Revisiting a Memory for a New Friend



Tuesdays turn me into a bachelor as my girls hit the dance studio until the evening hours.  With bachelorhood come pathetic dinners that I make for myself, typically on the fly.  In my haste to get something prepared I quickly threw some fish sticks into the oven. If there's one thing I love but rarely enjoy, it's fresh seafood. Compressed fish briquettes out of a box qualifies as seafood?  Not in the slightest. But, they did send my mind reeling back to the most unique, and delicious, seafood dinner I've ever enjoyed.  Fresh halibut in Alaska.  Prince of Wales, Alaska, to be exact, while I was on a solo kayak trip there recently.

While on my ten day solo excursion, I landed my yak in a little village called Hydaburg one evening.  Upon asking a very drunken native where a foreigner could find a served dinner, he directed me on a mile hike down a few trails and a dirt road to the only restaurant in town.  I found the establishment, and was greeted by a husband and wife inviting me inside with open arms.  I was shocked.  I was famished.  I was tired of tuna packs and almonds.  I threw caution to the wind and obliged.

After admiring the ornate garden out front, I entered through the little wooden vestibule on the left.  The blue plastic tarp overhead beautifully diffracted the sunlight, creating a soothing mood to accompany the AM radio softly playing in the corner.  Once through the reception area, I was escorted into the main dining room on the right, and seated at a card-table and folding chair of my very own and presented with a hand written menu.  Yes, I am being sarcastic as the restaurant was indeed the image in this post.

My "fresh halibut dinner" request was pulled from an Igloo ice chest, filleted and prepared right before my very eyes.  I enjoyed a couple bottles of ice-cold home brewed ale, all the while enjoying conversation with my hosts to the fullest.  It was without question the most incredibly satisfying and memorable seafood dinner I'll probably ever have.

Moments like these are why I appreciate going walk-about and getting lost in the world off of the beaten path.  Had I not gone to Alaska solo, had I not pulled my kayak ashore in this remote village, and had I not listened to the advice of a drunkard, I would not be reminded of this unforgettable experience by simply putting fish sticks in the oven.  

Like my favorite slogan reads, "life begins where your comfort zone ends."  Peace.


Jamie Mink