An Outdoor View: How to catch silvers

Early this week, I was fishing for Kenai River silvers from a neighbor’s dock in Sterling. It felt good to be on the river, but… Continue reading

Large gulls congregate in a field off of Ciechanski Road in search of food.

Refuge Notebook: Mystery solved!

Earlier this spring, while passing a recently fallowed hay field, I noticed some large white birds wandering through the grass. At first glance, I thought… Continue reading

Large gulls congregate in a field off of Ciechanski Road in search of food.

The loon

You’ve probably seen it already: a solitary yellow leaf on the sidewalk or the surface of a pond, or stuck to your car’s damp windshield… Continue reading

A pair of mountain goats on Cecil Rhode Mountain graze above Kenai Lake on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Mountain goats and milkshakes: the summer to-do list

I crossed a few things off my summer bucket list this week, including mountain goats and milkshakes. The to-do list I put together in April… Continue reading

A pair of mountain goats on Cecil Rhode Mountain graze above Kenai Lake on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)
Creeping Thistle, with its purplish flowers, has invaded the North Slope, 50 miles north of Atigun Pass in the Brooks Range. (Photo by John Morton, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: How invasive plants invade the landscape

I just returned from the Dalton Highway, a thousand-mile road trip from Soldotna that can take as long as you want. Sometimes I do this… Continue reading

Creeping Thistle, with its purplish flowers, has invaded the North Slope, 50 miles north of Atigun Pass in the Brooks Range. (Photo by John Morton, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: Harbor talk

Author’s note: This column first appeared in the Clarion in 1993. It’s as true today as ever. — LP I don’t know how the guys… Continue reading

Wildlife biologist Dom Watts (Kenai National Wildlife Refuge) and wildlife veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen (Alaska Department of Fish and Game) fit a chemically immobilized female mountain goat with radio-collars and ear tags that will allow biologists to identify her and other individuals during surveys and collect a variety of biological information. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: The trick to counting mountain goats

The dart was in and the helicopter veered off to give some time for the capture drugs to take effect. The 6-year-old male mountain goat,… Continue reading

Wildlife biologist Dom Watts (Kenai National Wildlife Refuge) and wildlife veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen (Alaska Department of Fish and Game) fit a chemically immobilized female mountain goat with radio-collars and ear tags that will allow biologists to identify her and other individuals during surveys and collect a variety of biological information. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Stand-up paddle boarders explore the waterways of the Kenai Peninsula with Courtney Larsen’s Adventure Guru. (Photo courtesy of Courtney Larsen)

SUP on the Kenai

Don’t be afraid of the cold water. With proper balance, getting wet is not necessary while stand-up paddleboarding. “Many people are intimidated, they feel like… Continue reading

Stand-up paddle boarders explore the waterways of the Kenai Peninsula with Courtney Larsen’s Adventure Guru. (Photo courtesy of Courtney Larsen)
John Riggins of Kenai holds up the silver salmon he caught on the Kenai River in Cunningham Park on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Fishing report: Silvers abound, trout fishing heats up

Cars packed the parking lot at Cunningham Park in Kenai on Tuesday just after noon. Down on the muddy bank below the stairs, fishermen in… Continue reading

John Riggins of Kenai holds up the silver salmon he caught on the Kenai River in Cunningham Park on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)
Lexi Larson eases her way down a banked turn on the Mosquito singletrack trail on July 2, 2014 at Tsaleteshi Trails in Soldotna. Work is under way to improve the original singletrack and add more to the trail system. (Clarion file photo)

Tsalteshi: single and ready to mingle

Tsalteshi Trails continues to grow with the addition of a new singletrack trail section. Currently, work is being done to improve the original singletrack trail,… Continue reading

Lexi Larson eases her way down a banked turn on the Mosquito singletrack trail on July 2, 2014 at Tsaleteshi Trails in Soldotna. Work is under way to improve the original singletrack and add more to the trail system. (Clarion file photo)

Out of the Office: Beliefs, perceptions and the summits of Cooper Landing

I send photos from my hikes to family members, and this summer, my 3-year-old nephew had seen enough. He complained the images were useless to… Continue reading

What to do: Hope

What to do: Hope

The former gold-mining village of Hope is found nestled against the Chugach National Forest, and although it may not be as metropolitan a destination as… Continue reading

What to do: Hope

An Outdoor View: Close call

Author’s note: This column first appeared in the June 8, 1990, edition of “The Tides,” a Clarion supplement. — LP Death is inevitable, sure, but… Continue reading

A large brown bear boar takes a break near the McNeil River Falls viewing platform. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Could you win the Alaska Lottery?

Winning an Alaska lottery is the ultimate experience of a lifetime. Although it may not be a lottery with a big cash payout, it does… Continue reading

A large brown bear boar takes a break near the McNeil River Falls viewing platform. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Long live the Salmon Run Series

Long live the Salmon Run Series

The sun peeked through the July clouds just long enough for me and 100 other people to run a few miles through the woods on… Continue reading

Long live the Salmon Run Series
A melanistic red squirrel residing at the Northern Peninsula Recreation Center this summer. (Photo by Rachel Parra)

Refuge Notebook: What’s up with the black squirrels?

A black squirrel is hanging around this summer. I became aware of this strange little creature when a picture from the Northern Peninsula Recreation Center… Continue reading

A melanistic red squirrel residing at the Northern Peninsula Recreation Center this summer. (Photo by Rachel Parra)

An Outdoor View: Grandkids

Earlier this month, Brady Allred, 14, a grandson from Everett, Wash., came for a two-week stay with my wife and I in Sterling, his first… Continue reading

An angler fillets his sockeye salmon caught on the Kenai River near the confluence with the Russian River on June 11. Many successful fishermen can their catches to preserve them for the winter. The Cooperative Extension Service has some helpful suggestions to ensure the process is done safely. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Canning your catch

If the fishing is good, it’s important to keep in mind how to preserve salmon for when the fishing is bad. Canning provides a good… Continue reading

An angler fillets his sockeye salmon caught on the Kenai River near the confluence with the Russian River on June 11. Many successful fishermen can their catches to preserve them for the winter. The Cooperative Extension Service has some helpful suggestions to ensure the process is done safely. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)
Kim McNett paddling by the Skull Cliffs south of Barrow. (Photo courtesy Bj&

Couple completes first fat bike journey from Point Hope to Utqiagvik

In the past 10 years since fat bikes have become popular for riding on beaches and snow in Alaska, people have regularly ridden them from… Continue reading

Kim McNett paddling by the Skull Cliffs south of Barrow. (Photo courtesy Bj&
Shown here are biting snipe flies on the face of a sedated mountain goat, Kenai Mountains, July 13. At the same time the flies were attacking the attendant biologists in comparable numbers. (Photo by Dom Watts/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: The bad biter par excellence

On a glorious, sunny day years ago after biking up the Resurrection Pass Trail to Juneau Lake, my companion and I paused to enjoy the… Continue reading

Shown here are biting snipe flies on the face of a sedated mountain goat, Kenai Mountains, July 13. At the same time the flies were attacking the attendant biologists in comparable numbers. (Photo by Dom Watts/USFWS)