Well, we finally did leave the peninsula. After spending a whole month there the final tally for sockeye salmon that Rod caught was just over 200 pounds! Most of it has been shipped to Michele’s freezer to store for us. The plastic bags that they use in the processing and vacuum sealing up here last for two years so we can pick up some from her whenever we pass through Colorado every six months or so.
Before we left we decided to take another trip down to Homer. When we went there the first time it was during the 4th of July weekend and it was also the finishing point of the motorcycle race from Florida. The campgrounds were filled to the brim and the traffic was horrible. This time the campgrounds were half empty and so were the parking lots. What a difference. On the way down we stopped in Clam Gulch to see what was going on with the razor clams. It didn’t look like many people were on the beach. As we went down the road to the beach there was a sign warning people not to go past this sign unless you had 4 wheel drive. Well, we do so we continued on. We weren’t planning on driving on the beach but there were cars parked at the end of the road and no place to turn around. We drove out on the beach and immediately sunk deep into the sand/gravel. With some great jockeying of the truck Rod got us out of there. I really didn’t think we were going to get out. Rod says that since I didn’t take a picture it didn’t really happen. LOL
Then it was on down the road where we saw this Russian Orthodox church. They still have services here.
The cemetery in the back
The Reverend and his wife. They had the fanciest graves.
Just as we were entering Homer this mama moose and her baby crossed the road in front of us
So, as I said earlier, we left Soldotna on Monday and headed for Anchorage. There really isn’t a decent place to stay in Anchorage so we headed to Wasilla which is still close enough that we could run our errands in Anchorage. Contrary to popular belief you cannot see Russia from there. ;-)
This was the view from our lunch spot. That really is the color of the water. Amazing…
We had lots of things we needed to take care of. One of those things was the Ulu Factory (pronounced ooloo) . The ulu knife is quite fascinating in design. It was designed and used by the Inupiat, a native group of North Western Alaskan people and is still used today. You can read about it here. I didn’t want to buy one but it was cool to watch them make them. I really didn’t want to tell anybody this but ulu means “woman’s tool” in Eskimo. :/
Right behind the factory is a river where the salmon are spawning. Of course if there’s a river with salmon in it there are going to be lots of people fishing.
Of course I just HAD to stop here for lunch again.
Today we left Wasilla in the rain and headed for Denali National Park. We don’t want to stay inside the park because there are no campgrounds with hookups. We’re not set up to camp without power and with 50 pounds of salmon in my freezer we just can’t do it. We are staying at Denali RV Park just north of the park in Healy. There are TWO caravans here with another one coming in this weekend and we may have to leave our spot on Friday. The people in the office are really nice and are going to do everything they can so we can stay. If not we’ll just move to another park in the area.
Pouring down rain and of course, more road construction
We are really hoping to see Mt McKinley (Denali) but it doesn’t look promising with the weather that is predicted.
We passed the gate but tomorrow we’ll visit inside the park
More beautiful scenery
This is called fireweed. The story goes that when there is a forest fire it’s the first thing to come back. The other story is that it blooms in the spring from the bottom and when the blooms reach the top summer is over. I think it’s almost to the top.