Homer Spit Campground, Homer, Alaska
Tuesday, July 10, 1973
Fish! We have fish!
The day started, however, with another trip up Skyline Drive, this time, I wrote in my diary, all the way to the end. I don’t know what kept us from doing that the first time, but something must have. We did a lot of that on this trip — in Fairbanks, we drove partway down to Mt. McKinley and back before going the whole way a couple of days later, and we drove partway out to Circle City and back, too. And there’s more of that later on in the trip, too. But we went back up Skyline Drive. Maybe the weather was better or something.
After lunch we came back and fished for hours. From the beach, from the dock, from the beach again. I was a little ways down the beach from my parents by late in the afternoon, when my mother yelled, “Mary, Daddy caught a fish!” (I went by my first name back then — my mother is the only person on the planet who still calls me Mary), which was very exciting, but soon after that, “something hit my line like an express train” to quote my diary. “I yanked it out of the water, screaming, and this little boy came over and took out the hook.” Actually, he hit it over the head with a rock first to kill it. My mother still talks about how he said “this won’t hurt it” and then went smash with the rock.
Anyway, the two fish, Daddy’s and mine, were both pink salmon (since most salmon are pink, I don’t know if they were really officially the variety called pink salmon or if they were just salmon which happened to be pink). Daddy’s weighed four and a quarter pounds and was male, and mine weighed two and three quarters pounds and was female. Both were 21 inches long.
I remember ‘helping’ my father clean and fillet them. And I do remember eating them. I still have a fondness for salmon at least partly because of that day.
And that was the day we caught fish!