Sunday, July 21, 2013

Alaska 2013, Day 50, Haines Day 1

Sunday July 21, 2013

Chilkoot State Park

We drove over to Chilkoot State Park to look for bears. Their sockeye run is so bad they closed it to sport fishing.  However there were still people fishing the river. They were using spoons so I guess they are fishing kings or coho. Across the bridge peope had spotted a brown bear and cub that had gone into the woods.  It walked maybe 100' back in then layed down. I guess it is used to the fisherman and the cars.  It had a small cub (this year).  We drove to the end of the road beyond the bridge, maybe 1 mi and back and the bear and cub were still there.  (Lighting was bad for a pic)

We saw some seals hauled out on a small rock just off shore.  The rock was just big enough for 4 seals.

There are 2 small campgrounds beyond the ferry dock on the way to Chilkoot State Park.  Nice places to stay if you want to be away from town and right on the beach.

Alaska 2013, Day 49, Tok to Haines

Saturday July 20, 2013

It rained all the way to Haines Junction today.

The road is really bad after the border (Beaver Creak to Destruction Bay). Lots of frost heaves and gravel patches.  By Haines the jeep was really covered with dirt. South end of Kluane Lake had 3-5' waves on the beach with the wind.

150 Mi Haines Jct to Haines mostly through parkland (Kluane Provincial Park), really pretty. We saw a pair of trumpeter swans on lots of the ponds.  At the Tetlin Wildlife Preserve headquarters they said swans won't tolerate another nesting pair on their pond.

We had a moose cross the road right in front of us north of Kluane Lake/Burwash Landing. Saw a black bear near next to the road close to theYukon/BC border.

The pass into Haines is wide open and empty.

Long day, left 9 AM, got into Haines Hitch-Up campground around 7:30 PM.  The campground is pretty empty.

 446 miles today.

7783 miles so far.

Alaska 2013, Day 48, Valdez to Tok

Friday July 19, 2013

Drove Valdez to Tok this morning.

Low cloud ceiling in town and the pass today.  There was rain on the Wrangells and you couldn't see any of the peaks.

Still fishing on the Klutina but not quite as many people today. Nobody fishing to Gulkana.

The Tok cut-off road condition was bad.

Left Valdez 11:30 AM got into Tok 5:30 PM.  Stayed in the Sourdough campground again. They had reindeer chili in a sourdough bread bowl for $10 and after that they had a pancake toss for a free breakfast. Emmy won a free breakfast with a little help.  The guy in charge was a real comedian.  After everyone had a throw an old guy comes out dressed in mukluks and a funny hat with a gold pan saying we wants to trade something for a free breakfast.  After the MC wouldn't bite on a song or dance he went for a story.  The old guy recited "The Cremation of Sam McGee" from memory, like he was telling a story. It was a hoot.

255 miles today.

7337 miles so far.

Alaska 2013, Day 47, Valdez Day 4

Thursday July 18, 2013

The sky was clear from the start today and it was actually hot.

The kids lost one pixie on a snag lastnight so I needed to pick up a few more.  I went downtown to see if I could find some cheaper than $6.  The marine hardware store on Hazelet and Egan had lots of fishing gear.  He had pixies for $4 but said to use the big ones 1/2 or 7/8 ounce (I had been using 3/8 oz).  I bought two big ones and a Mepp's like spinner (big ones ended up being worse for snags,  I had to switch the kids back to the little ones). 

There was a high tide at 10AM so we decided to try Allison Point for pinks one more time.  No pinks but we picked up more of the small cod like fish.  Pinks just aren't in yet.

There were 4 to 6 eagles on beach at low tide outside the hatchery as we were coming home.

A few more fish at the weir.  No bears anywhere along the way home.

Late in the day the wind kicked up and it got rough on the bay.

After lunch we went over to Maxine and Jesse Whitney Museum.  Maxine Whitney came to Alaska in the late 40s and collected eskimo art, taxidermy and antiques to sell to tourists in her store. She kept quite a few things in her own private collection which became the museum. Nice taxidermy but the the eskimo art was even better.

