Thursday, June 26, 2014

Enjoying the Kenai Peninsula

Tuesday was a glorious day so Mickey and Lynn and us decided to drive down to Ninikchik and check out the AK State Rec Areas and see what was available for the guys to go halibut fishing. And boy did we check them out! We went into 6 different areas, almost all of them had no campers in them. The fee is $10 per night and we found 2 different ones that we absolutely want to stay in! One even has a dump station ($5). All are no hook ups. They do have pit toilets and water fill available. I truly believe these are the last of the "bargain" camping areas in Alaska. I do know that several of them fill up during the Razor Clam season, which is usually right now but it has been closed because a paralytic poison has been found in some of the tested clams! Glad I don't particularly like clams. It's a shame for those who do. We also called Bob and Mollie Pinner and stopped by to see them and  friends who are travelling together. It was so much fun visiting and catching up with a bunch of SKP friends! They are staying at a park down there and have taken a couple of successful fishing trips from there. They were glad to share fishing tips with the guys and visa versa. Lynn and Charles signed up with Ninilchik Charters for an all day Halibut fishing on 7/7. They got the last 2 spots available until near the end of July. Lynn had a coupon from his TourSaver book, so they are going for half price! Can't beat that! They are both excited about it! The limit is 2 per day so we hope they will get some nice size ones. They are SO delicious! Yesterday was my brother, Al's, 70th birthday so we called and wished him a Happy Birthday! I also asked him if he would be home on 7/9 to accept a FedEx delivery of halibut! He has an empty freezer waiting for it. His wife, Leslie, loves Red Salmon so we hope to be able to ship some catch to her also. Stubby, our little RV, has very little freezer room, so when we head to AZ in November, we can stop by and pick up some of our halibut! He told me that fresh halibut at his grocery in TX is $29 per pound! The sun was shining and we had clear, blue skies so we were able to take some great pics across Cook Inlet and view Mt. Redoubt and the other volcanoes. Yesterday, Carolee and Dan arrived from Watson Lake and joined us a Camp Freddy Meyers! (that's a grocery store parking lot that welcomes RVers and even has a free dump station.) We drove out to Nikiski to Capt. Cook State Park for a picnic lunch. Unfortunately, it was quite cloudy and misty fog so we weren't able to get any clear views or pics of the inlet and volcanoes. Although we all enjoyed our lunch, we all stood up and ate as we swatted mosquitoes! They were horrible and never let up! The Deep Woods OFF did not phase them. We stopped at the Kenai Moose Lodge, on our way back, where we and several others are members and talked to our friend Joe, the Admin. We will be volunteering on the 4th of July for their annual fundraiser. We will actually start our prep work a few days ahead as we will be selling food at the July 4th Kenai celebration at the ball park. We sell out every year! Charles and I  have done it before and it is a lot of fun and a very worthy cause: Mooseheart, a home and school for kids. Lynn, Charles and Dan volunteered to fix a bad electrical hook up and a problem water spigot for the Lodge too so they began work on those projects and are finishing them up today. We all moved to RV parking spots at the Lodge this morning. It has not stopped raining in more than 24 hours. Made for a good day to catch up on work and now this Blog!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Too much fun!

I can't believe it's been 12 days since my last update. We stay on the go and crash and burn at night. I know, no excuse! We all enjoyed Valdez, especially getting to see the Eagles being fed fish each afternoon at 5 at Bayside RV where we stayed! I got some great shots! We left there and spent the night in Kenny Lake, near the Copper River. Took a drive to the native village of Chitina. Looking for the fish wheels but access to the river is only by Quads. We did see a lot of roadside campers and their quads there to fish. You must be a resident and in some places, a native, to either dipnet or use the fishwheel to catch salmon. They limit the time strictly. The main reason for us going to Kenny Lake was for Diamond Willow. Very prized for walking sticks and quite beautiful!  We all got one but OMG, the mosquitoes were SO bad there! The air was black in places, so thick! From KL we travelled to Palmer where we spent several nights at the Moose Lodge, enjoying the sights including the Independence Mine and beautiful mountain vistas. We were there for Father's Day and all the guys got their Steak dinners free! We had a lot of fun! We then ventured to Anchorage for 2 nights at the Moose there. Mickey and Lynn and Carolee and Dan did the Native Alaskan Heritage Center. Since we have visited it twice before, we had a day for errands and getting our city fix with a fast food lunch! Leaving Anchorage we headed south along scenic Turnagain Arm to Seward, on the top end of the Kenai Peninsula. We spent 5 nights there and got our fill of otter watching and just enjoying the natural scenery. We cooked outside a lot, even through the frequent showers. We stayed at the Seward Resort campground. It was quite nice. Charles snagged his first Red Salmon of the year! He caught the end of their season but will catch the main run here in Soldotna in mid July. Our trip today to Soldotna was a short one, only about 65 miles. We are boondocking at Fred Meyer's for a night or two. Very handy since we had to order our medications here. Lynn and Mickey are with us. Carolee and Dan are at a USFS campground for a night or 2. Dan likes the "bush." They will rejoin us later.
Lynn is cooking chili tonight and they have gone exploring.  I had a lot of business to attend to so we stayed behind. Tomorrow should be another busy day seeing the sights! Soldotna is in the heart of the Kenai River, the motherlode for salmon fishing. It is one of our fav Alaskan towns and we know it quite well. Being here feels like "home" to us in many ways. Mom loved it too. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Richardson Hwy South

