Monday, June 30, 2014

Kenai and Soldotna

6/27 - 6/30/14
Anchorage to Kenai and then
to Soldotna

In Kenai we stayed at the Beluga Lookout RV Park which is right at the mouth of the Kenai River on a high bluff overlooking the river.  When the tide is going in there are supposed to be Beluga Whales in the mouth but we didn't see them.  A beautiful place but a little pricey.

Driving to the Kenai Peninsula, south of Anchorage close to Portage.

Crossing the Upper Kenai River, beautiful color of water.

One mile from campground in Kenai.

At our campground, Mt Redoubt Volcano, I think.

This young eagle just hung out here for several hours.

View from campground

6/29/14 we moved over to Soldotna, about 5 miles away.  We are now staying at the Edgewater Lodge and RV Park on the Kenai River and we'll be here for several days.  Joe is going King Salmon fishing when the season opens up on July 1st with a guide.  Down at the river were some people that had been dip net fishing on the upper Kenai and had several ice chest's full of  salmon that they were cleaning.  We were very lucky, being in the right place at the right time, they gave us a couple of filets which we BBQ'd that night, and of course they were so good, I'm surprised that we had some left over which will make a great sandwich.

We were eating the salmon so fast I almost forget to take a picture

Dip nets, lots of places have them for sale or for rent.  For residents only on certain days.

When we were driving up from the river we ran into the fishing guide that Joe is going out with.  He stopped and we all got up on his brand new boat that he had just brought up from Medford, OR.  It's a beauty, I'll have more pictures in a couple of days.

Many places along the river has "fish walks" and ladders going to the river or platforms.  This is to keep the erosion down along the river banks.

Apparently I had bronchitis and now that I am on antibiotics it is finally getting better.  So that's it for now, thanks for stopping by.  Have a blessed day.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Anchorage in the rain

6/23 - 6/27
Elmendorf/Richardson AFB Fam Camp
aka JBER

Another very large joint base, a wooded campground very close to the the gate, just off Muldoon Rd.  I've really been too sick to do much of anything.  Found the Ulu Factory and bought the traditional knife and cutting board.  It sure is sharp, just need to get use to it.  It has now rained solid for 3 days.  Good time to recuperate and read.  I read Amanda Knox Memoirs.  Very fascinating to hear about her side of the story and how sad that she had to go through this ordeal., especially when there is no evidence. It appears that the Italian court system, at least in Perugia,  has really screwed.

Not much to write about when you are sniffling, sneezing, coughing, then repeat 99 more times.  Tomorrow will be much better.

Thanks for stopping by.


Palmer Elks Lodge

6/20 - 6/23/14
Palmer Elks Lodge
on the shore of Finger Lake
Power only.

We ended up staying here, a beautiful spot overlooking the lake with mountains in the background, for three nights instead of just one because I have a nasty, cough/cold with slight fever and chills.  I basically slept for three days and I still have they dang thing, but gradually getting better.

 Isn't this a beautiful setting?

While we were at the Elks, the local Search and Rescue Team was having a training session for some of the new dogs.  They were being taught to get into the boat, jump out of the boat and fetch a play toy back to shore.  Some of the more experienced dogs actually brought in a person (with life jacket)  The training lasted about 6 hrs for the trainers, the dogs got to rest most of the time.  They were all trained very well and stayed by their handler's side.

It was nice that they had such a good place to practice.

That's it for today


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Birch Syrup

On the way to Talkeetna

I almost forgot, on our way back to Talkeetna we stopped at a Birch Syrup  producing place.  I had tried birch syrup before and did not care for it and never bought any.  This birch syrup was very good, so of course we bought some.  This was quite and interesting place, they tap the trees and run lines just like maple syrup.

This explains the entire process.  I takes more birch sap than maple sap to make the syrup.  You start with 10,000 gallons of sap and end up with 100 gal of syrup.

Notice all the little bottles lined up in an arc on the left.  Every day during the harvest they fill a different bottle.  The beginning of the season the syrup is very mild.  At the end of the season it is so strong that it can only be used for baking.  The season is only 2 - 4 weeks.  As soon at the trees start putting out leaves the sap is gone.  Each year is different, this year they only harvested for about 17 days.

Along the way we stopped at the Alaskan Veteran's Memorial

This Fireweed is almost chest high, it would be nice to see it bloom

That's about it, thanks for stopping by.

Denali to Palmer


pronounced Tal KEET na
Spent the night behind the Visitor Center.

Leaving Denali, good bye until next time We missed this sign coming into the park.

We are headed to Palmer but first a side trip to Talkeetna, a little town about 14 miles off the Hwy.

We came across a Denali Ranger that was giving a talk about how to climb the mountain.  A Ranger inspects everyone's pack, checking to see if they have the right equipment, food and clothing.  Then you fly up to the 7,500' level and stay there for 3 - 4 days to get acclimated.  While on the mountain you can ski, snowshoe, play volley ball, basket ball.  You are then given a sled to put you gear in and you pull it along the way.  This is only the beginning of the trip that takes over two weeks to complete.

The town was a real cute tourist town, we did have a nice lunch and a micro brew out on the deck; the best part was listening to the Ranger talk and demonstrate about the climb to the top of the mountain.. There are Rangers at each camp along the way and a hospital tent. The last 2.5 miles to the top of the south summit takes about 18 hrs round trip.  This is way beyond extreme hiking. (No Brenda this is not for you and Tom.)

Enough for today, Palmer tomorrow.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Last day at Denali

Last Day at Denali National Park

I wanted to go hiking out on as many of the trails around the Visitor Center Area as I could, I caught the bus into the Visitor Center where I would eventually meet Joe at the Morino Grill.  The Visitor Center was spectacular, new in 2008. If you hurry you could see it in about 2 hrs, but that doesn't take in the many movies they have.  If it was a rainy day you could easily spent most of you day inside the Center. I cut it short as I wanted to get out on the trails.
Yesterday I started coughing a lot, thinking it was just more allergies, The cotton from the cottonwood trees was falling rather heavily which also makes me cough.  However today, I am starting to feel like I am coming down with a cold, dam it, dam it, dam it.  One thing about coughing it will keep the bears away, and it did.

 Out on several trails I came across these informational boards that I wanted in the journal.

That's it, time to go take Tylenol and maybe some wine.

Have a blessed day.