After supper we drove out to Peter Pan's retail seafood counter.  They had fresh spot shrimp ($10/lb.), fresh salmon fillets, frozen king crab (red/$22/lb. and blue), frozen clams, frozen shrimp, frozen halibut ($16/lb, frozen black cod, frozen salmon.  The Halibut is so good we have eaten all but one meals worth in the freezer.  Now would be a good time to pick up some more.  We picked up another 2 lbs for eating on the way home.

Stopped by the Fat Mermaid tonight to grab a beer.  They had a Hawaiian guy playing a 6 string electric ukulele (guitarlele) for entertainment.  He played Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues on ukulele! They had Alaskan Bitter on tap, haven't seen this in bottles, really hoppy, better than the American Pale Ale (APA).

They got tortillas in at the Safeway (whew!), they put them on an end cap immediately at the door as you enter.  Safeway also had pixies for $3. They had all sorts of fishing stuff, I bought a small Plano box for my Pixies and snaps.  I always get my fishing gear at the grocery store. Fishing tip; locals store their pixies on their truck visors.

Alaska 2013, Day 46, Valdez Day 3

Wednesday July 17, 2013

Today we drove up to Thompson Pass, Worthington Glacier, and Blueberry Lake.  The sky was clear from the start today. Good visibility from up top of the pass.  There was a lot of water coming off the glacier, big waterfall on the one side. We walked right up to it and tooks some pictures at the mouth of an ice "cave".

The fried halibut was so good in Homer we thawed some more out for dinner.  We have 1 meal left in the freezer.  Cheryl thinks we should buy some more halibut for the freezer/drive home.  Valdez is probably the last place we'll see halibut?

They say to fish pinks on the high tide.  There was a 9PM high tide.  We drove over to Allison Point to fish for pinks at the high tide.  We fished the beach right at the terminal entrance.  We didn't get any hits or see any pinks caught.  Emmy got a little (10") fish that looked like a cod, don't know what it is.  Too many snags at the beach on eel grass and rock weed.

Stopped at the hatchery on the way back.  No bears by the fish hatchery but 3 sea lions, 2 were big bulls

Alaska 2013, Day 45, Valdez Day 2

Tuesday July 16, 2013

We were waiting for a good weather day to ride the Lu-Lu Belle.  Yesterday afternoon the sun came out and it cleared up around 2 or 3 so we thought today would be a good day.  When we got up it was totally clouded in with a low ceiling.  The weather for Thursday is supposed to be rain and Wednesday the Lu-Lu Belle is going at 9 AM instead of 11 AM (weather clears in the afternoon so later is better, 9 AM is the not the best). We decided today was going to be our best opportunity. Just as we were leaving it started clearing up.  No wind on the water, it was like glass almost all the way around to the glacier. We saw a big raft of sea otters right outside the marina. We didn't see too many puffins but there were a ton of sea lions on the beach and rocks and he pulled right up to them.  You could hear them barking and there was a big group swimming all around the boat.

We saw Dall porpoise and 2 humpbacks.  Over by the glacier there were seals on the ice.  We also saw several chunks of ice with sea otters hauled out on them.  I didn't know sea otters ever came out of the water.

Two of them were swimming with little ones on their bellies.  The captain drove the boat 1/4 mi of the Columbia Glacier face.  We were there for maybe 30 minutes.  The crew took everyone's picture while we waited to see if any big chunks of ice fell.

Lots of calving but nothing really large.  Lots of purse netters anchored all along the harbor shore, maybe a couple hundred.  They are fishing pink salmon and there was an opener but they temporarily closed for a couple days, don't know why. We saw pinks jumping all along the boat ride.

