This Alaska adventure is exceeding our expectations in so many ways. It is clear now why folks keep coming back. My hope is you like pictures…to date the count is 6,150 (not to worry, I did not post all of them). The views here are so spectacular. On the numbers side of the trip (remember I have the MBA mentality) the gallon count for diesel fuel is 775 traveling 8,400 miles in 60 days. We are half way through our planned trip and we are finding time goes way too fast when you are on the road. Everywhere we go we find new adventures. Jan and I find traveling will broaden ones perspective of the world and outlook on life.
The next leg of our trip was to the Kenai Peninsula for 19 days where we covered 1,300 miles. We had heard from others who had been here that it was a must do. For the most part the itinerary was open ended. Included is a map of our route starting in Anchorage then Kenai, Homer, Seward and ending up back at Anchorage. The weather was great, with outstanding RV sites settings.
We started and ended in Anchorage which is a great place to restock food and fuel. There is a fun downtown. There are flower displays everywhere. The long summer days support a fast and aggressive growing season. We did a tour of the Alaskan Botanical Gardens which (in my estimation) looks better online than in person. Our RV site here was at the Alyeska Ski Resort 40 miles south. The route back and forth along the Cook Inlet (Turnagain Arm) was spectacular which by the way is home for the Beluga Whales.
We had the good fortune to find great places to stay on the Peninsula.
The RV Park in Kenai was on a high bluff overlooking the Cook Inlet, affectionately called Beluga Overlook. There are big tide changes so the walk on the beach was always different. This is a big fishing area for commercial and sports fishing. One night we saw at least 35 commercial fishing boats returning to harbor. Of course I found another great seafood outlet. The last day we were there the Alaskan Resident Dip Netting season began. The picture was taken in the first hour the season opened. By the end of season in three weeks over 30,000 folks descend on the City of Kenai hoping to take home big catches. From our site we could see Mt. Redoubt a volcanic mountain which is part of the Ring of Fire chain which extends from New Zealand to the Aleutian Island in Alaska. As a side note, we are getting accustomed to daylight all the time…
The City of Homer has several RV parks on the Spit along Kachemak Bay. Long story made short, a Spit is a sand bar created by Glaciers. We found another great park on the beach where we could see a glacier in the distance. There are so many Eagles ever where but we never get tired of trying to capture just one more photo shot.
In Seward we stayed at a rustic campground about 5 miles out. The setting was Resurrection Bay on a fun beach with mountain and water views. The salt water killed the trees here and the remaining stumps are petrified now by the salt water…great photo opts. Our RV park, Miller’s Landing on Lowell Point, is a great place to rent Kayaks, a fishing boat or to catch a water taxi to your site of choice. All our RV parks worked nicely as a base camp for launching other adventures.
We got to explore the Kenai National Refuge which includes about 25 percent of the peninsula. We did a fun walk with the Mosquitoes.
Another personal record was set for us when we went to Anchor Point the most Westerly Road Point in North America. Ironically, last year at this time we were at Cape Spear in Newfoundland, the most Easterly Point in NA.
There is a strong Russian influence on Kenai. Checked out two noted Russian Churches in Nikolaevsk and Ninilchik…lots of character!
Great view of Mt. Iliamna another Ring of Fire Volcano which is One of “The Four Sleeping Giants” along the coast of Alaska.
Lots of nice bike trails in all the communities. Here is a picture I took along the trail of a boat graveyard near Homer.
Anyone who comes to Homer has to go to the Salty Dawg Tavern.
If you are ever in Homer check out the Skyline Drive, a drive where it is hard to keep your eyes on the road.
Highly recommend anyone who comes to Seward to check out the Alaskan Sealife Center. This is an easy way to spend half a day.
The hike to the Harding Ice Field along the Exit Glacier is a top ten pick for us. However we did find the 9 mile hike challenging as we made our way to the top, a 3,000 foot climb. Rather than go into too much detail here will let the pictures tell the story.
For our top ten events rating, the Kenai Fjord Tour may end up being number one. The tour is a nine hour journey to the Northwestern Glacier. We left Seward through Resurrection Bay traveling 100 miles to the glacier. The glacier was impressive but so was the wildlife. We got to see Hump Back Whales up close and personal. The experience included Porpoises, Stellar Sea lions, Orca Whales, Sea Otters and lots of birds. Again I think the pictures will give you a snap shot of the experience.
Looking back we did a lot in those 19 days on Kenai. There is way too much to post in one blog. Not knowing what to expect, I think we did it about right. There is always more thing to do and see if you have the time. This part of Alaska is very different from the interior. Personally Jan and I just enjoy being along the water.
We now move on to Valdez for four days. Heard great things about the area and looking for to another Alaskan experience.
More to come…
Larry and Jan