Friday, July 31, 2015

On the Way to Seldovia

Ok, so what have we been doing here in Homer. Well really nothing but chilling at the Spit. We have met new friends/neighbors and took a ferry ride to Seldovia.

The native residents are mixed Dena'ina Athabaskan Indian and Alutiiq (Sugpiaq) Eskimo. In 1787 or 1788 a Russian fur trade post named Aleksandrovskaia was established at today's Seldovia by hunting parties under Evstratii Ivanovich Delarov, of the Shelikhov-Golikov company, precursor of the Russian-American Company.[4] Although there has been little definitive archeological evidence of human habitation at Seldovia prior to the 1800s, it is said the early Russian St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, started in 1820, was built on top of an older aboriginal Inuit village site. The town's original Russian name, Seldevoy, translates to "Herring Bay", as there was a significant herring population prior to rampant overfishing early in the 20th century.

Until the development of a more complete road system in Alaska, Seldovia was an important "first stop" for ships sailing from Seward, Kodiak and other points outside Cook Inlet. At one time Seldovia was home to over 2000 residents, but today fewer than 300 persons reside year round.

The town was one of many communities along the shores of Cook Inlet, already noted for having one of the most severe tidal movements in North America. Similar to the dramatic tides of Bay of Fundy, the Cook Inlet's waters prior to 1964 would rise or fall 26 feet every six hours during the peak tides. After the Good Friday Earthquake on March 27, 1964, which registered 9.2 on the Richter scale the surrounding land mass dropped six feet.
Seldovia's "boardwalk" was a thick wooden plank and piling, and the town's main street, was built almost entirely along the waterfront. Most of the community's businesses, and many homes were similarly constructed upon pilings on either side of this "street". The sudden sinking of the land caused higher tides, peaking at 32 feet, to completely submerge the boardwalk and flood the homes and businesses along the waterfront. The waterfront was rebuilt (known at the time as "urban renewal") using fill from Cap's Hill, which was demolished to rebuild the town on higher ground.

There is only one small portion of the boardwalk left; this section of the boardwalk was built decades after the original boardwalk and it is known to the town-folk as "the new boardwalk", even though it is now the only boardwalk. The original boardwalk is completely gone, destroyed during the urban renewal process, along with many homes and businesses.

Seldovia has been home to many industries, including fox farming, berry picking and commercial fishing, including King Crab fishing. Logging and mining have also featured in local history. Today charter boats keep busy bringing the visiting sport fishermen to the fishing grounds of Kachemak Bay and other nearby waters.

Ok, One final item, if you want to learn more about  Click on the Link 

Ok enough about the History of Seldovia, let’s get back to the real world, ok?

We left the dock at 11:00 am and headed out to sea, our expectations? To have fun and enjoy the ride.
So, what did we see and do, now that is a question all of you reading this might asked me, right?

Of course right, so let me show you what we saw:

Of course we ran into Wayne & Kathy while in Homer

One final photo of Susan being bitten by a fish:

As Susan Says SeeYa

Safe Travels and Journeys 

Della                     &                      Tilly

Thursday, July 30, 2015

On the road to Somewhere_ Homer Alaska

The Spit: July 28:

Homer Alaska, seems to be the place where everyone comes to fish. DaGirls are located on the Spit in one of the city campgrounds - just past the Fishing Hole. Dry-camping for $15, with dump and fresh water available. From this location you can walk or ride your bicycle to the end or back up. It is also the home of the “Time Bandit” crab boat, one of the boats on “The Deadliest Catch” (additional viewing and research of that show may indicated a change in that info).
So, what can you do, take a ferry across the bay to the Glaciers and hike, go fishing on a charter boat or grab your gear and go fishing in the “Fish Hole”.

This is the Fishing Hole at low tide.
At any given day, you can see at least 50 people fishing along the shore for salmon, and watching the salmon jumping out of the water.
One of the photo ops we spotted was of an eagle’s nest just off the highway:

I spotted this small bobbing head in the water during high tide in front of DaGirls Rv.
I suspect the head on the right is a Seal, and bird on the left.