After supper we drove over to the hatchery to see if any bears were around.  We saw a brown black bear at duck flats near town.  No other bears. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Alaska 2013, Day 44, Valdez Day 1

Monday July 15, 2013

Rafting Keystone Canyon

Ever since the Yosemite float trip Emmy wants to raft and we saw that Valdez offered raft trips. We found a short (1.5hr) trip down Keystone Canyon that kids can do, can't go wrong. They put in just north of the canyon and take out at the end, maybe 7 miles.  They say it is class II and III.  It is pretty bumpy the whole way, no pools only rapids.  There were a few big bumps and some tight turns.  You get wet but they set you up with a dry suit and boots (I was totally overheated after putting all this stuff on). The kids really liked it, Emmy loved it.  Emmy got drenched the first turn.  Relatively safe although the other raft did dump one novice over the side.  There was a little bit of  paddling which the kids picked up on.  They stopped at bridal veil falls and we could walk up into it.  Mosquitoes on the bank were unbearable.  I got video with my waterproof camera but the stills don't looks so good.

We saw trumpeter swans on a nest with 2 little ones on way back from rafting.

I asked at the bait shop about pink salmon regs at Allison point, apparently you can use treble hooks.  Sounds like pinks are just starting.  They are not in at the hatchery or the creek yet but they are in the harbor.

We drove over to the fish hatchery to see if there were any bears about.  Low tide, only 1 seal at the hatchery, no fish here yet. On they way back there was a group pulled over at the flats, I figured they saw either a bear or moose down in the flats.  Turns out it was the grizzly with 4 cubs we saw last night.  We watched them  come across the flats.  They crossed the road and walked the creek on the other side where we have seen black bear.  They walked along the culvert for a mile and we followed taking pictures for several minutes.

Alaska 2013, Day 43, Copper Center to Valdez

Sunday July 14, 2013

We left Copper Center for Valdez this morning.  Clear and sunny this morning, no clouds around the Wrangells.  It is about a 3 hour drive down to Valdez. It was clear all the way to Worthington Glacier, Thompson Pass. There were clouds like fog coming over the pass. Once over the pass there was a solid low cloud ceiling all the way to Valdez. We stayed at Bear Paw campground downtown by the city marina.  The campgrounds on the edge of town were almost full but Bear Paw was less than half full. 

We saw some nice halibut at the marina cleaning tables.

We drove over to Allison Point to see if the pinks were running.  They must be just starting. We didn't see any fish in the creeks or at the hatchery weir but there were 6 seals feeding at the weir and they kept coming up with fish. There were a lot of  people camping along the road at Allison Point and some people down on the wall.  It looks like they were getting a few. I will give this try later with the kids.

Coming back home there was a group of cars pulled over at the Valdez River Bridge. They saw a grizzly with 4 cubs.  They were pretty far down a gravel road by the time we pulled up but we got to see them.

107 miles today.

7082 miles so far.

Alaska 2013, Day 42, Klutina

Saturday July 13, 2013

The River Wrangellers had a boat with 3 going so they put me on that one.  We left at 4:30 AM out of the Princess Lodge.  We had one no show so my boat had 2 people; 2 teenagers who had not fished salmon.  The plan was to try for kings on the upper river and reds on the lower river. The river was running high and fast, full of downed trees from fall flooding. We fished several holes on the upper river for kings but both boats came up empty.  Doesn't sound like they have been picking up many, maybe a handfull so far this season.  Each boat saw one roll but that was all. We tried 2 holes for reds on the lower. The first hole had a narrow side channel where we could see reds rolling. We fished reds with fly rods.  With a fly rod you have more reach and can flip more line, maybe 12 foot of line.  It took some work to get the retrieve speed right.  I picked up 1 nice red here.  The others couldn't pick any here so we moved to the next spot along the main river channel.  At this hole the other boat was already fishing and had landed 2 already.  It took some more playing with the retrieve.  The key was 2 large split shot 24" from the fly, when you feel the current drag the weights on the bottom start your retrieve, finish with a hooking flick. I think my spinning rig from home has too much weight and I may have been below the fish.  Also the guide was using 20lb line, I was using 14lb with a 10lb fly.  I picked up 3 more reds here, 1 large one, maybe 5 lbs but I also had a small jack.  The 2 kids I was with picked up 5 reds between them.  We ended up getting back over an hour late.  The guide, Brandon, wanted to make sure the kids picked up some fish.  I kept 3 fillets and shipped 7 lbs home.

