Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kenai Peninsula

After leaving the bear lodge on Wednesday , we drove down the Kenai Peninsula and found an old historic Russian Orthodox church which was unique and interesting. We then drove down to Homer which is on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula. Homer is the Halibut fishing capital of the world and is a prime spot for eagle photography in the winter, although not many this time of the year. When we were over at the bear lodge we mentioned to the owner we were going to Homer and were planning on camping on the “Spit” (the beach on the end of the peninsula). He said “oh, you are going to be “Spit Rats “. He was referring to the Hippies that lived on the beach back in the late 60s and early 70s. Apparently they were pretty rowdy and pretty much trashed the place. The Spit Rats are still there but in much smaller quantities.

That night (Wednesday) as we were sleeping in our tent at about 2:30 in the morning we were woken by a bunch of loud, drunk “Spit Rats”. Someone out in the ocean was in desperate need of help. Apparently their boat sank and they fired off three flares as a SOS signal and started yelling for help. The drunk Spit Rats reacted immediately and called 911. The 911 call went something like this- “there is someone in the water yelling for help, the MF is drowning as we are talking, you need to get the F-ing Coast Guard out here right now. Then the lead drunken Spit Rat decided that shooting fireworks and flashing our car headlights would be a good signal to let the person in trouble know help was on the way. So now we are at least official junior Spit Rats. (The people were saved.)

Thursday we moved on to Seward which is a cool little town with mountains and glaciers surrounding it. The food and lodging in Alaska is very expensive but we have managed to find some great places to stay at reasonable rates ($100 per night). You can easily spend $40 to $50 for breakfast. We have worked out we can either camp at $10 night and eat out, or stay in a room and cook our own food! We found a great room in Seward, and were excited to have heating and a shower, after a week of no heat.

On our way out of Seward on Friday we stopped at a family run Iditarod dog sled team kennel. Four generations of the family have competed in the Iditarod race, and won in 2004. We went for a wheeled sled ride behind a sixteen dog team; it was a lot of fun.

On Friday we drove to Portage valley and found a great campsite nestled in the mountains, with great views of the glaciers. It has been quite cold, and dropped to 40F in the tent that night. This required another trip to REI on our way through Anchorage on Saturday to pick up more warm clothes in preparation for five days in Denali.

Here is a link to the latest slide show:


http://picasaweb.google.com/sarastanford/KenaiPeninsula/photo#s5240745236597116322


We are currently in Talkeetna, a tiny town with a population of around 800, which is the jumping off point for expeditions to Mount McKinley. We can see the Alaska Range in the distance, where we are heading tomorrow. We are sending this entry from the Roadhouse, a historic log house with a cafe/rooming facility. We just had the worlds best raspberry Cinnamon bun, we need to be fattened up for the upcomming cold nights. We feel like bears preparing for hibination!


Tomorrow we are taking the bus to Wonder Lake Campground in Denalia park, we will be there until Friday. We will send an update when we get back.


That's all for now from historic Talkeetna.

John and Sara

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