"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Friday, August 10, 2018

Valdez

First off, these are phone pictures.  Pretty sorry quality, but that’s what I have for now.

From Seward, we made our way back up to Anchorage for a couple of days.  Time to do laundry, grocery shop, etc.  One of the things on my bucket list for Alaska was a flight in a DeHaviland Beaver float plane.  Anchorage has the largest float plane terminal in the world, and I did my best to make it happen.  I booked two different flights, and had both cancelled due to whatever.  I think it had to do with my trying to book as a single, and I got bumped for a larger group.  Whatever reason, it didn’t happen.  Just might have to come back.

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We stopped for a night on our way to Valdez.  Ran into this guy in the campground.  I don’t remember what type of hawk it was, or the age of the bird, but he said it was already hunting for him.

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The weather in Valdez was a carbon copy of Seward.  We missed all the beautiful scenery on the drive there due to clouds and fog.  An un-named roadside waterfall.

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Another surprise was this chainsaw carving competition we stumbled up on.

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What’s his line snagged on?

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Detail of fisherman’s face.  Amazing.

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Octopus.

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Jellyfish.

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And, of course, a Mermaid.

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Lots of other stuff, too.

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We visited a fish hatchery where thousands of salmon were returning to spawn.  The only problem being they were hatched and released from the hatchery, and there was no river to return to.  Kind of sad.  All the turbulence you see in this photo was caused by Salmon floundering about trying to get upstream.  They were getting caught and shipped to a cannery nearby, I was told.

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That was our trip to Valdez.  Rained all the time we were there…..jc

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Seward

We had been blessed with much unexpected good weather the first two months on the road.  All that changed on our way to Seward.  We arrived in the rain, and four days later departed in the rain.  It didn’t stop the entire time we were there.

We did do a couple of things there, in spite of the weather.

We visited three time Iditarod Champion, Mitch Seavey’s kennel. 

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His dogs didn’t look much like the dogs we saw in Denali.  The best comparison I could make would be that those in Denali were Clydesdales, and these were Kentucky Derby steeds.  We actually got a ride in a training buggy.

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They made it look easy, pulling five or six hundred pounds along a rocky road for a mile or so.  All I can say is that those dogs loved to pull.  And, there was also puppies.

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On another day we took a tour out into the Gulf of Alaska.

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Lots of fog and rain all day.  Pretty views along the way.

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Glaciers, and a raft of Sea Otters.

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We also were lucky enought to run into some of these guys.  Humpback Whales.

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There was a hint of sunshine the morning we departed, but it soon disappeared.

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  So did we.  On to further adventures….jc

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Kenai, Homer, and the Spit!

From Portage, we moved on down the Kenai Penninsula toward Soldotna, Kenai, and Homer.  We planned a stop at the Fred Meyer in Soldotna to dump the tanks, fill with water, and purchase a few groceries.  What a nightmare.  The line for the dump station snaked around the building.  We finally fulfilled our needs and made for an Alaskan recreation area called Johnson Loke.

The next day we traveled back up to the old town of Kenai.  A couple of Russian Orthodox churchs there.

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A peek inside through a window.

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The most unusual thing we saw in town though, was this.  At the visitor center museum.

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As we were leaving town, we happened upon some Dip Net Fishing.  Quite a spectacle.  Open only to Alaska residents, it involves scooping salmon out of the river with huge(6’ plus wide) dip nets.  Some with handles eight to ten feet long.

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We visited Anchor Point.

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Where they launch and recover boats with what appears to be old logging skidders.

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And, then, on to Homer.  We were able to get a prime space in the hillside city campground.  Overlooking Homer, and the spit.

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Friend checking out the view from their campsite below us.

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Another day a fog bank moved in over the water.

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Homer bills itself as a fishing destination.

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This picture shows that it’s a statement hard to argue with.

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We took a short boat ride to the village of Soldovia.

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Ran into a pod of Orca’s.  Only got a couple of pictures with my phone.

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On Sunday, we moved out to the Spit.  Was able to get another awesome site.

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Right next door to the fishing hole.

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Wanda and I both purchased a one day license, but it was to no avail.  I hooked one salmon, but was unable to land it.  There were lots of them being caught, though.  Here’s a picture of one guys catch as he had just finished cleaning them in the city provided cleaning shed.

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I was so depressed that I had to have something to raise my spirits.  Here’s the tool chest for my cure.  Can you guess?

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One and a half pounds of Alaskan Red King Crab.  Oh, my, it was soooo good.

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We arrived is Seward, today.  Lots of rain, fog, and drizzle.

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Stay tuned for further developments…..jc