I hear you can buy cheap ($50) sockeye fly rod combos up here (8wt). Need to check around on the internet.  If you did this enough it would pay to buy a cheap 4 piece 8wt combo and case.  I will look around in the stores here in AK to get some names and prices.

The campground had a salmon BBQ tonight, you bring a side dish, they provided the salmon.  They actually put BBQ sauce on the salmon, along with black pepper. The reds were really good but have lots of bones.

Alaska 2013, Day 41, Palmer to Copper Center

Friday July 12, 2013

We saw a young moose just outside the Palmer Mountain View Campground on the way out this morning.

It was clear and sunny today, the haze we saw on the trip west on the Glenn Highway was gone. Good view of Matanuska glacier and the mountains.

Lots of fireweed lining the road beyond Sheep Mountain.

Beyond Sheep Mountain you start getting views of the Wrangells. Everytime I have been here the Wrangells have not been visible, today they were mostly cloud free, quite a view.

There is a red run on the Klutina, just about at peak.  It is Friday so people are coming out of the cities (Valdez) to fish.  I didn't anticipate this so didn't make any campground reservation, King for a Day was full.  There is another campground at the end of the dirt road King for a Day is on, on the Copper Center loop road bridge.  And there is another campground on the otherside of the Klutina, other side of the Klutina bridge.  I parked on the loop road and walked into the Grove Marina Campground to see if there was space.  They  had room for 2 or 3 more campers without utilities, so I took one.


I tried some sockeye fishing along the bank.  Took a while to get the "flip" down but I picked up a nice sockeye.

Doesn't sound like they are getting any kings but The River Wrangellers are going tomorrow.

160 miles today.

6975 miles so far.

Alaska 2013, Day 40, Seward to Palmer

Thursday July 11, 2013

Clear skies, lots of sun and heat.

We stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Girdwood on the way through. They have grown since 2008.  They have upgraded their bear exhibit, they have over 100 wood bison.  They are getting ready to release some of the wood bison into the wild near Fairbanks (Yukon Flats).

Got into Palmer Mountain View campground by 8:00 PM.

177 miles today.

6815 miles so far.

Alaska 2013, Day 39, Seward Day 3

Wednesday July 10, 2013

Clear, sunny and warm today.

We had a -1 low tide at 9:30 AM this morning so we went tide pooling  at the end of Lowell Point Rd.  We walked in from the beach lot. Not much here, saw some sculpins and lots of tiny hermit crabs.

After lunch we had nothing to do so we drove out to Exit Glacier.  Lots of people here.  Saw a thrush and a warbler along the wooded trail down to the river.

Halibut Tacos, fish and chips, fish chowder at Nellies Roadhouse downtown.

Warm enough for a campfire tonight.

We saw a seal from Lowell Point Rd., first one here in town.

Saw eagles (5-6), and otters from the beach campfire.

Alaska 2013, Day 38, Seward Day 2

Tuesday July 9, 2013

We waited for the weather to break for a fjords tour.  Weather cleared yesterday, clouds were breaking up.  We had heard from a couple people to take the longer tour.  Yesterday we booked  the 7.5 hr Majors Kenai Fjords tour. Today there was clear sky over the ocean, sun and no wind.  We had a great tour.  Smooth water, no clouds, lots of sun. The boat went out Resurrection Bay and up Aialik Bay to 2 tide water glaciers.  We saw everything; Dall porpoise, humpbacks, orcas, fin whales, otters, seals, sea lions, eagles, puffins.

Lots of fish at the city marina cleaning tables.  Lots of salmon and large ling cod, small halibut.

There were Oyster Catchers on the beach tonight.  An eagle came into the fish cleaning table to steal from the gulls.  The all day boat out of the campground had 2 octopus that they kept and cleaned.

