Aug 28th, 2008 Archives


OK gang,

I am back and I must say that the rumors of my demise by bull moose gouging were highly exaggerated 😉

In a word, Alaska is: AWESOME

Somehow even the developed areas have an unspoiled feel to them.  Maybe it is the backdrop of incredible mountains rising up in every horizon around you that does it or maybe it is just the crisp, clean air.

The trip was basically too short.

Now, before I go into trip details I must say that we were not on some cushy, tour group trip here.  This is a what you see is what you get group made up of a 40+ year Alaska  native (our driver and man about town Tony) and our friend Joe Costa who first hit Alaska as a homesteader 50 years ago.

Time in Anchorage was highly educational and interesting, not to mention a good time with my father.  We do have the same taste in good draft beer and food.


Alaskan Amber… Good.  So is the Smoked Porter.

Trip to the cabin was made up of 4 hours in a friend’s van (former correctional facilities vehicle, which meant no handle to open or close the back from the inside and a molded plastic seat on which to sit (I had a poly rope tied around me as a seat belt which you can see in the photos).

The pilot of the float plane has been flying in the bush for 30 years and took the biz over from his father who flew our friend Joe up for about 50 years.  Great guy who simply "Loves what he does".

Beyond that we spent the next week hiking, hunting, fishing, a little boating, cooking, doing some metaphysical work, cutting and hauling wood, and the rest of the time escaping from reality and living in the moment!


SIDE NOTE: None of us are big hunters, however we did plan on hunting caribou.  Unfortunately only residents can do so at this point.  The only other option was black bear.  We did hunt some and did actually have a mother and cub right in our camp one evening, can’t shoot a mom though… that would be wrong.  The end result… we came home with some expensive hunting licenses and an even more expensive bear tag plus great memories of the hunts we went on.

I also have to say that from the feedback I received, the quality of food in the camp went up many times over during the time I was there.

Yes, we were out in the middle of nowhere, but we did have seriously too much with us in the way of food.

Being a trained chef (trained at the CIA, one of my other lives) I had a blast cooking over the open fire.  I prepared things like:

  •  A great beef roast with a honey-soy, caramelized onion reduction sauce
  • Grilled reindeer sausage with fresh hash-browns, bacon and eggs
  • Cinnamon french toast on the open-fire, cast iron griddle
  • Savory beef stew with roasted potatoes and corn
  • The list went on and on…

We also did some work in the pyramid that Joe built on the site.  Again, one of my other lives as I look at the state of our world.

I could honestly go on and on for a long time covering every single detail of this trip.  That would make for one very long post and neither of us have time for that.

As an alternative, here is a link to the Flickr set covering Sam Knoll in Alaska.

As you view, please keep in mind that a documented a lot for my kids as well as friends (my guys found the various animal poo we’d see on our own trails fascinating).  Also, often times when out on the trail our hands were full with our anti-grizzly protection (read as a rifle or shotgun).  The grizzlies, black bears, moose and a host of other animals all use the same trails along the lake that we do.  There was a grizzly in the camp working some parts of it over… thankfully before we all got up there.  I did manage to bring back some grizzly fur left on numerous trees for my boys

OK, that’s all for now.  Enjoy the Alaska pictures and let me know what you think.

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

Filed under Blog, General Musings, Life Outside Work by  #

Made with Semiologic Pro &bull