Gone fishin’ — updates on life from Homer, Alaska

Commercial pot fishing in Homer, Alaska.

Go ahead, call me a slacker — it’s true. I only posted one single blog post in 2017, and even that was a link to some freelance work I squeezed in between fishing trips.

I don’t regret it.

I was burned out. I was lazy. I didn’t want to put the time and energy into writing blog posts or editing photos. Hell, I didn’t even feel like carrying around my camera most days, or at all, really. And that’s a new level of lazy, especially when I’ve had the opportunity to explore a beautiful and exotic place like Southcentral Alaska. Screw it, I needed a break.

And now I’m back at it, refreshed and rejuvenated and in between fishing seasons. So here’s an update from a year living in Homer, Alaska:

What it takes to work on a fishing boat in Alaska

Halibut fishing charters Homer Alaska.

Fresh off a six-month trek around South America, my wife and I decided to dive into our next “crazy adventure.” We packed up a trailer in Atlanta and hit the road for Homer, AK, a small town quite literally at the end of the road near the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula.

Before we left, we didn’t have a place to live or jobs lined up. But the appeal of life in this outdoor paradise in the summer—which thaws the rugged winter landscape and opens up a wide range of adventures, from hiking to rock climbing, and of course fishing—seemed worth the risk…

Read the full story on RootsRated.

30 miles to Shuckstack: A journey thru the Great Smoky Mountains

Shuckstack Fire tower, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo by Clay Duda.

The sky opens up with a light rain as we head out out on the Lost Cove Trail around Fontana Lake. This short stretch of dirt will connect us with the Eagle Creek Trail, which we’ll follow into the remote stretches of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was 90-something degrees when we left the valley surrounding Knoxville, but here’s it’s pleasantly hovering in the mid-70s. I can’t complain.

On its face, a 30-mile hike in three days seems like a piece of cake. Equally divided, that’s only 10 miles daily–but as we’re about to find out, legs of this trip aren’t equal, campsites are sporadic, and there’s 5,000-feet of near-vertical mountain between us and the finish line.

The path to Chaos Crags at Lassen Volcanic National Park #TBT

Chaos Crags trail at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Photo by Clay Duda.

After moving to Redding, California in September 2013, this hike to Chaos Crags in Lassen Volcanic National Park offered my wife and I our first real dose the stunning beauty Northern California is known for. According to this old Word document I found, we undertook this hike in late October, 2013, a couple of years before I launched this little travel blog. So here it is, my first and possibly only #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) post of a hike from yesteryear:

The highest point in Knox County, Tennessee

Melissa and Peaches sit on top of House Mountain in Knox County, Tennessee. Photo by Clay Duda.

When January gives you a 60-something-degree weekend (and just a week after snow at that!), you don’t ask questions and you go outside. My wife and I didn’t argue. We grabbed pit bull Peaches and set our sights on House Mountain, a pointy bit of hill just eight miles outside of Knoxville that also happens to be the highest point in Knox County, Tennessee, and off we went.