Warm enough for a fire tonight.

Alaska 2013, Day 37, Seward Day 1

Monday July 8, 2013

The campground runs a water taxi, kayak rentals, kayak tours and fishing trips.  The silvers are in the bay a couple weeks early and the boats out of Miller's Landing are catching lots of salmon. They offer a 4hr salmon trip off a 26 walk around at 6 to 10AM so I booked a trip for this morning.  I got 4 nice salmon and the other 2 people with me got 5 more and lost 3 or 4.

After lunch we went down to the Alaska Sea Life Center for the day. We were there all day, really a nice place. The touch tank had tons of sea stars and huge anenomes. We got to see the sea lion feeding and they are trying to train him some tricks for enrichment, he is huge.  They got him to sit up on a rock and dive in. Really a popular place today.

On the way home I stopped in to Seward Brewing for a growler of beer. I got them to trade a Breckenridge Brewing growler bottle even up for a Seward Brewing growler bottle.

We cooked up some fresh silver salmon on the grill. Too cool to sit outside tonight but we had fresh salmon and beer!

When I went fishing the captain said they were going to grade the gravel road soon.  When we headed out this morning we all joked about the craters of the moon drive only to find they had already graded it by lunch time!

Alaska 2013, Day 36, Sterling to Seward

Sunday July 7, 2013

Took the camper and jeep to the wishy wash, cost me $25 to wash both. Everything is dirty from construction zones, jeep looks a sight.

Stopped at Tern Lake at the Anchorage, Homer, Seward "Y" to watch the terns.

Stopped and bought jerky from the jerky guy at Moose Pass. I think this is the same guy we bought from in 2008 along the Glen Highway. The kids like to take jerky when we hike and that is the excuse I need to get some.  Got some spicy elk, honey beef and teriyaki venison.

Nice drive into seward. No one lives along the pass into Seward, all park land with small lakes.

The ride back to Miller's Landing Campground is something else.  The road starts behind the Alaska Sea Life Center.  It is a dirt road that runs along the cliff face just above the high water line.  The road starts at Lowell Falls, which looks to have taken out the bridge rail in the spring.  The road is all potholes, large and deep in some places.  The worst road in Alaska.  We got back to Miller Landing and a camper had followed us.  They did not have reservations and the campground turned them away. The other campgrounds in town are really full. Our site had a great view from the beach.

Miller's landing runs a water taxi, kayaking trips, and full and half day fishing trips.  A 4 hour fishing trip came in and was full up on silver salmon.  The full day came in and was full up on silvers, had a limit of halibut (small) and lots of rockfish.  I am going to try and get out with them tomorrow morning on a 4 hour, I will be back by 10 AM, before the kids are ready to start their day.

We saw a cab in the campground today and at the marina tonight that had gold painted duck decoys, goose  and swan heads on the roof (dodge minivan), captain Jack (Quacker Jack).  He was cruising the marina quacking a duck whistle.  Another Alaska character!

108 miles today.

6638 miles so far.

Alaska 2013, Day 35, Sterling

Saturday July 6, 2013

We drove Skilak Lake Road first thing this morning looking for moose.  We saw 1 moose at the first lake turn off.

Stopped at Moose is Loose bakery.  Place was jammed, line of people buying stuff.  Really good but really expensive, $4 cookies, $3 donuts and $6 loaves of bread or buns.

I fished Cunningham Park late in the afternoon for reds.  There was only 6 guys fishing.  I fished 2 hours and tried a couple of different retrieves before I got their "flip" down. I had no hits, no fish.  When I left I was the last one fishing.  The reds are not in yet, just starting on the Kenai.

Saw 1 moose just west of Moose River in the meadow before the weigh station.

There were some small duck like birds that made an odd call, something like a dove or a loon, flying overhead this morning.  The campground owner said they are snipe and they feed on mosquitoes.  When I looked up snipe in the bird book I think we saw this bird on Skilak Lake Road at one of the turn offs. (later a ranger in Seward Kenai Fjord verified the call with iPad Audubon Birds app; Wilson's Snipe).

