Published: June 15th 2009June 13th 2009
After my misadventures and adventures in the Talkeetna area, I headed south to Wasilla to buy a new digital camera. I was told to go to a Ritz store there so I plugged it into the GPS and off I went. I really wanted another Canon because I've been so happy with the one I broke.
I couldn't find the store. It was in a strip mall, but I couldn't find it. I ran into a mail man and he pointed to a coffee place and said Ritz was right next to it. When I got there, there was only a toy store. I went inside and the lady told me Ritz closed, but said there's another in Anchorage, another 40 miles away. So off I went to Anchorage. I had been thinking about seeing the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage was on the way. The Ritz store didn't have the camera I was looking for but the very nice sales person called a competitor, Stewart's, and they said they had some. That store was located in downtown Anchorage, a 5 mile backtrack. There I finally bought one and I'm now back in the photography business. Nothing is easy in Alaska.
In the Distance
(Tougher in Alaska? for you History Channel or is it Discovey Channel? nerds......like me)
Having heard that the King Salmon were starting to run, I was thinking about getting a guide and try fly fishing. Well, this little rib problem put an end to that idea. I don't know if I could lift a minnow, let alone a 40 pound Salmon. I drove the Kenai Peninsula to Seward, the seaport town. The weather has taken a turn for the worse with rain showers and cloudy skies. I guess I've been spoiled so far. I also guess that this weather is more likely along the coast. I drove past Seward 3 miles down a dirt road to Lowell Point, which will be my farthest point from home on this journey. I arrived there at 10:10 PM, Friday, June 12th. I now had logged 5,104 miles.
The Kenai Peninsula is very beautiful with the Chugach Mountains and National Forest all over the peninsula. The salmon run has everyone in Alaska heading for the coast and the traffic was enough for me to want to get back to the wilderness.
At a very late dinner (11:00 PM) I met
Up Close and Personal
a couple interesting people. The barmaid reminded me of Popeye and it turns out she spent 20 years in the merchant marine. I asked her if she ever had any trouble in the bar and she said, "Of course, they're fishermen!" Shirley looked like she could handle it. The other is a commercial fisherman who had some pretty good stories for a young guy of probably 30 or so. Tim has worked the Bering Sea for King Crab in the past and has been working on fishing boats out of Seward for Halibut and Salmon for the last couple years. He has had 2 boats go down with him on board. One of which he survived by swimming 3 miles hanging on to a buoy. He also was in a small skiff setting a net near shore when a grizzly tried to get in the boat. He beat him back with a club. I don't know if they're true stories or not (I think they were), but he was a nice kid and entertaining conversation.
I told Tim that I would like to see salmon jumping upstream and he told me where to go. So the next morning I
headed to see the fish. It was just a little stream called Bear Creek, but there were a lot of fish in it. They are amazing to watch. They try and try until they make it. Some of them landed on the rocks with a thud, but flop around until they fall back in the stream.
The other place I wanted to see was Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park. The main attraction there was to get real close to the glacier. You can go to the very end of it on most days and touch it, but today the streams running out of it were too big to cross on foot. (Damn Global Warming) But you can get pretty close to the side after a 2 mile uphill hike which I did.
I don't know where I'm heading next, but you'll find out.
There are more photos below