Here are links to my recent posts about Alaska & Smoking Salmon:
Alaska Trip; Smoked Salmon Part I; Smoked Salmon Part II
Yes, it certainly felt like “The Last Frontier”.
Kenai peninsula lies just south of Anchorage and was where we were headed when we flew into Anchorage to meet our good friends Susan & Ross. The weather was overcast with showers every now & then – kind of what we had expected but not hoped for. Just outside Anchorage I snapped this shot as we swapped drivers on our way down to Seward.
This was Seward the next day as we walked from Murphy’s Motel over to the dock for our fjord cruise. Still wet & cloudy. We were told the main cruise would not go out due to high swells so we postponed to the next day and went to plan B which was coffee and a walk around the harbor.
Surprising number of yachts and I did wonder how much fun it was to sail in an environment were their summer feels like my winter. I will be the first to admit that I am a fair weather sailor and proud of my sensible decision.
This is the boat that we would go out on the next day. Today it was headed out on a short cruise within the calm waters of the fjord.
Andre had this idea to go hiking in the rain and we headed out to Exit Glacier. I know the foreground is dark but if I lighten it it washes out the details of the glacier.
Another view of Exit from across the valley. We were lamenting the lack of wildlife and were told by another hiker that there was a Bald Eagle’s next just outside of town – could have stayed in town to see them.
Off into town and a visit to the sealife center where we could practice our stalking of the captive wild life. Here is a puffin which became one of the species to see in the wild.
Took a drive out of town and sure enough there he was in a tree on the river bank. We had to find parking and walk back to get a better look at him. He obliged and perched in this tree which was really close to us.
I was lucky to have my finger on the trigger when he took off to find some grub.
Next day, Friday, we boarded our cruise at 8 am and headed out into the fjord. In my opinion there was not a whole lot of wild life around and the captain did his best to point things out. Here is a sea otter doing what he does best – float on his back for the tourists.
Another Bald Eagle and if you look carefully you’ll see a chick to the right of him.
Humpback whale – did not get too close to them and they were quick to “fluke” their tails as they dove away.
Holgate glacier where the captain nudged the boat deep in the ice flows and we saw a fair amount of “ice falling” action on the left side of the glacier – quite impressive.
It was really cold there so we soon vamoosed to find some other life forms.
Sea lions – the guy in the center was pretty active warding off anyone who came close.
Puffins in the wild.
Steller Sea lions with seagull artwork on the cliffs behind. Also note the body art on some of the Steller’s;- They are an endangered species and Alaska’s Fish & Game have been tracking their numbers and branding some of them so as to track and observe their habits.
We left Seward and drove up to Soldotna were we met Larry at his cabin or latter christened to “man cave” 14 miles outside of town. There is a lot more story but for now I will suffice with Larry informing us that the water pipe from his well to the house was still frozen (he had only arrived a few days before us) but not to worry as he had filtered drinking water from his neighbor and was collecting rainwater that we could bucket into the bathroom to flush the toilet. He was trying to unfreeze the pipe by running a current through it to warm it and hence melt the presumed ice. Over the next two days this fiasco played out with water finally flowing late Sunday night just in time for our three days of fishing that we decided had to start by Monday to allow us to catch our flights out on Thursday. I don’t think anyone really knows what was originally wrong, what got fixed and what got broke getting fixed but in the end all the fixes aligned and water flowed.
In the meantime we went into town and walked along the banks of the Kenai to observe how this salmon fishing was done. Witnessed a few catches so we were enthused that, yes, there were Sockeye Salmon (reds) in the river and they could be caught.
Sunday we ventured down to Homer which is at the end of the road out of Anchorage, has a long “spit” extending out into the bay which lures both fishermen and tourists. Ate good halibut tacos, browsed the usual array of craft stores and coffee shops.
Little Larry and Big Larry toasting with Jagermeister after the water finally flowed. It’s another story but it is big Larry’s cabin and little Larry is a very good friend of his who was helping him.
I don’t have many photos of the river activities but we caught our full days quota and at the end of Monday had 3 x 5 = 15 reds with an average size of 9 to 10 lbs each. Not bad for rookies!
Could not help taking this shot – Larry was down at the dock talking to another local who had this shovel with him – methinks they know something about fishing that we don’t!
A fantastic adventure as we head back on the last day – We each had a “fish box” of frozen fish to take home as well as stuffing our checked bags up to their 50 lb airline limit.
Thank you very much Susan & Ross and of course Larry.