Tsunami and Earthquake Update

Good morning everyone!  Hope all is well with you.  Most people in Yakutat are a little groggy this morning,  since this was a real tsunami warning and we actually did what we were supposed to!  People went door-to-door and evacuated to the school and/or higher ground.

Apparently one of the ocean buoys rose 33 feet during the quake,  so a real tsunami was expected.  Nothing much hit here,  but Yakutat actually prepared for the worst.  Listening to one of the reports after the fact this morning,  they were recommending all coastal communities evacuate to at least 100 feet above sea level.  That’s kind of hard to do in Yakutat,  since you’d have to be at the top of the moraine up against the mountains to do that.  Even 9 Mile Bridge is only about 60 feet,  let alone the airport at only about 20 feet…

But all is OK here.  No damage.  An absolutely gorgeous sunny morning with between 4 and 6 inches of fresh snow covering everything.


Rocking and Rolling in the Hangar Tonight

Yet another good earthquake under our belts.  This one rocked and swayed us for more than 2 minutes.  According to the USGS site,  it was located out in the ocean 10 km under the ocean floor about 200 km southeast of Kodiak Island.  This is a LONG way away for us to feel it like that,  but it was an 8.2!


Currently under a tsunami warning from California through the Aleutians,  as well as Hawaii.  According to the tsunami forecast,  e should see our swell here at 2:05am,  so in another 50 minutes from my typing.  Oh,  they just downgraded it to a 7.9.

Here is the Tsunami warning info:



And it is snowing heavy right now.  Gotta be up for the ACE mail flight in two hours,  but thought I’d let you know we’re all still alive at the moment…

A Wonderful Life

We have so many blessings to be thankful for.  2017 was a tough year for us,  but as we see the year come to a close,  we are reminded of the wonderful friendships we have through the shop and the blog and our vast extended family.  Thank you all.  I certainly have a big backlog of things to say and I always promise to spill all and end up too busy to do it.  Just know how much you are in our thoughts,  prayers and hopes for the coming year.

Last night (as we always do on Christmas Eve),  we watched the greatest Christmas movie of all again…  A very good friend of ours is actually Frank Capra’s grandson,  which is a wonderful connection to my all-time favorite Hollywood director.  Every time we watch a Capra movie,  we stuff a dollar into a jar to pay for the lapsed copyrights on Frank’s film catalog.  The jar is overflowing and someday will go to the family for keeping his legacy alive (we watch these things a LOT).  It may not amount to much and won’t save the historic family cabin in the Sierras,  but…  Someday when we have the museum done and have our theater,  I want to have a Frank Capra marathon,  see if one of the movie channels would coordinate with it,  have the family here to talk about the moves for our very own special features documentaries and commentaries,  etc.  With historic artifacts on display like his three Best Director Oscars,  etc.

Lots of online articles featuring It’s a Wonderful Life today – including some idiotic feminazi claiming the movie is sexist and pushes a misogynist message to oppress women.  Such a ridiculous claim because in reality it is Mary who is the strong rock and hero of the picture…  Not the troubled lead character contemplating suicide…  An article written by a truly sexist idiot who can’t see an unconventional heroin by modern standards save the life and soul of a man (she goes on to say men should stop acting in lead roles altogether – way to go CNN,  you beclown yourselves again-I’m not linking to it because you really don’t need to read this crap).  But most of the other articles respectfully proclaim the movie to be the treasure it is.  And several that delve deeply into the troubled actor Colonel James Stewart who struggled in his post-WWII civilian role as so many war veterans did and still do today.  I urge you to read Jimmy Stewart – Bomber Pilot

I’ll end my babble quoting one of the articles and a long quote from the director himself,  on why be made the film and attitudes that shaped most of his successful career:

“I didn’t give a film-clip whether critics hailed or hooted Wonderful Life. I thought it was the greatest film I had ever made. Better yet, I thought it was the greatest film anybody ever made. It wasn’t made for the oh-so-bore critics, or the oh-so-jaded literati. It was my kind of film for my kind of people. …

A film to tell the weary, the disheartened and the disillusioned; the wino, the junkie, the prostitute; those behind prison walls and those behind Iron Curtains, that no man is a failure!

To show those born slow of foot or slow of mind, those oldest sisters condemned to spinsterhood, and those oldest sons condemned to unschooled toil, that each man’s life touches so many other lives. And that if he wasn’t around it would leave an awful hole.

A film that said to the downtrodden, the pushed-around, the pauper, “Heads up, fella. No man is poor who has one friend. Three friends and you’re filthy rich.”

A film that expressed its love for the homeless and the loveless; for her whose cross is heavy and him whose touch is ashes; for the Magdalenes stoned by hypocrites and the afflicted Lazaruses with only dogs to lick their sores.

I wanted it to shout to the abandoned grandfathers staring vacantly in nursing homes, to the always-interviewed but seldom-adopted half-breed orphans, to the paupers who refuse to die while medical vultures wait to snatch their hearts and livers, and to those who take cobalt treatments and whistle — I wanted to shout, “You are the salt of the earth. And It’s a Wonderful Life is my memorial to you!”

