Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ice Fishing

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19)

After a long weekend at the high school retreat I was feeling rather exhausted and ready for bed, but not before heading out for an afternoon on Mirror Lake with my internship congregation for their annual Ice Fishing Day.

Each year in March ORLC members, and friends head out for an afternoon on the lake. This year Greg headed up the event as he too was fatigued from a Boy Scout trip the night previous. None the less the Holy Spirit granted energy and a beautiful day.

Working on my tan while awaiting some fish
There was no cloud in sight and it was a balmy 30˚F. The crew had set up camp in the middle of Mirror Lake. Greg brought tables complete with hot dogs, coffee, hot chocolate, chips, cookies, crackers, candy and the like. What’s the saying? Where two or three Lutherans are gathered there will be food? Haha.

Len is just chillin' (no pun intended)

We started out fairly close together with several holes within a 100 foot radius. Then the younger kids left and came back explaining that the fish were in a different area (I love the rationale or children). So Greg left and drilled several more holes.

Digging out the newly formed ice after 15 minutes with the pole in.

In order to get to the ice, one must shovel off the 2 feet or so of snow that blankets the ice. Once to the ice the drill reaches another 3-4 feet down corresponding to the depth of the ice. The men even had to put on the ice auger extender because it was so thick. No falling in worries here.

John and Ernie with the auger extension on...looking for water not continued ice, it's thick!
That's 3 feet of ice right there

Here fishy, fishy, fishy
Rick walking back with Jacob from a far away fishing spot.
We had over 20 people show up throughout the four hour afternoon span. I even got sun burn on my nose. It was great. I was not cold as wearing black snow pants attracted the sun above and reflection from the pure white abyss all around me and the snow covered mountains that surrounded the lake.

We did not catch any fish, but that did not matter. The kids lost interest and headed sledding on the shoreline, and eventually we had a full on snowball fight. It was great fun to be had by all.
Pulling her brother in the sled. Cute!
Love this picture-Scotty in snowshoes getting tired of waiting for a fish. Patience of a saint right there.
On a side note (as I continue to learn the Alaskan terminology one does not say "Fishing Pole"...it is called a "Fishing rod". Just as one does not say "Snowmobile"...it's called a "Snowmachine". Little things, that separate the visitors from the Alaskans. I will never be true Alaskan Native but I can try as my heart wishes I were :)

Such unique experiences I am blessed to have here in Alaska. Where else would a congregation go ice fishing? Where else does a congregation go hiking under the moon and northern lights? Where else does a congregation bring their K-9 companions to worship? Alaska, I fall in love with you more each day.

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