Back to Alaska

After a whirlwind long weekend at home in So Cal, Cindy and I returned to the Land of the Midnight Sun!  Here we are with my daughters and her daughter in laws at the wedding.

The guys did good while we were gone. Lots of salmon in the freezer.

We celebrated the 4th on the 3rd, Alaska style, at a music filled festival.  They celebrate on the 3rd because they have to wait until midnight to shoot off fireworks. Even then it’s not completely dark.  We did not make it to see the fireworks.  Too late for us old folks.

Staying in Eagle River and drove outside of town to do a hike.  Saw this moose on the drive.  I was excited to see this one up so close.

Some beautiful views on our hike.

That’s bear poop on the trail. Yikes!

And on the way back to our campsite we saw this big guy.

Heading towards Denali tomorrow.

 

Fun in Portage and Whittier

On our way from Seward to our next campground we stopped along the highway because the guys had axes to grind.  Axes to grind.  Get it?

Scenes from along the highway.

 

We went to the little town of Girdwood to do laundry.  It’s a cute, funky town. And the dryers were fast!  That’s a big deal when doing laundry on the road.

We took a day trip without the trailers into the town of Whittier.  To get there you drive through the longest (2.5 miles) highway tunnel in North America. It was the first designed to withstand -40 Fahrenheit temperatures and 150mph winds.   It’s a very narrow single lane tunnel which is shared by cars and trains traveling in both directions and they air it out between trips with jet turbine ventilation.   It’s a little scary not knowing exactly who is controlling the whole system (human or computer) and hoping you aren’t going to see a train coming toward you! This is the entrance to the tunnel.

Whittier is another cute town.

Campground moments. We were blessed by the most beautiful rainbows that we had ever seen.  Thank you, God, for the reminder of your promises.

This campground had a communal fire pit.  Every night the owners would start the fire and everyone was invited to come and hang out, roast marshmallows and get to know each other.  John and another camper played some music.  It start out with a few fellow campers and then as people heard the music, more and more came including a group of guys who are highway construction workers and actually live at the campground.  It was a fun time!  And there was a repeat performance the next night with a new group of campers.

So Alaska is not called the land of the midnight son for nothing.  20+ hours of daylight means we never see a sunrise or a sunset.  We are sleeping when those happen.  But we had to get up at 3am for Cindy and I to make a flight from Anchorage  to home. (Our two daughters and Mike and Cindy’s two daughter in laws are all in a wedding together.  We left the guys in Alaska to watch Oliver the dog and to fish.)  This was the sunrise as we drove from the campground to Anchorage.  It was about 4 am!

I’m hoping I’ll have lots of pictures of the guys fish they caught while we were gone for my next post.  As for me, I’ll be calling AAA to jump start the car (and, as it turns out, put in a new battery), go to doctor appointments, see most of the grandkids (they won’t care much that I’m home, they just want to see papa), do wedding stuff, and worship at our church on Sunday.  It will be a tiring, whirlwind trip but filled with lots of fun!  Until next time….

Seward

We camped at this lovely campground on the way to Seward.  Fished the lake without success but it was a beautiful spot.

Water-front camping in Seward.  Close to town and to each other but it’s quite a scene.  There are families sitting by the campfires and a walking path in front of us.  And the Alaskans were very friendly.  We loved this place.

Here’s a view of the campground from the water.  Lots and lots of rvs.

Small boat harbor within walking distance of our campsite.

A cruise ship was in town.

Thinkers.

We took an all day wildlife and glacier boat tour.  The sights were fantastic.

Whales.

Stellar sea lions

Otters.

Glaciers.

Fishing for sockeye salmon with tourists and the locals.  The locals were better at it than us.  Surprise, surprise.

He got one!  If you look closely, you will notice that the hook is not in the fishes mouth but in his back!  This type of fishing is called snagging.  The salmon are swimming up river where they were born, to spawn.  They are not hungry.  So you use a large hook and use a technique that actually snags the fish.  Seems like a crazy way to fish but it works!

On to the next adventure tomorrow!

On to Homer

We left Anchorage and headed towards Homer on the Kenai Penninsula.  The Kenai had been having lots of rain and more was predicted but what we’ve encountered hasn’t been bad.  As usual, the scenery is beautiful, although sun makes for more beautiful pictures.

We went on a King salmon fishing trip with a guide on the Kasilof River.  For a lot of reasons, the salmon numbers in the river were way down.  Between the four of us, we caught one.  We don’t even want to think about the price per pound we paid for it.  But it was delicious with color you don’t find in store-bought salmon.

Back on the road.  This is the first moose I could actually get a picture of.

And we see lots of bald eagles.

The view from our campsites on the Homer Spit.

The split is very touristy but fun to visit inspite of that.

A boat graveyard.

 

Street musicians.  They were pretty good.  Especially enjoyed the bass player who was playing with an oar.

The Salty Dog Saloon.  The place is covered with dollar bills that people have left with their names on them.

Tomorrow, we are on to Seward.

We Made It!

We made it to Alaska!  It took about 6 1/2 long days of driving from Seattle but we did it!  I finally get to put my Alaska sticker on the trailer.

Random road pics from Whitehorse to Tok, Alaska.

We came across this mama Grizzly and her three cubs walking close to the road.

This cub had finally had enough and just plopped down on the road.  I guess bear cubs can sometimes be like toddlers.  It was an awesome sight!

For some reason, homemade cinnamon rolls are very popular on the Alaska Highway.  Everyone on social media has their opinion on whose are the best. We are determined to be the judge of that.  Ruined dinner two days in a row by stopping at 3:30 in the afternoon for rolls and coffee.

More pics from the road.

And more repairs to be made.  One of our trailer brakes locked up as we were pulling out from a rest stop and in the short time until we could stop it wore a good part of the rubber off about an 8” section on the tire as it was dragged across the pavement.  That tire is now our spare.

Random pics from the road from Tok to Anchorage. It was a beautiful drive.

I love this picture with the church steeple in the foreground.

Those L-shaped poles are for the snow plows.  I can’t believe how tall they are.

A glacier. This one is about 26 miles long!

We are spending the night in a Cabelas (same as Bass Pro Shop) parking lot before heading to the Kenai Penninsula tomorrow.  Free is good.  Who knew?  There is a Target right next door.  After 2 1/2 months of togetherness, a girl needs some alone time in Target, right?