We said our goodbyes to Fairbanks and headed south on the Richardson Hwy. This section of it we had never traveled before because we usually head to Denali on the Parks Hwy. This trip we are bypassing Denali. We first headed to Delta Junction as we got a late start from Fairbanks. We all needed food and fuel which took some time.
We stayed at the Moose Lodge, one we had never visited before. They had a nice open area for us to park. We all went in for conversation, an adult beverage and free popcorn. I made homemade chicken enchiladas for dinner for everyone. 3 pans cooked in 3 ovens, in 3 different RVs! We all ate heartily and deemed delicious!
We stopped at the Visitors Center the next morning running into Dennis and Carol Hill who were headed to Fairbanks. We continued down the highway and it was a beautiful drive of lakes,  snow capped mountains, tundra, black spruce, swans and saw 3 moose! We stayed the night in a huge right of way overlooking the Gilkana River. Charles tried his hand at fishing but sadly, no bites. We had a simple dinner of hot dogs and marshmallows over an open fire that our resident Boy Scout, Lynn Waite, so handily made. There were lots of laughs around the campfire. This morning we continued on our journey to Valdez,  passing thru Copper Center and Glenallen where we fueled. Our most expensive Alaska gas so far, $4.35/gal. The drive to Valdez is magnificent! You pass many glaciers, waterfalls, sheer cliffs, traversing several long grades up and down. The snow capped mountains have no words. The beauty is surreal.  We arrived in Valdez about 1:30 staying at our fav, Bayside RV Park. We all went for fresh halibut at the Halibut House (another fav). Then I c as me back and worked for several hours, catching up on my online work and phone calls. Then Carolee and I did loads and loads of laundry! Not fun, but necessary just the same. Well, we did have fun talking and meeting a lady from Austria and one from Minnesota! Afterror a light dinner at home, we took a scenic drive and got an ice cream. A great ending to another wondrous day in Alaska.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Time is flying by! Fairbanks

Hard to believe a week has gone by since my last post. We totally enjoyed Whitehorse but didn't get to go to the brewery or hot springs. Next time!
Our train ride to Skagway was awesome and we had the usually crowded port town to ourselves!  No ships. I highly recommend the White Pass train. The scenery was breathtaking.
We left Whitehorse and spent the night after a long rainy days drive past beautiful Kuane Lake and Resurrection Bay. It was one frost heave after another. We spent the night in a Yukon Provincial Park, Snag Jct.
Very nice, no hookups. But the 8 of us had such fun! I made homemade chili for all, toasted marshmallows and sat around the fire. The next morning Dan made a huge skillet breakfast for everyone.  It was delicious! Carolee was the warm toast maker. We travelled to Tok and finally made it to Alaska after 14 days on the road! After lunch at Fast Eddy's and quick hellos to more of the Loosey Goosey gang we left on Thurs. for Fairbanks.  We are dry camping at the Moose Lodge. It's a great location and very hospitable.  We had a great Steak dinner there last night and the night before we all went for Chinese at the Pagoda in North Pole. The food was fab and so much leftover we are having a Chinese potluck tonight. Yesterday we visited the Museum of the North at the University  of Alaska. Everyone enjoyed it! We then did some shopping at Fred Meyers and WW We were all tired so came back to the rigs. I worked til 6:30 while everyone else was at Happy Hour. I joined them for the steaks and afterwards we all went for Hot Licks ice cream. A very enjoyable day! Today is a busy one having breakfast at the famous Sourdough Sam's. Known for their sourdough pancales and reindeer sausage. The omelet we split was outstanding! I don't care for sourdough but did try them. We then went to the Sat. Farmers Market. Too early here for fresh veggies but we did see some rhubarb and cukes. I bought 2 little jars of homemade jam, wild choke cherry and a ligonberry. I also fell in love with a hand made mammoth ivory bracelet. It is very delicate. I will cherish it.
For all the pics, go to my FB page. You will find many to enjoy.