A Full Day on the Kenai Peninsula, Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010 - 8:12 pm 2 Comments

This morning we awoke to overcast skies and temperature of 52 degrees. We stopped in the village of Kenai to get gas and a cup of coffee at the local McDonald’s before hitting the road. This is a beautiful area. We are looking across the water to the Chigmit Mountains across the Cooke Inlet. The mountains are a dramatic backdrop next to the water. The Aleutian Mountain Range is in sight as well. Remember we are on a peninsula and the Aleutians are across the inlet south of the peninsula. This area is called the “ring of fire”: Mount Iliamma, Mount ReDoubt, Mount Augustine, and Mount Spurr.

As we were driving this morning, we were discussing the fact that we have not seen any wildlife in Alaska except from a distance in Denali. We saw way more wildlife up close driving across Alberta and British Columbia. Well we topped a hill and on the left, right beside the road, was a Mama Moose and Baby. Naturally we didn’t have the camera ready; even if we did, we could not get a shot. But it was a beautiful close up of Mama and Baby. Greg saw another moose on his side of the road, down in a meadow.

We passed through several little villages, namely Kasiloff, population 777, Clam Gulch, and then to the little village of Ninilchik. It was settled at the turn of the 19th century. The village has several old dovetailed log buildings. A trail leads up to the green and white Russian Orthodox Church on the hill. We drove up to the church using another road. As we entered the church, a priest stepped from a side room and told us about the church. We asked why, in the cemetery, the grass and wild flowers were allowed to grow up and over the graves. He said it was tradition, really, that the families prefer that no one take care of the graves if the families cannot do it. So many family members no longer live in the area during the winter, but during the summer a lot of them will come back to the area and cut down the grass and wildflowers. But it is a beautiful little church and cemetery. The village is at the bottom of the hill and is just typical little Alaskan village. I stopped at a little house that had a sign on it saying “Rose’s Alaskan made gifts”. The shop was literally in a room in her house. She makes the jewelry, but she also has hand made things from other local artists. I found a couple of things that I know Ben will like.

The skies over Ninilchik were full of eagles. They were soaring over our heads as we stood in the church yard. An eagle with a snake in his mouth soared above as well.

We spoke with Don and Sandie who are spending the night in Seward. They will meet us in Anchorage Friday night before they head out for Calgary Saturday morning.

We got to Homer around 2:00 p.m. We only drove about 77 miles today but we stop so much we don’t get very far. But this is the way we like it—-what’s around the next corner? Let’s stop and see.

Homer is a small village and is mostly known for it’s halibut fishing. The Homer Spit is the portion of land at the “end of the road”. The Spit was due to a glacier pushing ground high out of the ocean. Glacier activity is everywhere in Alaska. The Spit is really a couple of restaurants and the harbor with the fishing boats coming and going. There are tables set up along the sides of the roads where the fishermen clean and dress their catch. We saw people everywhere cleaning and cutting up their halibut. Right on the Spit is a company that freezes the fish as well.

Our campsite is right on the ocean facing the Aleutian Mountains. We would love to sit out in our chairs but we are having a slow little drizzle. But the view from our dinette is spectacular.

We had dinner at a restaurant that several people told us was the best place in Homer. Well we think it’s the best place in Alaska. The restaurant was Captain Pattie’s. We had grilled skewers of salmon, halibut, prawn, and scallops. It was cooked just perfectly and the halibut especially was delicious. Then for dessert we had a naughty little chocolate thing. You’ll see the photo. Since our 39th anniversary is coming up next week, we decided this would be our celebration. No telling where we are this time next week.

Tomorrow we’ll head back up the peninsula, backtracking all the way to Anchorage. But we have had a glorious week down here. The scenery is the most wonderful we’ve seen in Alaska. We’ll spend some down time in Anchorage this weekend before heading out to Valdez.

Stay tuned. Bonnie

2 Responses to “A Full Day on the Kenai Peninsula, Thursday, July 1, 2010”

  1. Allan and Catherine Says:

    The “Greg Trotter” in me is cringing everytime I see the condition of these roads and how dirty the RV must be getting. Tell Dad I will have my pressure washer on stand-by when you guys get back to town.

  2. Traci LaGanke Says:

    I have been keeping up with you a bit…looks like a blast! Stay safe and cannot wait to hear more!

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