I also learned that this area is the start of a water trail hike:
However, the spit is for fishing and I have seen very little of kayakers on the water.
I thought this would be a good Photo Op

As Susan Says SeeYa

Safe Travels and Journeys 

Della                     &                      Tilly

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 26 along the Russian-Kenai River

Cooper Landing-Kenai Peninsula :
Raining again, at least that is what it looks like. Little drops, when they hit the roof, a noise is made. And the ground is wet, yep, wet. That’s what it is all right rain. We expected rain on Saturday (July 25th), but as we traveled it was a lovely day until we got on the Seward Highway. The wind came up and clouds came in and sometime during the night it started. Not heavy, but steady and lite drip, drip and more drips.

So where are we, we are in a fishing spot along the Russian-Kenai river, this  area is managed by a concessionaire, titled Alaska Recreational Management Inc. It is located in the Chugach National Forest, and for the small sum of cash, you can camp in the parking lot along with all the fishing people. Stay limit is 48 hours, then you must leave for 24 hours and come back in if ones wants to. But as I look out, I really do not  think they are sticking to the 48 hour rule. How come you ask, well there is a lot of room available in both parking lots and not a lot of vehicles are driving in. But our plan is to spend 2 days to see the area.

Location - W 60.48512, N150.00821

So, here we are, sitting out the rain, and figuring out our next steps.  This evening we are taking an oar-guided rafting trip down the river. This one will be a drift trip, one where you sit in a rubber raft and slowly drift down the river.
BUT!, while waiting, Susan heard the word BEAR!, she grabbed her camera and went running in search of this elusive creature… Whoa there, what's that on the other side of the river? It’s a Grizzly which happened to be on our side but swam across the river to the other side for a stroll on that river band and to see how many fishermen/women he could scare into the water and maybe snag a fish they had caught....or was it to...

Now why did the bear cross the River?
Why to read the sign of course.

But 5 o’clock came along and it was time to head out to the rafting company, so we headed up the road. Our guide was Kenny, a 26 year Maine resident. He travels in the summer to rafting jobs and in the winner he heads to ski towns to teach and skiboard. He explained this is his love and he loves the different places he goes to.

We got dressed in rubber waders, rubber boots and weather jacket. It’s not because of the river, I can tell you this. It is mainly because of the rainy weather we were having. We went through the safety intructions, where we would be heading and maybe some of the sights. This is not your class 3,4 or 5 river rafting trip. This is a rubber raft, which can hold up to 10 people, total of 11, with the guide. Kenny provides the power sitting in the center, he along with the current.  We drifted down the Kenai river until we meet up with the Russian river. 

Our plan was to drift down about 11 miles and see what we can see. That along with the rain did not really make for a wonderful trip, especially as it was in the low 50’s that day. So dress warmly, wear 2 pairs of socks and bring something to keep your hands WARM.

Kenny talked about the sights along the way and other interesting things. But let’s face it, drifing down a river, slowly drifting down in the rain will not make it a great trip.

So what will make it wonderful, why seeing wildlife, of course: Our first encounter was of an eagle on the bank having dinner.  
At this point he was thinking "don’t you dare try to take my fish".

Hey, things were looking up, we saw an Eagle and a American Bald Eagle at that. We continue to drift, and what did you think was going to happen? We are drifting down and at a pretty good pace. It is not easy to go against the currents flow.  As we continued down and what else did we see?

Another Bald Eagle on the side of the river bank:
We both were amazed, as we continued we lost count of how many adults and younger bald eagles we saw. Young eagles do not get the white crown until they are 5 years old.

