RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Alaska Trip 2017' - Larson's Epic Adventure TR - Part 3

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 > Alaska Trip 2017' - Larson's Epic Adventure TR - Part 3

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GpnAZ

Phoenix

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Posted: 10/01/17 09:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

July 5
We are staying in one of the local campgrounds in Soldotna and decided to drive to some neighboring towns, Kenai and Nikiski where we hiked one of the community trails in Nikiski and photographed the old Russian Orthodox Church in Kenai. The rest of the day we caught up on some domestic chores.

Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church, Kenai Alaska
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St. Nicholas Memorial Chapel, Kenai Alaska
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The next day we headed to Sterling where we had a canoe trip scheduled to canoe down the Kenai River. They drove us by Bing's Landing where we get out with the canoe, before a set of rapids they said we do not want to go through! Our outfitters drop us and our canoe at Skilak Lake, our starting point. We finally got our paddling styles to work together and actually made some forward motion down the river. There was a few times with fishing boats coming by that I wondered if we would end up in the drink! It was a good day, saw some eagles and plenty of beautiful scenery. After a couple stops for lunch and snacks we manage to get out at Bing's Landing, our destination.

Mark paddling the canoe, Kenai River, Alaska
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Sue and Peanut with canoe at Bing's Landing, Kenai River, Sterling Alaska
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That night we go to the Hooked Alehouse in Soldotna to eat dinner and hear Hobo Jim perform, we had picked up one of his CD's in Chicken Alaska and liked his music and when we seen he was playing in Soldotna we thought that would be great to hear him in person! It was an enjoyable evening even though we were all done in by 9 pm!

The next day we drive to Ninilchik to photograph an old Russian Orthodox Church and poke around Ninilchik a little after that and then back to Soldotna. We drove around trying to find some good access points to Kenai River so Sue can do some gold panning, she has had the gold fever since Dawson City and has her own gold pan now! We had dinner at Acapulco Mexican Food outside of Soldotna, good mexican food and we've been wanting mexican food for weeks now!

Lighthouse outside Ninilchik Alaska
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The Transfiguration of our Lord Russian Orthodox Church, Ninilchik Alaska
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The next day we head for Homer stopping along the way for a few photos. We check into our campground and then head over to Homer Spit to check that area out, a lot of neat stuff to look at! Then we head to a high overlook in Homer to photograph the Homer Spit and Cook Inlet area. After that we took a steep winding road to the All Saints of America Orthodox Church to photograph. From there we went to old town Homer to eat at AJ's Steak, good food!

Cook Inlet, Homer Alaska
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Sue at the Homer Welcome sign, Homer Spit, Homer Alaska
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Homer boat harbor, Homer Alaska
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Fish cleaning at Homer Spit, Homer Alaska
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Fish display before the cleaning, Homer Spit, Homer Alaska
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Panoramic view of Homer Spit from the overlook, Homer Alaska
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View of Homer Spit from overlook, Homer Alaska
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Telephoto view of Homer Spit, Homer Alaska

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Glacier in Kachemak Bay State Park, Homer Alaska
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All Saints of America Orthodox Church, Homer Alaska
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The next morning we head to Homer Spit to take the ferry to Seldovia, the ferry cruised past Gull Island and we saw puffins, sea otters and numerous other birds besides all the seagulls! We got to Seldovia and walked around and had lunch and photographed an old Russian Orthodox Church there. Walked around old town Seldovia, what a beautiful little seaside town!

Sue & Peanut enjoying the ferry ride from Homer to Seldovia, Alaska
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Gull Island, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
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Sea otter in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
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Sea otter in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
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Kachemak Bay State Park, Homer Alaska
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Sea otter in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
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Gull Island, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
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Puffin in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
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Scenic view near Seldovia Alaska
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Old Town Seldovia, Alaska
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Old Town Seldovia, Alaska
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Old Town Seldovia, Alaska
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Bald Eagles near Seldovia, Alaska
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A couple 70's era Oldsmobile Tornados, Seldovia Alaska
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Sue & Peanut in Old Town Seldovia, Alaska
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A couple days later we drop Peanut at the dog sitter in Homer and then we go to Bald Mountain Air for our flight to Katmai NP. Our flight takes off at 8:30 am and gets to Katmai NP about 10 am, what a beautiful and sometimes tumultuous flight!

