We left Valdez and headed back north to Copper Center to camp at Klutina Salmon Charters along the Klutina River, near where it empties in to the Copper River.

The drive was sunnier so we had a better view of the Wrangell-St. Elias mountain range to the east.

Jeff’s fished here a couple times before, using another company across the river. This company offers a much nicer campground. We had a spot right along the Klutina River (site 24). Look at this view!! The campsites have power too!

It didn’t take Jeff long to get a line in the river.

And he wasn’t the only one!

It was super crazy hot in the sun. Only 24 C or so, but the UV must have been high. I plunked myself right in a lawn chair to soak it up.

It wasn’t long before I was feeling sick, headache, flushed, and nauseous. I think I was heading for sun stroke! My poor northern winter skin. I headed into the trailer and rested for awhile in the shade, rehydrating and watching some Netflix. There wasn’t a shared wifi signal here, but I had downloaded a bunch of shows to watch before we left home.

Jeff tried his luck on and off for the rest of the day, but didn’t land one.

The next day his charter was headed out at 7:30am for an expected 8-10 hours on the river.

Hank and I had a nice day while he was gone. We went for a 40 minute walk on the Loop Rd. that goes through the historic old Copper Center. There are so many old cabins and relics around, dating back to 1896! Hank made a friend with a loose dog who followed us for the rest of our walk. And I caught some Alaskan Pokemon.

Then we chilled in the camper for the afternoon. I had my laptop with me, so I worked on a WordPress plugin I’ve been programming for awhile. Programming offline is a fun sport (no Google access to look things up!). But there is a really useful app called Dash that you can download to use the documentation of whatever you’re programming with (in this case, PHP and WordPress). And I actually had a nice breakthrough and got something working I’d been stumped on. Yes!

Late in the afternoon Jeff sent me a message from the river and asked me to watch for his raft and to bring a pail. I took that as a good sign that he maybe got a fish!

Here he comes!

There’s my fisherman, and he’s smiling!!

Turns out he got a big Chinook salmon! And he was on the only one on the raft to get a fish all day!

Here’s a picture he got after he caught it earlier in the day:

His guide for the day, Zack, rinsed it up and filleted it for him. The fish itself was about 20 pounds.

There were dozens of seagulls waiting all day and night along the river for this very moment when the fish guide tosses the spine and head back into the river for them!

Jeff let the guide keep the roe (salmon eggs) which they use for fish bait. It filled a big ziplock bag!

Zack cut two long sides from the fish, and the belly. Then he cut the sides into 5 pieces each, and put them on ice for Jeff.

Fortunately, I had chilled some beer for us to celebrate, and was taking full advantage of the electric hookup (had the A/C on for the first time, chilling down the trailer for Jeff expecting him to be hot after a day in the sun). Jeff had optimisticly brought his Food Saver to seal up the salmon chunks to put in the camper’s freezer.

Nice haul!!

The guide took a video of the second fish Jeff caught that day. Knowing there is a one keeper limit for the Chinook, he attempted to catch some Sockeye salmon with a fly rod. But he caught another Chinook (King salmon)! On a fly rod! He had to release it since he already had one.

The next morning we packed up our camp. There’s something about just savouring every moment at the end of a vacation and I couldn’t bring myself to pack up much or wash up the trailer, leaving that for when we got home.

Which wasn’t a bad idea. The gravel roads on the way home made the inside of the trailer pretty dusty so I had to wash the surfaces down when we got home anyway.

The drive home was pretty uneventful, until we got to West Dawson, waiting for the ferry to take us across the Yukon River to home.

A camper van that was driving off the ferry on the far side somehow got its rear end hung up on the ferry ramp so we waited a long time while they tried to work it off the ramp, as the lines grew on our side.

It took about 4 crossings back and forth before there was a spot for us to load up and head for home.

And now the trailer is emptied and parked and waiting for our next adventure. It’s such a nice little cottage on wheels. I love it. It’s full of such good memories in just a few years. We still want to get a truck camper for some more back road adventures, but until then, this trailer was a fabulous last minute purchase that we’ve never regretted!