|Kenai Peninsula and Beyond, July 9th, 10th, and 11th
Monday, July 9th, 2007
We're off adventuring the Kenai Peninsula, for the next couple of days with Uncle Wally. Lil was going to join us but forgot she had promised to take Janet for her Dr's appts and couldn't make the trip. The panoramic views are spectacular. When my grandmother Minnie visited Kenai years ago she said, you can't begin to count the different colors of green. As we head off to Seward and Homer, we passed the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. You could walk across the large bay at low tide but you don't want to be out in the middle when the tide comes in. The Bore Tide is so big and so fast you won't make it back to shore. It creates up to 6 foot wave moving at 15 miles per hour, surfers actually wait in line to surf it. Plus, there are pockets of quicksand and people have actually gotten stuck and drowned. We kept our viewing on the shore.
Our next stop was the Exit Glacier at Kenai Fjords National Park, near Seward. It was named that by the early explorers traveling the Harding Icefields because it was the safest exit route of the 30 glaciers that flow out of the 300 square mile icefield. The Exit Glacier descends over 2500 feet for more than 3 miles. There are markers showing the actual location of the glacier from the late 1800's. It has receded six tenths of a mile from the ranger station to the basin since the early/mid 1900's. We couldn't cross the runoff from the melting glacier so we had a choice of 7.7 miles round trip up to the Harding Icefields or another seven tenths of a mile to another lookout, we chose the shorted route. It was well worth the hike. It was fantastic to be able to see the Exit Glacier up close and personal. You could actually hear the glacier melting. Lonnie and Rose, you should stop reading this and get up and kick yourself in the butt for not making this trip.
Seward is a coastal city named after Navy Admiral Seward and you could spend several days there and not get to see and do everything. The Alaska Sea Life Center is the home of Woody, a 1 ton Stellar Seal, about the size of your average suburban, unbelievable. They also have an Octopus Experience and Puffin Encounter. Seward is the home of an adventure run that was started by a bet in the bar next to the restaurant where we had lunch. You could see the trail and it looks almost vertical. The record up and back to the bar is less than an hour and the downhill record is about 13 minutes. When you see it, you wouldn't think it's possible, but, runners come from all over the world to run it.
The day ended with a scenic road trip to Homer, and Lands' End. What a treat! Homer is the halibut fishing capitol of the world. We did a cursory trip thru the Homer Spit, it looks man made and is the main fishing port. Everywhere you look was another charter boat co. We found a great dinner house at lands end with a 360 degree view of the harbor. What a view, the seas were flat as far as you could see. It was a real pleasure watching all the fishing boats come in from fishing, but, the highlight while having dinner was the eagle that leisurely flew right by our window! Something you don't see everyday...After dinner we found an RV park right on the water and called it a "wonderful" day.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007 Kenai Peninsula, Cont'd
One of Homer's most famous residents is Jean Keene, she's known as the The Eagle Lady. She feeds the eagles everyday, and she's been doing it long before any regulations and she is still allowed to do it. She's taken trees and turned them upside down, and the eagles perch on what used to be the roots. It's too bad we missed the feeding time because it looks like this may be the last year she'll be allowed to feed the eagles. We did see another eagle as left the Spit and went into the city of Homer for breakfast.
On to Kenai City, the largest city on the peninsula. Larry had a personal interest in Kenai, he spent 10 years trying to fund a gas liquification plant project, which was eventually sold to the Japanese for completion. Uncle Wally said it had to be out by all the oil plants and drove us right to the liquification plant.
After pictures we headed to Soldotna. The city of Kenai has grown to the Soldotna city limits. This city is also know for it's fishing and is home of the world record 97 pound 4 ounce King Salmon. The town was founded after WWII and is on of one of Alaska's younger cities
Our last stop was Whittier. On the way we actually saw iceburgs floating in the bay. Sorry, Bill they wouldn't let me bring it back. The only way in and out of Whittier by vehicle is a one lane 2 and a half mile tunnel that you share with the railroad train. Driving thru the tunnel was an incredible experience and well worth the $35.00 fee, $20.00 for the RV and $15.00 for the jeep. We considered just taking the jeep over but it was raining and decided it was better to pay the difference and stay warm and cozy, rather than be wet and cold. You enter the tunnel on the half hour and leave on the hour. Until the tunnel was built the only access was by sea or air. When cruise ships started docking at Whittier with 2,000 passengers aboard, the visitors out numbers the residents 10-1. Whittier is best known for the highest number of tidewater glaciers and glacier cruises that tour the Prince William Sound.
At our dinner stop we noticed a hot oil or grease smell, and by the time we got back to Anchorage the right rear wheel was smoking, It's a good thing tomorrow was a catch up day. I guess that's just the price we have to pay for all the fun we're having. It's all good, I Just hope we can get it looked at and fixed ASAP, and not lose anymore time.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007 Hurry Up and Wait
The morning was spent looking for a dealer to take a look at the RV. Larry worked on the slide show and I worked on updating the journal. We found a shop that could look at it but didn't think he could finish by this afternoon, so we set up an appt. at 8AM and went looking around Anchorage.
After driving thru downtown Anchorage, our first stop was the statue of Capt. Cook. It over looks the Cook Inlet that he discovered in 1776. The incoming tide is as high as 39 feet, and it's one of the highest tides in the world. Out next stop was Ship Creek to watch the King Salmon swim upstream. Hugh salmon just lounging in a safe area, they must have known they were just beyond the posted "no fishing" signs. This creek runs right thru downtown and they fish in the shadows of the Anchorage skyline. Now we're in a hurry up and wait mode to get the RV in the shop and get back to our adventure.
Please be sure to sign our guestbook,
Love Ya, Miss Ya, Wished You Were Here, Charles and Larry