From the article:

And… We’re Done

We were looking to a warming trend with a little rain to give us one more shot at our fall steelhead run.  Well,  we got it.  A week of back-to-back storms with heavy rain and winds hitting 50 knots.  Yesterday morning,  our outhouse by the fuel tanks blew over,  even though it was tucked in behind the credit card shed.  Ewww!

Flows hit about 2,500 CFS twice this week and are still up near 1,000,  so the river is definitely blown out.  Water temp bumps between 37 and 39F daily,  so temp is good.  ALL snow everywhere (including where DOT piled it) is gone.  Partly sunny skies right now,  but turning back to rain,  rain and more rain through the coming days.


As badly as I was hoping for a good stretch,  we aren’t going to see it any time soon.  I’m officially writing off this season and closing out my thoughts about fishing for 2017.  Time to move on and start planning for 2018.

An extremely cold-dry November,  followed by an extremely warm-wet December.  One thing though…  This is really healthy for the fish!  Great water conditions to get everyone up into the lake and out of the river,  where they could get frozen out sometime during the long dark days ahead.  Great for these fall steelhead as well as for the baby salmon rearing in the small tributaries and ponds.

Although it is nice and warm here in town (43 degrees right now at the airport!),  snow level is still pretty low on the hills,  with plenty to keep flows higher in the spring than we have had the past three years.




Our Cold-Dry Spell Ends

We have been waiting for over a month for this cold trend to end and it finally has!  This morning’s weather while we worked the mail flight was miserable,  with driving wind and rain.  It just started as we began prepping and by 6am it has calmed right back down again,  but it is supposed to stay “warm” through till Friday morning,  with showers and lower amounts of rain.  The flow gage isn’t broadcasting the updates till daylight comes (it only updates the web page when it is light and the power is being fed by the solar panels),  so we still don’t show much improvement on the flows – dropped down to 80 CFS a day ago,  but was just starting to climb to 111 as the sun set last night.

So a morning with heavy rain and water temp back up to 38 degrees.  The weekend is supposed to dry out and drop to just below freezing with warm rain returning Sunday night and throughout next week.

In other words…  those of you who wanted to push your steelhead trip till December may hit the jackpot.  Flows and temps are coming up at long last!

The only group last week I talked to struggled just as much as everyone else this season.  They left a couple days ago and said everyone caught ONE fish for the week (except the girl who caught two…).  They had pretty poor conditions,  but still made it work.  But it is looking like conditions will be improving finally.  I’m still not ready to call the season over…

*****NOON UPDATE*****

The rain was short-lived this morning,  with sunbreaks now.  Flow came up to only 125CFS.  Not much rain coming in the next couple days,  but looking like warm rain throughout the entire next week.  I may even have to drag my own butt out and go steelheading!  I haven’t had time to wet my own line since November last year!

Temperatures are in Celsius,  but 5-8 degrees C is 41-46.4 degrees F.  Thursday is looking pretty darned good right now!


Look how low we are compared to “normal”…  Should be around 300 CFS…



I hope this finds everyone well and you feel as sickly bloated as I do…  I didn’t need the third slice of pie,  but I’m going to refrain from posting that video of the exploding whale from a few years back.  Why do I always do this???  You’d think I’d learn,  especially after having my stomach “pop” two months ago…


Unless you count garlic-stuffed olives,  why waste space on the plate (or table) with veggies?


We prepped for our nice quiet Thanksgiving by watching John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in the Quiet Man.  I sure hope I’m not labeled a sexist pig for forcing my wife and children to watch such a horrible film as this…  Or…  they were watching it while I was slaving away in the kitchen and had to keep running into the office to watch the best parts.  Parts like these:

One of the all-time greatest movies!

After dinner,  we had our pie and played a couple games of Pinochle,  until the bickering exceeded all of our patience.  Teen and I won both games…  That doesn’t happen very often anymore.

We are up to about a foot of snow now.  DOT had the holiday off,  so we won’t be seeing the ACE mail plane in the morning.  Too much snow for the plane to land at 4am.  Two days in a row to sleep in!  That doesn’t happen very often either.


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

And we have s much to be thankful for this year.  For starters,  we’re all alive…  Not something I’ll be taking for granted any time soon…

It is a quiet day here,  with the fly shop closed,  5 inches of fresh snow on the ramp and runways with snow falling right now.  I don’t think we’ll be seeing any planes today,  with Alaska Airlines and ACE Air Cargo flights cancelled for the holiday.  Just the 4 of us spending a nice day and evening together.

I hope all of you are warm,  safe and healthy too.  The turkey is baking,  just finished the final touches on dessert and will start on the horseradish sauce for the potatoes shortly.  Teen is cheating on the rolls,  so the bread machine is doing the work there…


Last night’s snow unplowed on the ramp outside my office window, with the small airport snowpile in the middle and Alaska Air terminal in the distance

Misty-foggy here in Yakutat,  with light snow falling and no wind.  Just a picture-perfect day.  Take care and we’ll see you after seconds and a nap or two…


Making the fudge topping for the peanut butter cheesecake – a Miller Family tradition



Finished product – about 12,000 calories for those counting at home…  🙂



Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving from the Millers and we hope you eat yourselves into a coma like we will be…