7/20/15 – 7/27/15 (6,584 miles) As planned, we spent three days in Anchorage to allow time to lay in supplies and to repair anything that needed repair. Nothing needed repair, but we did have the tires rotated at Costco. That took half a day, and they still fouled it up. Costco Tire management is pathetic, but that is another story not to be addressed here.
On 7/22, Volodya and Valya appeared at Anchorage International Airport after 26 hours of traveling. They looked amazingly good for having been in transit for such a long time. We went to the trailer and had a little snack and put them to bed. Of course, at 11:00 p.m. in Anchorage, it was 11:00 a.m. in Moscow, so, although they were exhausted, sleeping was difficult. At 6:00 a.m. (Anchorage time) Gustav decided that it was time for the family to rise. We all obeyed the dog, got up, had breakfast and departed in a light rain for Seward.
Our RV camp reservations in Seward were at Millers Landing, about two miles beyond Seward over the worst road we have ever experienced. The campground was on Resurrection Bay, and the view was lovely. We set up our camp and left to drive back over this wonderful road to visit Kenai Fjords National Park and hike to the toe of the Exit Glacier. The rain had stopped, and the blue sky had appeared, so it was a nice afternoon. Volodya and Valya could barely keep their eyes open, so we retired early with hopes they slept a bit better tonight. Adding to the fun, of course, is that the sky doesn’t go dark until after midnight. On Friday we went for a five-hour tour of Resurrection Bay and the water portion of Kenai Fjords National Park on a Major Marine boat. We saw humpback whales, Dall Porpoises and several birds, including bald eagles and Donna’s favorite puffins. The sun was shining, and it was a smooth trip.
Arriving back at the campsite, we built a campfire and sat around telling stories and drinking wine. Weather was lovely: Not cold but much cooler than Dallas.
Saturday morning brought clouds but no rain, so we went to downtown Seward to buy fishing equipment for Stephen and to poke around in the shops. In the afternoon Stephen fished from a beach near our campsite, and he caught a 3½-pound pink salmon. He filleted it, and we ate it for dinner on Sunday.
Saturday night we attended a potluck dinner hosted by the campground. They provided delicious fried rockfish, and the campers brought side dishes. The food was good, and we had a great time sharing stories. One of the fishermen had been busted by an Alaska State Fish and Game Officer for having an Alaska resident’s fishing license, although he was a Californian. He also had two too many fish in his boat, so the Trouper took two fish and gave him a $340 ticket for the violations. Stephen’s investment of $145 for a non-resident fishing license was looking good. One of the small girls at the dinner fell in love with Volodya and spent the evening feeding him potato chips. On Sunday we drove in the rain to Soldotna. The rain stopped in the early evening leaving clear skies, and Volodya and Stephen arose at 4:00 a.m. on Monday to go fishing. They were home by 6:30 a.m. with a six-pound sock-eye salmon. There was a high number of fishermen on the river, but everyone was behaving, and they assisted each other to land the fish that were caught. It sounded far too civilized to be the “combat fishing” about which we have heard so much.
Monday was sunny, so we drove to Homer just because it is there. We stopped at the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church in Ninilchik. Then we called in at the Salty Dawg Saloon on the Homer Spit. The Homer Spit changes very little from year to year. Crowds were huge, and parking was a challenge. With the salmon run in full swing, added to the normal hordes that visit Homer, we encountered a happening sort of place.
After a pause in the Salty Dawg, we moved on down to the end of the spit. There were fishermen there, but they were not having much success.
Finally, it came time for us to depart Homer, so we headed off the spit. We had to take time to photograph “retired” ships (We know how they feel!), and we wished for Paul Olafson. He would love this place.
The Homer Spit is a strange and enchanting place.