Sue on our floatplane to Katmai NP, Alaska
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View from our floatplane, Beluga Lake and Homer Spit, Alaska
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View from our plane trip to Katmai NP
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View from our plane trip to Katmai NP, Alaska
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View from our plane trip to Katmai NP, Alaska
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Sue getting off the floatplane at Katmai NP, Alaska
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We land on the water and walk to the ranger station where we have to eat anything we brought or store it in a locker and then we go through a bear briefing and get a pin to wear before you're allowed to go anywhere! We started the hike with a Park Ranger who makes sure you only get so close to the bears in their natural habitat. Once we finally got to the other side of the first stream crossing we went ahead of the group, hoping to get to the viewing platforms ahead of everyone. So we are walking down the trail and suddenly see a grizzly walking towards us on the same trail about 75 feet away, we back up about 25 feet where another trail intersected and back up on that trail as the bear walks by us, whew a little unnerving!! We finish walking up the trail to the viewing platforms and sign up for one of the viewing platforms, about a 90 minute wait.
We walk over to the other viewing platform that doesn't require any sign in, but there is about 50 people there trying to photograph and view the bears fishing for salmon, so much for getting there ahead of everyone! Meanwhile when I was taking photos at the first platform Sue went down the trail to use the outhouse and ran into another grizzly bear walking on the trail, luckily she was able to get off the trail and let it walk by, she was shook and I don't blame her!! I manage to get a couple photographs and then check into the other viewing platform when our names come up.

Mama grizzly bear and her cubs, Katmai NP, Alaska
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Grizzly bear looking for lunch, Katmai NP, Alaska
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Grizzly bear with his salmon, Katmai NP, Alaska
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Grizzly bear giving us the look, Katmai NP, Alaska
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Mama grizzly bear with her cubs, Katmai NP, Alaska
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Grizzly cub, Katmai NP, Alaska
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This is a photo my wife Sue took of this mama grizzly bear right after she was hissing at her cubs!

Photo credit: Sue Larson, Katmai NP, Alaska
[image]


At the upper viewing platform the people are stacked up trying to photograph and view the bears, I finally manage to squeeze into position and take a few pics! It was amazing to see all the salmon trying to swim up the falls!

Male grizzly bear chomping on his salmon, Brooks Falls, Katmai NP, Alaska
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Bears and salmon at Brooks Falls, Katmai NP, Alaska
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Bear with his catch at Brooks Falls, Katmai NP, Alaska
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We walked back towards the Ranger Station stopping several times for bears and keeping the proper distance when possible. We walked back to where our plane was parked and loaded up for our flight back.

Mark on the trail back to the Katmai Ranger Station from Brooks Falls
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Sue is ready for our plane trip back to Homer Alaska
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View from our plane trip back to Homer Alaska
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View from our plane trip back to Homer Alaska
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View from our plane trip back to Homer Alaska
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View from our plane trip back to Homer Alaska
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View from our plane trip back to Homer Alaska
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It was a beautiful flight back to Homer, the scenery was just awesome!! We got back to Homer approximately 6 pm and went to the dog sitter to pick up Peanut and back to camp. What a fantastic day it was, probably the highlight of our trip!

I have more bear pics at www.flickr.com/photos/gpnaz

You can also see my church photos at www.flickr.com/photos/his_cross

This finished up our time in Homer and we are headed for Seward tomorrow.

It's July 12th and we are headed for Seward today, we get there and check into our campground and decide to take it easy for the rest of the day. The next day we drive into Seward and check out the SeaLife Center, it had a lot of neat stuff to look at. We drove to Miller's Landing so Sue could book a kayak trip to Bridalveil Falls for the day after tomorrow.

Resurrection Bay, Miller's Landing, Seward Alaska
[image]

My allergies have been wreaking havoc with me the last couple days and it's been raining on and off all day. The next day we drive to Kenai Fjords NP to hike to Exit Glacier. They are receding so quickly and they show the year sign where the glacier was along the hiking trail. It was foggy and misting most of the way there and back.

