September 1, 2016 (Thursday)
Nope, that’s not a typo. That is the brilliant blend of the words “so” and “totally” created by none other than the one and only Noah Brown, husband to Brie Brown whom I have previously written about since my Alaska adventures began. However, I was informed this evening that Mr. Brown feels sorely left out of these blogs and wishes to be forever immortalized on the interwebs and become internet famous overnight. While I may need some more time to become internet famous myself in order to get his new vocabulary word on first grade spelling lists nationwide, I can start his fame by saying that he does know how to slay a salmon. But before we get to that, let’s talk food.
This afternoon, Simon and I hit up one of his favorite lunch spots. It is called Dockside and it is only a few minute’s drive from his house, which is something that almost nothing is. The place really seems like a local gem, and it is exactly what the name claims, right beside the docks! It is adorably decorated with bright colors, mermaids, and Gone Fishing signs. There are at least 15 burger options on the menu and at least 20 mix and match milkshake flavors. Simon and I shared a chocolate-mint shake that was as thick as they get and ordered burgers. Simon was predictable and ordered a bacon cheese burger but I went local and had a beer battered salmon burger. They were both great choices complimented by our shoe-string fries. We are absolutely going back later this week before I say good bye to Ketchikan for an unknown length of time.
We walked along the docks a bit before heading back to take an afternoon nap to satisfy our food-coma. But, as soon as we woke up we were off to go fishing this evening with Noah and Brie at Herring Cove during low tide.
It was a bit of a scramble getting down the rocks. With Simon climbing down backwards, he was able to hold my hands and help my peg-legged self scurry down to the “beach” area that is really a layer of smelly sand under a couple inches of crusty kelp and river rocks. We walked over to where Brie and Noah were already fishing and passed a family with several “silvers” (good eating salmon that everyone aims to catch) lined up on the shore. As Simon complimented their catch, he also pointed to the creek where tons of dorsal fins of salmon sped upstream were breaking the water surface. But, we couldn’t fish there in the shallows. Fishing is only allowed below the Green Rock, on the ocean side.
While Simon got our rods ready for some salmon snagging, Brie and Noah were each telling us how their afternoon had been so far. Noah had his fish-finding glasses on and was able to see the salmon swimming by in schools. Brie had snagged some pinks so far, but no silver keepers. So, Simon and I started slinging hooks off the shore ourselves.
We caught some kelp, and several times got a big bite from the unknowns below that almost always resulted in a lost hook and, for me, smiling at Simon real sweet so he would rig me up with another hook that I would lose again within minutes. So, perhaps I wasn’t the best salmon snagger for my first time out, but, I did snag two pinks and Simon caught a few too!
Brie and Noah were pulling too many to shore to keep count of, but so far, still no silvers. The tide began to come up and the sun began to sink behind some clouds. Simon agreed to cast just “two more times” which is equivalent to a woman saying “five more minutes” as her husband waits and waits. Anyway “two more casts” five times later, Simon was finally packing our poles and leading the way back along the beach before it got too dark to see our way up the mini rock cliff.
We were almost to the base of the rocks when we both heard a faint “Freeman! Freeeeman!!” being called behind us. We turned to see a most excited Noah Brown running towards us like a kid running across a field with a football in hand after scoring the winning touchdown. But, instead of pig skin, he was parading two hands full of salmon skin! He had caught a silver! A bright, shiny beautiful silver! As Noah got closer, you could see that it was not just the silver that was beaming. So was he. Noah said that he had told Brie it was his last cast of the night, and then he snagged it! Congratulations were exchanged and photos were snapped because this was a sototily awesome moment that had to be captured forever!
You know what’s sototily crazy though? Noah claims he doesn’t even like salmon and Brie says she isn’t the biggest fan either. I really think they ought to give it another try though because I am pretty sure that loving salmon is a prerequisite to living in Ketchikan, Alaska: THE SALMON CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. But, you know, to each their own. Either way, Noah’s epic catch tonight was sototily awesome and I had a blast hanging out with him, Brie, and Simon as always.
And don’t forget, if you see the word “sototily” on your grade schooler’s spelling list in the coming weeks or in the issue of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, remember that it started here, straight from the mouth of none other than the one and only Noah Brown: a sototily awesome dude.