Not alone in pursuit of this finny feast, the eagles share their fishing territory with other predators that are even more adept at pursuing and catching the spawning salmon…

Place the fillets in the hot pan and drizzle about a teaspoon of the reserved butter on each piece.  BE CAREFUL!!  The butter may flare up either when putting the fish into the pan or when adding the additional butter.  Cook the fish for 2 minutes and then turn.  Drizzle butter on the turned fillets.

If you have butter remaining, you may wish to use it to dip your blackened fish in it at the table or simply make some extra for this at the beginning.  Enjoy!!  We’ll catch up with y’all in Canada, eh! Hugs, Chuck and Kalyn

This ninth installment completes our Alaskan travelogue as we will be pulling out of here on Sunday morning and making our way southward through the Yukon and eventually to California to spend some time with family before beginning our winter hibernation.  We hope you have enjoyed this grouping of Updates and may actually benefit in some small way through our presentation.  If nothing else, perhaps this lagniappe will prove useful:

Blackened Fish

Place a cast iron skillet over high heat until a white ash begins to form in the bottom of the pan or for a minimum of 15 minutes (The pan cannot be too hot).  In a separate smaller skillet, melt 1 cube of unsalted butter (margarine won’t work for this recipe).  Dredge each of 4 half inch to three quarter inch thick fish fillets through the butter (reserve the remaining butter for later use)…

Haines, also known as The Eagle Capital of the World, is our last Alaskan destination prior to beginning the long trek back to the lower 48.  In addition to the resident population of some 300 eagles, another three to four thousand birds arrive here in October and November to spend the winter feasting on the abundant supply of salmon in the surrounding waters…

And at the very top of this cast of piscatorial gourmands…

After a day of exploring the various museums and historical exhibits as well as a restaurant or two and a sampling of a few of the finer drinking establishments, we boarded the ferry and returned once more to Haines…

The streets, restaurants and saloons were filled with these “boat people” on the day we chose to visit and all of the stores were offering “closeout” sales on everything from baked goods to diamond jewelry.  As with most port cities, diamond merchants seasonally descend on Skagway to offer once in a lifetime deals on diamonds on which every jeweler will tell you he’s “losing money at this price.”  Remember the line, “If you buy a thousand dollar diamond ring for a dollar, the odds are pretty good that it isn’t worth a dime.”  Come September all of these guys close up shop and head for warmer climes.  I suspect that the summer throngs very much resemble the rabble which flocked to the Klondike during the gold rush of 1898.  Several of the buildings of that era, such as the Arctic Brotherhood Hall constructed in 1899, have been restored for either commercial use or as an historical display…

   Alaska 2010 - Part 9                                              September 11, 2010

This guy found himself on the horns of quite a dilemma.  He had a fish on the line and the bear knew it!!  As the bear drew nearer he finally decided to simply abandon the fish he had just landed and leave it for this mama grizzly and her cubs…

The wildlife and natural beauty of Alaska is nothing short of majestic and the remains of mankind's early footprint on this land is a grand tribute to the determination and endurance of which our species is capable.  Skagway is located about 45 minutes from Haines by ferry and is inhabited by some 800 permanent residents and 9,000 or more tourists on any summer day dependant on the number of cruise ships in the harbor…

I line the small pan with foil and use paper plates to hold the uncooked fish to lessen the cleanup.  Liberally sprinkle and pat each fillet with the following blend of spices: 1 part each cayenne pepper, black pepper, white pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder; plus 3 parts paprika and a pinch of salt.  Note: You can interpret “part” to be a teaspoon for 4 pieces of fish but a tablespoon or cup may be used depending on how much of the blackening you wish to make for use at another time.  I usually make up a couple of small jars at one sitting.

Bear cubs stay with their mother for the first 3 to 4 years of their life and share a den during the winter hibernation.  The group of 3 cubs in the previous photos are much larger than the group of two and were most likely born in the spring of 2009 whereas the smaller cubs were born this year.   As with every other body of Alaskan water at this time of year, you will find a few adventurous fishermen competing with the other predators for the Coho and Sockeye salmon of Chilkat Creek…