Tropical rain forest on the hike to Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords NP, Seward Alaska
[image]

Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords NP, Seward Alaska
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The next day we're up early to get Sue to Miller's Landing for her kayak trip, the road to Miller's Landing is nasty muddy! She takes off on her kayak adventure and I head to town to work on photo projects and Lightroom.

Sue in her kayak, Miller's Landing, Resurrection Bay, Seward Alaska
[image]

After picking Sue up at Miller's Landing we walked around the boat harbor in Seward and then had lunch at Chinooks, good halibut!

Lunch with Sue at Chinooks, Seward Alaska
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Sue & Mark at the Seward boat harbor
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Sue at the boat dock, Seward Alaska
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The next day we head for Girdwood and stop along the way for a photo at the Kenai Penisula sign. We continue on to Crow River Mine so Sue can pan for gold.

Sue & Peanut - Kenai Peninsula sign, Highway 1, Alaska
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Truck and camper, Highway 1, Alaska
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Crow River Mine has a nice little tourist trap going there!

Sue digging for gold at Crow River Mine, Girdwood Alaska
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Old truck at the Crow River Mine, Girdwood Alaska - BKA's first dually, we'll see if he's reading these TR's [emoticon]
[image]

After that we head to Anchorage, Flattop Mountain to hike the Glen Alps Trail. We get parked and there are EMTs and fire trucks and come to find out a hiker had a heart attack and died not too far from the start of the trailhead. So instead, we head back down the mountain into Anchorage where I wash the truck and camper. We drive to Eagle River and find a campsite at Eagle River State Park for the night. I'm going to end Part 3 here, it's July 16th. Thanks everyone for following along, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


2018' RAM 3500 Laramie CC, DRW, 4X4, Cummins w/ Aisin transmission
2019' Host Mammoth, 480 watts of solar
2017' Jeep JKU Rubicon
2011' Airstream Avenue
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpnusa
www.flickr.com/photos/gpnaz
www.flickr.com/photos/his_cross


Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

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Posted: 10/01/17 09:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jealous!


Camper Jeff and Kelli's Blog!
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work2much

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Posted: 10/02/17 12:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Love the pics. Many places we saw but didn't document so beautifully.


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Scottiemom

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Posted: 10/02/17 03:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We did Alaska in 2013 and our blog is almost the same as yours. I go back and look at my pix of the same things. So cool. We, too, took the ferry to Seldovia. . . our friends didn't want to go that day. Boy did they miss out on an adventure. It was total fog when we left, so didn't see much on the way, but once there, we walked around town. Ended up in one of the few shops to find out the owner's husband was the local constable. She wasn't busy, so we stayed and chatted and she told us all about life on a remote place where they only get a supply ship once a month. It was one of our neatest experiences.

Dale


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 10/02/17 06:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice pictures. Thanks for posting


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billyray50

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Posted: 10/03/17 06:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip report and pictures!! Thanks.

c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 10/03/17 09:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GpnAZ The excellent journey just keeps on coming, your trip report is showing some areas that I'll be adding to our next adventure up there, keep it coming!


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whazoo

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Posted: 10/04/17 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oh but wait there's more...more great pictures, more scenic places, more adventure, more gorgeous model pics. Wait, what? I'll put it to you and Sue, I see a redo of The Happy Wanderers tv show in the future!

PatrickA51

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Posted: 10/04/17 12:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome ,is just about all I can say. Another great TR. Thanks for posting this.

GpnAZ

Phoenix

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Posted: 10/05/17 07:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camper Jeff & Kelli - Thanks!
work2much - Thanks! We were pretty close on the trail to you!
Scottiemom - Yeah, I agree Seldovia is a must see!
Lwiddis - Thank you!
billyray50 - Thank you!
c.traveler2 - Thanks Alex, that is one thing good about reading other people's TRs is the different places you can see when you travel there yourself.
whazoo - Thanks Dave, I had to look up the Happy Wanderers, I guess it was a TV show in So Cal in the 60's, so while you were surfing growing up I was shoveling snow in MN, LOL
PatrickA51 - Thank you!

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