2 adult sandhill cranes and 2 young across the Moose River from the campground.

Alaska 2013, Day 34, Homer to Sterling

Friday July 5, 2013

Before leaving town we went up to the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch's Time Bandit store. The mother to the two boys running the boat was in the store and talked about fishing and Discovery Channel. This time of year the boat is in Bristol Bay as a holder for salmon for the small net tenders.  Next month it moves down to Ketchikan for the same thing.

From Homer we headed back up the Kenai to Soldotna and Sterling.

Saw 1 Moose just outside Soldotna just before we got to the south side of the downtown river bridge.

Stopped at the Wood Carver east of Soldotna.  He has a 2 year backlog of work.  He had a 8' totem pole in the works.  He has been carving wooden moose heads for moose antler mounts, they go for over $2000.  He had a 3 stool high table with large salmon underneath and and eagle overhead, really cool.

Saw 1 Moose on Otter Trail going back to our campground (Moose River Hot Tub).

Moose River Hot Tub is a small lodge that also has 3 campsites.  The place is spotless, nothing out of place.

Drove back into Soldotna and stopped at Sportsman's Wharehouse where I stocked up on fishing gear.  This place is great.  They have all the salmon gear and camping gear you could want.  They had a tub full of rod holders that I had so much trouble finding on the internet.  They had all kinds of rubber boots, chest waders, rain coats.  I also bought a 2L waterproof bag for a camera and wallet. I will use it when fishing up here and on the boat at home.

Stopped at Cunningham Park (behind the Mexican Restaurant, across from the Moose is Loose bakery).  There were maybe 20 guys fishing, saw 2 fish caught.  The reds are not really in yet.

Stopped at Issac Walton park on the Moose River.  The beach was packed with people snagging.  There was enough fish in here that they were hooking them.  I didn't see any legal hooks while I was there for a couple minutes.  Later the campground owner says they snag in the hopes of getting one in the mouth.

We drove Swanson Lake Road which was a moose hot spot according to the internet. We saw 0 moose.  The problem is that brush obscures your view all along this road.  We turned around at mm 13, it goes to mm 17 where it connects with 13 mi Swan Lake Road which has access to the Kenia Wildlife Refuge Canoe Trail.

Saw 2 moose at Ermine and Otter Trail on the way back to the campground.  A cow with a 1 yr old calf.  They spooked as we drove up but came back out after we stopped.  We were only 50 feet away from them.

Stopped at the Fred Meyer in Soldotna, parking lot was full of campers overnighting.  Needed a door mat after Homer and weasel knocker our french press off the counter in Homer so we can't make coffee without power, that is an emergency!

92 miles today

6530 miles so far.

Alaska 2013, Day 33, Homer Day 4

Thursday July 4, 2013

All the campgrounds on the spit are full to overflowing.  Campers are
parking in the day use parking area of Mariner CG.

Today we drove up to the top of the bluff  (Skyline Drive). West Skyline Drive has the pull off (left at intersecton of East Hill Rd and East Skyline).  Great view of the spit from up top.

We had a low tide at 7:00 so we went over to Bishops Beach at 6:00. Lots of tidepools out by the point but only anenomes, no crabs, no sea stars.

There was a young male moose in Beluga Slough, very close to the road.

Finally warm enough tonight for a camp fire. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Alaska 2013, Day 32, Homer Day 3

Wednesday July 3, 2013

We booked a 1/2 day hike, 1/2 kayak with the Center for Alaska Coastal Studies across the Katchemak in Peterson Bay.  There was almost a dozen of us.  The tide was midway so there wasn't supposed to be any tide pooling but our guide found some cool tide pooling on Otter Rock.  Our guide took us from their station to otter rock, down the beach and along the woods.  The hiking guide really knew her sea critters and beach plants. They had 2 nice touch tanks at the station that she went through each animal. They had some trapdoor hermit crabs with one big claw that blocks the shell entry, never seen one of these before.  They had a helmet crab, an orange hermit crab, a tiger striped chiton. We walked back to a bog behind the station.  They had sundews in the bog.

