The Kenai Peninsula

Day 66 – August 17th – Arrival on the Kenai

Reflections on the Kenai

Mountain Reflections on the Kenai Peninsula

Somehow we had figured that we had were about to leave dramatic scenery and lofty mountains behind us on a peninsula. Wrong. If anything the mountains on the Kenai were the most impressive we had seen yet (save for Mt. McKinley – and the ever-present clouds prevented us from ever truly experiencing its grandeur). The Kenai (pronounced “kee-nigh” with the accent on the “kee”) has glacier packed ranges which spring up right out of the ocean.  The rain that had been with us since the trip on the Dalton still hung on with only occasional breaks as we drove toward the peninsula from Anchorage.

Turnagain Arm

Turnagain Arm on the way to the Kenai Peninsula - we sighted windsurfers and Beluga whales here.

Working from a base camp at Bertha Creek Campground, we would spend six days here – exploring several areas including Seward and Kenai Fiords National Park.

Gull and Seward

Misty Day along the road to Resurrection Point in Seward.

Gull and Seward

Whale mural in Seward - one of many. There is much art in this town...

Tsunami Sign in Seward

Seward might be a nice place to live.... except how could you sleep at night?

A few days later the skies brightened and the clouds lifted a bit so we headed across peninsula through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to the towns of Soldotna and Kenai on the other side of the peninsula. (There was also a most excellent craft brewery reported to be in Kenai – Kassik’s Brewery).

Ric and Lin in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Ric and Lin in Kenai National ildlife Refuge. A very helpful park ranger directed us to a gravel road through the refuge, making for an enjoyable afternoon.

Salmon running in Kenai NWR

Salmon running in Kenai NWR - just off the road in a bubbling stream.

Ocean View from Kenai at Scout Park

Ocean View from Kenai at Scout Park

We got the sense that the Kenai can be a busy playground for the folks from Anchorage, but things quieted down after the weekend…plus it is getting late in the season. We enjoyed our Kenai experiences in spite of the weather, which, we understand from the locals is rainy more often than not. One of our more memorable moments was a (very) brisk walk through pouring rain to see Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fiords National Park. It would take a whole day to dry out our shoes, but it was worth it…

Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier in Kenai Fiords National Park.

The other most memorable moment was seeing THE MOST INTENSE RAINBOW that either of us had ever seen. EVER. Like in or whole lives EVER. We were on the road and saw this kind of faint rainbow which we had just begun to talk about when, BAM, we came around a curve and saw the main part of the rainbow (we were only looking at the secondary). We were nearly as awestruck as “double rainbow dude”. We just couldn’t help ourselves…

Rainbow on the Kenai Peninsula

The Brightest Rainbow We Ever Saw. A good reminder that it takes some rain to make a rainbow.

Between forays out to various locations we did some more sluicing and panning – as our campsite was conveniently located along Granite Creek, where we were allowed to pan for gold. It was hard work though, and for very small flakes.  This may be the last spot where we can take the time to do this activity on this particular trip. Even at $1800.00/ounce this is hard work and it gives us pause to think what the original Alaska Gold Rush Pioneers endured to get their gold. For all of our efforts we have learned a great deal and have about a smidgen of gold. In summary, we figure that we have been to “Gold College” and have just graduated our freshman year with a “Gentleman’s C”.

2 Comments

Filed under Alaska Journal, Been There Done That, Geology on the Rocks

2 responses to “The Kenai Peninsula

  1. Francis J Elliott

    So Ric, will you and Lin be relocating?! Gorgeous scenery !!!

    Warmest regards,
    Fran

  2. Francis J Elliott

    Ric: Just wonderful scenery and wildlife. You and Lin are doing some really memorable “sightseeing”. Will you be having your final mailing address located somewhere in the Yukon. Fearless guy from VT “stumbling” across a Grizzly. Whew ! My sister and I encountered a Coyote at Hope Cemetery the other morning while walking. Nobody else around. It was actually very serene. The coyote was very wary of us. The 2 walking sticks might’ve scared him off. By the way, how many new members have you recruited for the VVFTC out of the Legion, VFW, and Kessel Brewery, up there? Please continue to have “Fair winds and following seas”!

    Later,
    Fran

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