An evening walk in Unalaska.

Sometimes  a suggestion turns into a most enjoyable event.  Mom popped in after dinner and asked if I wanted to go for a walk.  I had just finished the first step in making sea salt caramels and was feeling not so enthusiastic.   But I caved, changed my shoes, and grabbed my camera.  And off we went – Dad, Mom, Diane, and me.  It was fabulously gorgeous. 

Sam and Diane Svarny beginning a walk on the front beach, Unalaska.

Under Jim Dickson’s oversight, the City of Unalaska Road Crew has done an awesome job in reclaiming the vegetation on the beach road.  They have been true to the environment and used indigenous plant species. 

Walking around the neighborhood gives you a chance to snoop at everything your neighbors are doing – but in such a nice, unobtrusive way!  We see the progress being made on Zoya’s home renovation. 

And it looks like Coe and Phyllis have completed painting their little bit of suburban America!!  Lots of work involved here. 

I sure wish they would reopen Unalaska Building Supply!!

Looking up the valley at Unalaska Lake, we talked about the silt buildup causing the lake to give way to grasses, and yes, eventually land.  Not a good problem to have, as it impacts the species depending on the water environment for their cycle of life. 

I can't believe I snapped 120 pictures on our walk!

The flowers have been keeping the bees busy.  I just hope they had enough time to buzz around in the cranberry bushes this spring, doing their thing. 

I'm not even going to talk about how fast the fireweed is blooming.

The pink salmon in the creek are quite numerous.  Now that I am older and wiser and a fish snob, I get my humpies before they have hit fresh water and are still nice and bright.  I remember as a kid, running through the creek, throwing fish out onto the bank for my grandmother.  Obviously, no fin and feather back then!! 

Iliuliuk River, or Town Creek, during spawning season.
Spawn til you die....always such a gross saying, but true.

Approaching home, we probably walked about a mile and a half, which is a long way to meander, let me tell you!  Especially for Dad. 

Mom's and Dad's house in yellow; ours is the blue one right behind.

Dry fish has been a staple of indigenous people in Alaska since time immemorial.  We have a small batch of pinks drying. 

The 2 slabs of fish are actually silver salmon that mom is making into lox.

It was a great walk, and I’m glad I am so easily persuaded.

5 thoughts on “An evening walk in Unalaska.

  1. I wish I had been on the walk with you. It looked like a nice one. The fish looks good too. Oh how I miss salmon. Okay, maybe not pinks but reds and the other ones.

  2. Having recently visited your beautiful island a week and half ago, I can certainly understand how easy it is to snap 120 pictures in one afternoon. Seeing a picture of your mother striding along in her red hoodie, I realize now that I actually passed both of you along the shoreline trail going to Bunker Hill. And, when I had stopped to take some more pictures of the bay and noticed someone behind me on the hill picking salmonberries, that this must have been your sister, Diane, based on your last few posts. We passed and said hi to each other but now I wish I had made a stronger effort to say more and thank you both for passing along your knowledge and wisdom of the native plants, foods and traditions along to the younger generations on the island as well as the rest of us that you allow to peak in occasionally into your lives through your website.
    P.S. I still have your Chocolate Pixie recipe to try out. I’m just waiting for a cooler day in Houston to arrive before I turn on the oven. LOL

    Diane~Houston, TX~

    1. Oh, I remember you! I wish you would have stopped for a chat, too. It must have been an unreal transition, going from Houston heat to Unalaska “heat” and back again. To travel such a long distance, are you just an adventurous soul, or were you visiting family or friends?

      Passing on traditional knowledge is really important to us. Growing up in the Aleutians was such an incredibly unique experience that I try to help everyone appreciate what we are so fortunate to have in Unalaska. So thank you for the thank you.

      1. Yes, the “heat” transition to Unalaska was “chilling” at first but by the end of the vacation, I was down to just wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt and a hoodie! Felt almost like a local by that point. :>) Of course, the arrival back to Houston was tortuous but expected. LOL

        Yes, I like to think that I am an adventurous soul. I’ve had the opportunity to live in Peru and Australia for work and made lots of effort to explore and see as much of the people, culture and areas of those countries during my stays.

        However, this time I was the lucky contest winner of Dan Young’s blog. When I discovered I had won the contest, I really felt like I had won the lottery! Visiting Alaska had been on my bucket list for some time. LOL

        I had a great time in Unalaska just exploring and I hope to return there again. As I told Dan, there are still a lot of trails out there for me to hike. Who knows, maybe I’ll decide to leave this heat and relocate there! Note to self: Look for job opportunities…:>){grin}

        Regardless of the circumstances of my return, I promise next time I will say more than hi, maybe throw in a “Howdy y’all”, change course and walk & talk a bit with you and exchange what little I learned from my grandmother on various plants and their purposes.

        Take care and keep on writing!


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