Surprise Wedding on Alaska Flight 461 at 35,000 Feet

 Posted by on February 20, 2016 at 7:37 am  Family  No Responses »
Feb 202016
 
Alaska flight 461 wedding at 35,000 feet

Alaska flight 461 wedding at 35,000 feet

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something surprises you. Last night, on Alaska flight #461 coming back to Seattle from Los Angeles, the flight attendants announced that there would be a special celebration on board. Immediately, I was thinking someone was going to propose or something. But it was one level better.

A couple got married while the plane was cruising at 35,000 feet somewhere over Washington State. Apparently, the bride’s mother had terminal cancer and wanted to see her daughter’s (a flight attendant) workplace, her home in Washington, and her marriage. All three wishes were fulfilled last night.

After drinks and food were stowed away, the flight crew quickly decorated the cabin with rose petals and drapes. The bride and groom marched up toward the cockpit serenaded by the 737’s speaker system. A pastor friend then performed the brief ceremony in the front of the cabin. Not the most touching ceremony I’ve seen but it was different.

I’ve been on hundreds of flights but have never seen an in-flight wedding before. A pleasant first.

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Smelt Dip Netting on the Cowlitz River

 Posted by on February 7, 2016 at 11:26 pm  Outdoors  No Responses »
Feb 072016
 
Dip netting for smelt, Cowlitz River

Dip netting for smelt, Cowlitz River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few friends and I went to the Cowlitz River near Castle Rock, WA yesterday to try our hand at catching smelt. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife set a one-day (actually 7AM to 1PM) season for dip netting for smelt. I’ve been wanting to try smelting for several years and hadn’t gone fishing this winter, so I was eager to go “fishing” or, more accurately, dip netting.

I was amazed at the huge numbers of people lining each side of the river as we passed the first area of bank access off the highway. My hopes at a successful day were stoked by seeing fishermen already leaving with full buckets.

Because of low numbers of returning fish in past years, the Washington smelt fishery is highly regulated with strict limits on fishing days and catch limits. Unfortunately, almost everyone I would see that day had kept more than their limit of 10 pounds.

Cowlitz River smelt

Cowlitz River smelt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We quickly suited up in our waders after we arrived at our access point and immediately saw some people with jumping fish in their nets. After some brief instruction from my friend, I netted my first smelt after a couple of dips. It took a few minutes to get used to the motion of quickly plunging the net and dragging it downstream along the bottom of the river. We often got no fish on dips while other dips yielded more than 10 fish. Being my first time catching smelt, it was hard for me to judge how good or slow the fishing was but it took only about an hour for us to net four limits of smelt. The fellow fishermen were friendly and cordial despite the hundreds of people lined up combat style along the banks.

That evening, after a couple of hours cleaning and freezing fish, I enjoyed a delicious appetizer of pan fried smelt, served with freshly made tartar sauce. A great meal and day.

 

 

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