From the moment Air Force One dropped down from the low cloud cover over Kanakanak bluff it was suddenly real. The President of the United States of America is really visiting my lifelong home.
For President Obama his visit to Dillingham was another day on the job of leading the free world. It fit right into his job description of staying up to speed and making decisions on the most pressing issues, concerns and opportunities for American people. For those of us who fish salmon in Alaska and the residents of the Bristol Bay watershed, the President’s visit was nothing less than extraordinary!
’s not out of the ordinary, the Dillingham flight back to Anchorage canceled. This time it turned out to be an unexpected source of pleasure, an opportunity to reflect on the incredible events of the previous 24 hours. Life happens fast. The fishing seasons pile up. The purpose of meetings are blurred by time, words scribbled in a notebook. The latest event or front page story quickly becoming yesterday’s news. Yes, getting another “day in the Bay” was a gift.
Words escape me in times of overwhelming emotion and gratitude. The reality that the President of the United States visited our home and experienced the land our ancestors entrusted to us – is still sinking in. He didn't just "visit" like you would think the leader of the free world would "visit" a place. Barack Obama had a, “pick our fish, eat our food, and yuraq with our kids” kind of visit.