We lost count after a dozen of the wonder birds. We contnued to drift down the river hoping to see signs of bear life. Kenny, was saying as we rounded a corner, if we see a bear it will be here…..
But as we rounded the corner, all we saw were fisherpeople and a dog barking. We contniued along and wait, what is that behind us, is it, I think it is a bear just came out of the woods:
But, we kept drifting down and before long we could not see it anymore. But wait, what are those people pointing at? Is it ?
Yes, it is another bear having dinner and not sharing it with the birds. Kenny was on track, be quite, and don’t move:
Let’s see how close we can get

Folks, the reason that the last photo is out of focus…. Well the camera lens requires the subject, in this case Mrs Bear, to be at least 8 feet away. Yes, we were closer then 8 feet from this Bear. Oh by the way that was Mrs Grizzle Bear to us drifters.

Ok, so where are we heading? We are heading to Ninilchik, where we plan on spending the night at Deep Creek Beach State Park, overlooking Cook Inlet viewing the mountains.

Location: 60.03141, -151.71009
Our final stop on this leg will be staying at the City of Homer Campground for $15/night – dry camping

As Susan Says SeeYa

Safe Travels and Journeys 

Della                     &                      Tilly

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Day New Place New Time

Ok, so, what’s happening. We left a day early from Denali, as Della was a little under the weather. So we arranged for a visit to a vet nearWasilla, AK. The animal hospital is 190 miles south of Denali and 40 miles north of Anchorage.

We got on the road around 7:15 with me driving. The day started out sunny and cool with little traffic. Our day was very uneventful as DaGirls Rv traveled down the road. We must have traveled about 39 miles before we switched and Susan took over the wheel and I was left in the Co-Pilot seat. Waiting, watching, wondering when the next photo op to appeared on the horizon. Waiting, watching, waiting watching……
As time goes on the mountain will create it's own weather

Wait, what’s that in the distance, is it? It’s large and cover with a white coating of something. Keep driving, let’s see if we can get closer.

Can you see it now? What is that white stuff? Is it? I think it is. It’s Mt. McKinley. Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North American, so we pulled over in a few miles to get a few closer photo shots.

 At one point on the road, the mountain was 30 miles away.

Susan continued to drive  south to Wasilla while I continued to  look for wildlife. We hit only 1 very long section of construction on the highway and guess what else i saw? Susan slow DOWN, STOP!

Susan stayed behind the wheel until we passed the Talkeetna turnoff. We were going to switch driving at that time, but missed it, so we continued driving until Susan pulled off onto a pull off behind another RV. So, time to walk the pups and  as I look around, what’s that? Why it is a painted Alfa with a trailer behind it. Next thing we know the RV park in front of us pulled out after it. It was Roger and Janice Brooks from Florida, they along with 3 other Rv’s have been traveling together in Alaska. 

Well back on the road to Wasilla, we continued on until we arrived at the Palmer Elks Lodge 1842 , which is located in Wasilla.

Yes, this Elks is located on one of the many lakes in the area. It was once a night club with a 9 hole golf course. Which it may have been about 25 years ago, as there are now many very large homes in the area. 

Our plan take Della to the Vet and get her checked out. 

Oh by the way our travel update:

Total USA Canada Alaska
Alfa Calculated 5061.00 2337.00 1997.00 727.00
ScanGauge Trip B (Miles) 5029.29 2315.30 1988.99 725.00
Receipt - Fill (Gal) 687.66 310.09 260.12 117.44
ScanGauge (Gal) 671.90 308.50 261.70 101.70
ScanGauge OffSet
Cost of Fuel $US  $ 2,377.27  $  949.57  $1,020.21  $407.49
Average Cost/Gal  $ 3.51  $2.98  $ 4.05  $ 3.47
Fuel Company
Generator Run Time Hr 20.00 0.00 5.00 15.00
Gen Fuel (Gal) 15.00 0.00 3.75 11.25
Eng Run Time (Hr) 139.35 66.45 50.20 22.70
MPG  minus GenRT 7.40 7.46 7.74 6.99
ScanGauge MPG 7.33 7.20 7.68 7.10

As Susan Says SeeYa

Safe Travels and Journeys 

Della                     &                      Tilly