June 23 – To Anchorage, Alaska


On the road by 10 and our first stop was the quilt store in Homer – Brenda needed a new pair of scissors and instructions on how to do applique.

Nothing too exciting driving north, this area of the Peninsula is flat and the mountains on a clear day are in the far distance.

Arrived at Diamond M Ranch RV Park about 1:30 and got our spot set up. Nice site, fairly level and full hook ups – what upset me was the price (which I didn’t ask when I made the reservation) was $88 for one night – special rate during the Salmon Run (hear more later).

Went into town to explore. First stop was the Eric Hansen Scout Park and it overlooked the Kenai River.

I was shocked – 1000’s of fisher-people on the edge of the banks casting their lines and dip netting. There were people all over – I guess they call this combat fishing.

Then we did the historic walk thru town. Kenai is an old Russian Village – they landed here in 1741 for fur trading. Saw some Russian churches and Moosemeat John’s Cabin and a variety of other historic buildings.

Tired of walking – there is a brewery – we thought in town – but it was 8 miles out. We enjoyed one way out in the boonies and returned home.IMG_3530

Monday is returning to Anchorage for repair work. Again the west side of the Kenai Peninsula isn’t spectacular scenery but it is natural and undeveloped – buildings all look like Old Alaska – unpainted and built every which way.

We did stop at Soldotna and Copper Landing at the local quilt shops so Brenda could get her free pattern.

Once you got to Copper Landing and east of there the scenery was once again spectacular. And the other thing was the amount of traffic – it seemed like everyone in Alaska was on this road headed for somewhere – I guess when the Salmon are running – the people are driving to get to the fishing hole.

Arrived in Anchorage and we are boon-docking at Cabela’s and so is everyone else it seems like.

Tuesday I have an appointment at the only Winnebago Dealer in Alaska at 7 AM to repair my large slide out. After three hours they are done and tell me I need new slide mechanism – I guess this full timing stuff wears them out quicker – I understand.

We arrived at Golden Nugget RV Park in Anchorage – not bad, paved roads with level gravel sites. We are in the city but it seems quiet. Slide didn’t work too well except I had to push on it. Rested and did catch up work.

Wednesday was get ready for Kensi’s visit – we are flying our granddaughter in today from Springfield, Illinois – she is 14 – last chance to have alone time – you know how busy teenagers get and they have no time for the elders.

Her plane was delayed two hours because it had to refuel and she missed her connection in Seattle.

Oh how big she has gotten – it has been almost a year since we had last seen her. She does have jet-lag so we will not plan too much today.

We did visit Kincaid Park and hiked but did not see any moose – though we heard someone yell a moose was headed their way.

Saw the scat but no moose.

Friday Brenda and Kensi went to the fabric store to get a project to work on. Then Kensi and I headed over to the Native Heritage Center.

Great place to learn about the local Native Americans from Alaska – many different groups and they each had their own way to build canoes and houses and hunt. Saw some native dancing and singing and art work.

We then went over to Ship Creek where the Salmon are running – lots of fishermen in the water hoping to snag that big one. I thing I have learned is that Alaska and Fishing are synonymous.

Did get to see the local bait shop prepping bait.DSC_0100

Kensi is having trouble with the cooler temperatures. She kept telling everyone she came from where the temperature was over 100 degrees – remember the heat spell.

Saturday we headed south to Portage and Girdwood. Didn’t see any whales in the Turnagain Inlet at the many stops we made (because if you have 5 or more cars behind you, you need to pull over – and there was a lot traffic heading south).

First stop was the Turnagain Art Gallery which had some fantastic carved wood statues and art work.

Then we stopped at the Begich-Boggs Visitor’s Center to watch the movie and learn about the area. We then hiked to Byron Glacier –

about a mile hike and we got to walk on the glacier. Kensi had a great time – snow in July!

Then went to Girdwood and rode the tram up to Mt. Alyseka. 2000 vertical feet up and what a view.

They say if you climb to the top – the ride down is free – NOT ME!

Explored around town and found the Girdwood Brewery – family and dog friendly as there were lots of locals with their kids – did talk about the “hippie” town and what goes on here. Great IPA.

Sunday we finally found a LCMS church in town and attended – in fact there are 4 in Anchorage.

Brenda is helping Kensi with a quilt project to take as a memory.

Time to visit the Alaska Zoo – just Kensi and I went as Brenda was repairing her sewing machine – what a zoo – all the animals of Alaska – it was nice seeing them all at once.

Couldn’t go to the zoo without a stop at the ice cream shop. Did the frozen yogurt for the first time and I was impressed and satisfied.

Monday Brenda and Kensi visited the National Historic Site and completed their Jr Ranger book and got their badge. Also they did some souvenir shopping.

I stayed home and did cleanup work – tires, windows, and stuff.

Kensi finished her quilt work.IMG_3559

Tuesday Kensi and I took off to explore.

First saw Earthquake Park – in 1964 the largest earthquake occurred and part of the bluff in Anchorage settled 35 feet. Great view over the Cook Inlet.

Then we visited Lake Hood where the largest number of float planes reside and take off from. It makes you realize how important planes were to the development of Alaska and still are.

Did the trolley tour of the city with a guide – she was great as she sang and told jokes and informed us of the city and its history. She was an entertainer for 10 years in Alaska before the bus gig.

Did some souvenir shopping DSC_0191and took the ladies out for a nice dinner at the Bridge Seafood Restaurant and watched the salmon fishermen (and women) catch some nice looking Silvers (picture out our window in the restaurant).IMG_3560

Wednesday is dropping Kensi off at the airport and heading toward Denali National Park.  She is off.  After writing this we enjoyed ourselves with Kensi and appreciated the time she spent with us – Alaska was an eye-opener for her – love her!

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