For the kayaking they took us across Peterson Bay, onto a beach and we hiked to some hidden cove full of purple pygmy rock crabs, around some rocks and through a rock arch. We chased down some harlequin ducks, and saw mures, marbled murrlets and a sea otter.

Alaska 2013, Day 31, Homer Day 2

Tuesday July 2, 2013

Today was halibut fishing day.  It was calm this morning so I knew it was a go. I booked through Silver Fox.  I got on the Daze Off with captain Willie and first mate Jim.  Willie is a local eskimo and Jim is a captain of a head boat (Country Club) in Jupiter Florida.  The boat was a ~28', 10' beam twin outboard aluminum boat like a Hewes. There were only 2 other people fishing on the boat.  We were allowed 2 fish each plus the captain and first mate were allowed 2 each also (they took the smallest of the catch). We started by jigging for small pollack outside the marina for bait.  We ran 35 mi west towards St. Augustine (out in the middle of Cook Inlet). We used 1-2lb weights with a large 2" circle hook baited with a whole salted herring, no jig or lure. For the first 2-3 hours we caught nothing but cod, some pretty big (20 - 30 lbs). The crew kept the cod even though they assumed we did not want them.  The crew assumed they would take them, they said they do have worms.  After almost 3 hours we started picking up halibut. Initially only small ones which we threw back then some larger ones started biting. The largest one went maybe 40-50lbs.  I also hooked a giant skate, > 48" across.  It took me 20 minutes to get it to the boat where they cut it free. One of the other fishermen caught one almost as large at the end of the day.  The larger fish all came on a whole butterflied pollack.  In the end we caught 10 halibut and over 12 cod.

Cheryl and the kids went to the Wynn Nature Center up top the bluff. They said there was lots of flowers, plants and birds.  They took a guided hike with one of their naturalists.

Alaska 2013, Day 30, Homer Day 1

Monday July 1, 2013

Homer Day 1

The wind let up but we had rain last night and this morning.

Went in to check-in for the Halibut trip and the kayak trip, some of the halibut boats did not go out today due to wind.

We went on the 4:00 Under the Docks tour.  We saw tube anemones (primose? and christmas), mussels, urchins, sea stars, brittle stars, limpets and chitons. An ex-teacher from Texas was the guide and she had a local high school kid who knew everything about the local invertebrates. Lots of sea stars under the gangways down to the docks at low tide.

At one point this afternoon the wind dropped to nothing and the bay was like glass.

There were a couple sea otters close to the campground beach this afternoon.  Saw some eagles up the spit.

There were 4 openings along the beachfront in Mariner CG tonight. The Fishing Hole CG was about half full this afternoon.

Alaska 2013, Day 29, Palmer to Homer

Sunday June 30, 2013

Stopped at the Fred Meyer in Anchorage for fishing license.  I got a non-resident season plus king tag just in case I fish kings on the Klutina.  There is also a Fred Meyer as you come into Homer.

Overcast and rainy today.

They were fishing the Russian River and the park at downtown Soldotna.

A moose crossed the road ahead of us in the valley after entering the Kenai. We saw a moose when coming up the grade after Deep Creek. It was pretty close to the road and several houses.

Saw several eagles fly over the road.  One tried to land on something in the road in front of us.

We saw halibut at the cleaning stations at Ninilchik and Deep Creek.

Overcast and rainy on the Kenai, could not see across to Illyamna.

Got into Homer at 8 PM.

They were fishing the Homer fishing hole, saw a couple small salmon caught.

The Homer Halibut Derby board had 197 lb fish take the June prize.

We saw over 2 dozen sea otters close to the spit when we drove down to Land's End at 9 PM.

289 miles today.

6438 miles so far.