Helo, Everybody: Our Helicopter Adventure in Alaska

So one of our days in Deep Creek was not quite like the others. One of our days will go down as Top Ten of All Time. That’s because one of those days we took a helicopter around the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.

We started the morning in the lodge. Then, after the others left on their fishing boats, the world’s most perfect adventure toy landed on the lawn.

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Four of us guests, a fishing guide, and our pilot packed up our gear and headed out to explore. We cruised across the inlet to find a place to catch salmon. Our pilot picked a place where everything was biting—including the mosquitos. I can do blood and fish guts and heights and fast speeds and big waves and mud and even riding camels, but bugs are the worst. And mosquitos are the kings of the worst. The worstest. But I brought my bug repellent clothes, sprayed enough DEET to make my own personal hole in the ozone layer, and forced my skin to be less irresistible. Then it was go time.

Fishing for salmon is fun, especially after cranking 250 ft. of line every time you checked your halibut bait. Our guide explained how to cast my line, which is, at least in my mind, the “swish and flick” from Harry Potter. You let your bait drift in the current and then snap! You’ve got a live one.

The river salmon were silver salmon, so not as big as the kings we’d later find in the ocean, but still plenty energetic. They flopped everywhere, chasing me up the bank and occasionally tripping someone. But it was when we moved to the second fishing spot that the real fun began.

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On our way to Stop 2

Our pilot flew us over the river until he could see more salmon. Then he landed on this crazy tall grass—a place where a helicopter couldn’t possibly go, I thought—and we hopped down to the bank. And then it was this magical time where every single time you cast your line into the water, you immediately got a bite. We couldn’t miss. The more experienced fishermen (including Rick) eventually just sat back and let the girls catch them all, because we were having so much fun. Happy fisherwife, happy fisherlife.

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Look at what we caught!

Amazingly, the day didn’t end when we caught our limit. After the hard work of fishing was out of the way, we toured the scenery, flying over marshes and forests and bear and moose. Then we turned a corner and landed on a secret beach near a waterfall overlooking the glaciers. You can write words like that, sure, but it has to be seen to be believed. Look how clear the water is!

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We were at this spot to have lunch. Our pilot and guide set up a picnic table and skillet and got to work cooking our salmon. Rick and I spent the whole time taking pictures and flying his drone through the glacier. What better way to see it, right?

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Glacier in the distance

We ate an amazing lunch—the absolute freshest fish, bacon-filled potatoes, and cold white wine. We were full, we were happy, but we weren’t quite done.

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Roughing it

 Guys, our next stop was to fly to the glacier.

Better still, we first went to this teeny tiny grassy knoll above the glacier—another place a helicopter shouldn’t be able to land.

 

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After that, we actually went down ONTO THE GLACIER. We scampered around and drank glacial water. We threw glacier snow at each other. We tried very hard not to fall into the deep glacier crevasses.

We finally went back to the lodge, where we finished our adventure with cocktails made with ice we got from the glacier. Really.

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Glacial Moscow Mule

It was a perfect trip. We fished, we explored, we ate food outdoors. Bonus points: no mosquito bites.

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