It started out as 27F in Anchorage, then 14F in Wasilla and finally -2F north of Willow. Let’s just say we weren't prepared for hiking the river in -2F, but the sun soon rose and warmed us up. And as always when hiking, we wore too many clothes, yes even for -2F.
Spotted a pair of drakes on the edge of the river within the first about 1/2 mile. We got as close as we could before they jumped. It was pretty far but we managed to knock one down.
After 40 more minutes of hiking we found another pair. The path was only wide enough for one person to creep along and get a shot. After I knocked them both down… the fun started.
The next 20 minutes was spent running on and down the side of the river to get these guys out of the current. You know, breaking through the ice up to your waste actually feels good after running that long in winter gear.
It worked out quite well, my Carharts froze just above my knee boots and formed a type of knee/thigh pad, and my long underwear and wool socks kept my legs and feet warm.
It was a fun day, but only seeing four birds is pretty slow for the length of the drive. I'm not sure if we will go back north this weekend or if we might try to find some creeks down south.