Alaska Stories and Tips

5th week – A Tour of Kenai Peninsula

Along the Seward Highway south of Anchorage Photo, Alaska, United States

After we left Denali, we made a brief stop in Anchorage to restock. It was too expensive to stay in Anchorage in early September. We drove to the less visited town called Hope on the northern part of Kenai Peninsula. Hope may be small but it was still pricey. The wind was blowing hard and the rain started to pour, so we stayed at the motel room above the general store at Alaska Dacha RV Park. The next day we moved to the very pretty and quiet government run Porcupine Campground at the end of the road. We got a site with a gorgeous view over the Turnagain Arm. Downtown Hope was nearby and it has the feel of a lay back frontier town with rusty café and all. It was there, we saw the double rainbow.

Next stop was Seward. We found a great deal at Holiday Inn and decided to wait out the rain in a nice harbor view room with balcony. The weather pattern seemed to go like this: early morning clearance in the sky, drizzle began just before noon, and rained all the way ‘til night fall. We gave up on the idea of a cruise to the Prince William Sound since we would not be able to see any glaciers in the mist. Instead we went hiking to the Exit Glacier in the morning. We spent an entire afternoon in the Sea Life Center. And the rest of the time, we just enjoyed the moody Resurrection Bay and the not-busy-at-all gift shops.

The drive from Seward to Homer was beautiful. We made stops at the historic Russian town, Kenai. However, we preferred the picturesque Russian village, Ninilchik. We were to camp on the beach on Homer Spit. We didn’t like the site. First it was windy and wet. It was not the kind of beach camping Californians like us were used to. Besides, the Spit is a mixed used area. It has tourist shops, hotels, fishermen’s wharf, industrial dock, ferry jetty, and restaurants all in one. We stayed indoor instead. There were many B & B in Homer, some with spectacular views. We did not go fishing either, even though it was popular with both locals and tourists. Instead we watch people snagging up loads of silver salmon from the fishing hole on the Spit with just hooks and sinkers. Amazing! We could not image fishing can be so easy.

The state of the art, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Center was worth a visit. Even the local library was quite impressive with nice comfortable furniture and free internet, much better than the library we had back home. Our single most favorite thing to do in Homer was the drive up the hill above downtown. You can see the Spit, the ocean, the mountains and the glaciers from there. Oh yeah, you can see bald eagle and sunset, too.

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