent deck steps, and of course some more drifting. On Sunday, the stage was set for Raven's first communion. Father's jerry and Maichi were kind enough to venture to Crow Village to perform the ceremony, which was then followed by an impressive feast. Later that night, David fired up the steam bath, and most visitors chose to take advantage of that facility to improve their personal hygiene. Tom Wegleitner in particular seems to thoroughly enjoy the steam, and was heard to say at one point - AHHH!
Monday morning found Matt heading back to Seattle, and David heading back to work. Work began in earnest to stage the move of the little house. Previous staging efforts were basically limited to theoretical high level discussions while consuming various beverages, so now it was time to put those theories to test, since nobody had complete confidence the theories were 100% sound given the circumstances under which they were developed. Despite some rain, good progress was made, and once David returned in the evening, the chainsaw winch was fired up, and the house was actually moved about 20 feet through some substantial effort and re-jigging. Some more staging was required on Tuesday to get the house over the hump in the yard, and with Lisa operating the winch, and Tom, Maureen, Thea, and Weg providing some muscle, great strides were made. Once David returned from work, the final stretch was completed. At midnight, subsistence fishing was open again, so at 12:01, the net hit the water. 3 drifts were accomplished that night and the haul included some very nice kings.
On Wednesday, some recreation was in order. A trip up the Aniak river for some sport fishing was planned. First stop was Aniak, for some supplies and some of those famous Aniak Lodge hamburgers. Both boats ferried the passengers 20-30 miles up the Aniak. The fishing was slow, but Weg caught one, and later Tom caught one on the return trip at the Aniak mouth. Dakota had a "catch" as well, but it was decided to let that lunker further propagate the species rather then try to consume it all in one meal.
Thursday was an active day preparing the village for the July 4th party. The little house was leveled up, plywood, and logs were moved, and the entire yard was picked up. By days end, an amazing transformation had taken place. The event was celebrated with a steam by everyone which in retrospect was probably much appreciated by the guests the following day.
Friday was July 4th. Sadly, Maureen and Weg had to head back home. However many others showed up for the house moving party. They came prepared to help move the little house, but didn't seem that disappointed that the task had already been completed. The sun came out, and warmed things up very nicely. Thea whipped up some margaritas, and "Crow Drivers". JC played the piano to earn his Crow Village hat. Lisa Siavelis provided some consulting on interior design. Many of the guests went on some drifts, and they were quite successful. The hilight of the day was the cool tricks contest. This year's winner was Storm Phillips. He wiggled his eyebrows while making a noise with his fingers on his wine glass. Tania won second and third place with her funny eye movement tricks.
Saturday was a chance for another boat trip up the Aniak. The water was higher from the rain previous in the week, and only the Crow was taken, so this gave the anglers a chance to go way up the Aniak. After 2 or 3 tries, a good spot was finally found, and the action was furious. Everyone had some good action, and Thea landed a nice size chum, although her delighted scream once she hooked it may have scared away any additional fish.
Sunday was time for the remaining guests to head back home. It was a great trip, and we are already racking our brains for the theme for next year's party. We have some pictures below, and more to follow shortly. If you have nay further contributions, be sure to email them to feyer @ beer.com.