Back to Nature. This is why we came to Alaska, after all.
First stop was Portage, and we were greeted to the campsite by a bald eagle perched just 20 yards form our RV (and that’s not the closest we got to bald eagles this week, I can tell you!). Portage is a small place within the Chugach National Forest, off the beautiful Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet. Just up the road from the campsite is Portage Lake and Portage Glacier. We took the tame hour long ferry ride onto the lake and up to the glacier. Interestingly, Portage was near the epicenter of the second most powerful recorded earthquake in history – the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake.
From Portage we headed south and onto the Kenai Peninsula. First overnight stop, the Fred Meyer parking lot (it’s a supermarket) in the town of Soldotna. Not the most attractive of campsites, but it’s free, has a dump station and fresh water, and, much to the excitement of our family, a Starbucks for Nina and free WiFi for the boys. So much for returning to nature!
The Kenai Peninsula is fisherman’s heaven – red salmon, king salmon, trout, halibut …. you name it, they have it. I finally stopped procrastinating and bought a license to fish in Alaska. I also bought waders and a fly rod to fish for salmon. Never fly fished before, but you have to start somewhere, right? So, why not Alaska? All the gear – no idea!
Just 15 miles down the Sterling Hwy, and we stopped off for 3 nights at Johnson Lake State Park and Campground. It’s a popular place with locals – nearly everyone we met here had travelled less than 30 miles to camp and we didn’t see a single other RV from a rental company or from out-of-state. We fished for trout from the bank of the lake and from our inflatable raft. Rhys caught 3 trout and I caught 1 – I ate 4 trout J
Next, a one night stop at Deep Creek State Recreation Area - another popular spot for Alaskans. This place is a hotspot for halibut fishing and wildlife. In one morning there must have been at least 60 charter boats launched from the beach for halibut fishing. Looking across the Cook Inlet there are several large volcanos in view - a reminder that we’re currently located on the Ring of Fire.
Last night we arrived at Homer for a 5 night stay – the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World”. I’m tempted to go on a halibut fishing trip, but it’s a bit pricey. We’ll see – I have 4 more days to procrastinate.
It's hard to believe we've been in Alaska for 2 months already. It's been such an experience, and there's still so much more we have to see and do. Finally, it's worth mentioning that Sunday was summer solstice and where better to experience it than in Alaska. The daylight hours here have played havoc with our body clocks. Even after sunset it doesn't get really dark and getting the children to sleep is not easy (understatement!). Even Rhys - "Mr. I Get Up When the Sun Rises" - is having a problem getting up at a decent time. This morning was a record for our children - in bed until 11 am! No worries, we still have 13 hours of daylight left to do our stuff.