One Long Day

We remember sitting together in the Baja this past winter trying to soak up every bit of sun & warmth imagining that this summer would be about rain jackets and underlayers. Well, the reason why I haven’t written anything here is because pretty much every day since I last wrote has been gloriously sunny and warm and we’ve been running around nonstop doing everything we can in near endless light. We never would have imagined it and of course we’ve never had days this long…

So, in order to catch up with myself I thought I would just put up a bunch of pics of what we’ve been doing this time rather than write a book about it. Backing up….

Life size sculpture of a record size cabbage grown in Palmer, AK one of the agricultural hotspots for the state

We drove to Anchorage passing by the little town of Palmer where they had a street fair going complete with an awesome rock band, farmer’s market type stalls and a little museum. We really enjoyed an afternoon there and liked all the green fields where crops are grown. Why do the crops get so big?? Near endless light!!!

Overlander round-up in the Cabela’s parking lot in Anchorage

While we were in Anchorage, our group of friends stayed at the Cabela’s parking lot because there’s really nowhere else to stay and it is very central to everything. They make you feel very welcome. We visited REI, the only one in the state and did some other shopping and restocking before setting out on the bike paths.

Bears are even on the bike paths, we biked so close by this one as it came out of the woods it was downright funny.

We visited the Anchorage museum on what we found out was a holiday- Juneteenth. It commemorates the end of slavery in the US and the museum was free to enter. This day marked a point when our country was moving forward. They had some beautiful artwork in the museum.

We even got to play a little cornhole in Anchorage

We started moving down the Kenai Peninsula which I’ve been so excited for and it has been great. First stop was in Turnagain Arm to try to see the tidal bore. When the tide starts coming in this narrow inlet it proceeds upward so fast that it creates a visible wave. These tides are only topped by the ones in the Bay of Fundy. We were there with Marcus & Julie on Tuck’s Truck. We’ve been following them for years as they are overland gurus and have a fantastic website full of great info which has helped us a lot over the years and now we were finally able to meet them and hang out.

Well the tidal bore was a bit anti-climactic because we weren’t really sure it had happened till it went by! It was also around 11pm when it did go by.

Waiting for the wave
Well there it went! This one wasn’t too impressive but we get the idea and it was a very social eve waiting for it!

We hiked up to Crow Pass in Girdwood which was really pretty and had some old mine ruins.

Jon posing for scale
Along the way, someone always has something that breaks- for Ivan it was his faucet and for us it was a leaking tire that we had to get patched. All is well now.

We love the Kenai Peninsula. The hiking is wonderful and the snow topped mountains stand out over bright green foliage and flowers everywhere. We did numerous lush green trails, subalpine hikes and Ivan helped us and Sandie & Karsten do a 15 mile thru hike on the famous Lost Lake trail.

Lost Lake Trail
I had to swim in Lost Lake and decided sliding down the ice was the best way to get in. At first it was hard to slide but then it got better.
Thanks Sandie for this pic!
We had to jump a stream and Jon got this fun shot.
Russian River Falls salmon jumping

One of the hikes was to Russian River Falls. There, salmon have made it out of the ocean from commercial fishing, up the lower river past a million fishermen and then arrived to these blasting falls, heavier than usual because of all the warm weather. It was interesting but also sad to watch them struggle to get up this river of white water.

Many tired fish trying to rest in the side eddies
There are so many flowers everywhere we look both on roadsides and on trails
On the trail to Hope Mountain

We loved the tiny little town of Hope and did some great hikes there. While in Baja we met the owner of a rafting company called Flow AK who guides raft trips down the famous Six Mile Creek. It’s actually a 10 mile run downriver passing 3 canyons with class 5 rapids at this time of year. Our first trip was cancelled because the Forest Service called the river for high water but we returned a week later and got to do it, just barely. It was a boisterous ride to say the least but we loved it and would really like to fit more rafting into our future. It was so crazy to see the river narrow up and then plunge through slim canyon walls like that. We were meant to be doing this trip with Ivan but he is recovering from a sprained ankle. Its not just our trucks that break! We keep telling him to hurry up & get better.

A staff member on shore was taking pictures

We spent a few days at Fiordland National Park which is where the Exit Glacier lives. With Sandie & Karsten, we biked up to the trailhead, then hiked the steep trail up to the glacier. Our kind of day! We did this with a new couple we met recently from Italy, Monica & Igor. It’s great to meet new people and share experiences. One thing I’ve learned is that this community is as rich as a sailing community because it’s the same type of people that you meet.

Lunch at Exit Glacier with Sandie & Karsten and Igor & Monica
Exit Glacier- love the blue ice!
The smooth snow on the mountains reminds me so much of marshmallow

On the way down the trail, we slid through the snow on our shorts to skip a switchback and it made us laugh to have that contrast of snowfields, glaciers and shorts all at the same time. We got a little sunburned that day. A few miles down the same river that drains from the glacier was where where we all camped. On one of the evenings, two moose came out to the river not far from our trucks. It was such a pretty scene.

Ivan got a great shot.

We liked the town of Seward and it too had some nice city walks. The benches were pretty cool too.

Sleeping sea otter

We’ve had the bikes out several times. There’s a network of mountain bike trails in Soldotna called Tsalteshi trails which has lots of single track and woody hill paths. We went barreling down one hill and came upon a moose and her two calfs. They didn’t feel like moving so we turned around. Did see these cute cotton flowers though. Not sure what they are.

We have until mid July to explore Kenai Peninsula before going back to Anchorage to prepare to head to Katmai National Park. Happy fourth of July!

Caines Head State Park, Seward

2 Replies to “One Long Day”

  1. Just beautiful pictures. We are happy that Alaska is having a great summer.
    I think you must be doing everything you dreamed of doing, plus more. Because the little surprises that happen make it all special, too.
    Not counting some of the breakdowns, but some times that leads to meeting special people.

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