June 7th - Exploring Anchor Point
When I ended my last entry, Steve and I had spent the afternoon
exploring the Anchor Point area. It was raining on us when we
left Homer and began the 15-20 mile drive up the Sterling Highway.
By the time we reached Anchor Point, the weather started to clear.
What a welcome relief. These rainy trips to the peninsula have
really sapped the energy out of us. Why is it we feel so lazy
when the weather is less than perfect?
we were loading up the truck with my photography gear, I noticed
large flocks of gulls flying overhead. I followed their path to
the rocky beach below. There, they met up with even more gulls
and perched in an organized group on the shore. More and more
kept arriving each minute. Some of them tucked their heads under
a wing, but most screamed raucously at each other. That was the
first time I had seen so many gulls in one place, and sitting
so organized. Steve told me they were waiting for the tide to
When we got to Anchor Point town limits,
we turned off onto North Fork Loop Road and began the ascent up
into the hills. Homes dotted the countryside and the views were
just beautiful. There were small one room cabins, and large modern
homes with expansive views all the way to Cook Inlet. We crossed
streams that fed into the Anchor River, and the river itself,
on the curved and gravel road.
At one small bridge, we caught sight of a bald eagle standing
in the middle of the water. His eyes were focused on the stream
itself. Perhaps he was waiting for fish to swim by? After I took
a few photos, he turned his head to me and his eyes seemed to
pierce my lens where I stood a hundred feet away. Such a regal
and intense raptor! Here are a few photos I took while driving
on the North Fork Loop Road:
Magpie crosses the lens
Anchor Point Barn
road loops back to the Sterling Highway. Steve wanted to drive
down to Anchor River State Park to see if there was anything interesting
going on there. We pulled into one of the beach front campgrounds
just in time to see the tractor enter the water to tow a fishing
boat back onto shore. It's called a "saltwater tractor launch"
as there are no marinas along the shoreline there.
The tractor pulls the boat on its trailer to the water's edge
and then backs into the water until the boat floats free of the
trailer. Then the tractor brings the trailer back onto shore and
parks it. When the boat gets close, it radios ahead and the tractor
hooks up to the empty trailer again and backs into the water for
the captain to load the boat onto. Very interesting!
We left there and checked out some of the campgrounds located
along the Anchor River. The salmon migrate up the river during
spawning season and fishing is quite limited. (Weekends only until
this upcoming weekend and then no more salmon fishing is permitted.)
caught sight of some fish and game (or research) people
setting up or repairing a weir further upstream. We made
our way through the wooded area to get closer to them and
watch. This weir will funnel the salmon and make it easier
to get a count on them as they pass through/over to points
While there, an adorable border collie asked me to play
with her. I obliged.
the way back to Homer, Steve and I passed a cow moose and two
newborn calves down in a ravine alongside the road. When we stopped
the truck so I could attempt to get photos, mama ran off quickly
and the babies followed. My second sighting of newborns and not
a photo to prove it! Frustrating! Later down the road, we ran
into a yearling enjoying the trees in someone's yard. At least
she was more agreeable about having her photo taken. I will never
get tired of seeing such awesome creatures running free in Alaska!
June 8th - Long Drives and Laziness
We spent Friday night in Talkeetna. We didn't even leave the
camper once we had it set up. There was WiFi there, and I spent
a few hours catching up on emails and doing some mindless online
game playing. We were so tired from the drive, that we just wanted
to relax. The rain came back again, which ruined any plans we
might have had to go into town in search of the other painted
moose I missed the last time we passed through. We were in bed
fairly early and slept soundly.
June 9th - Heading Home
We packed up the majority of the camper and then decided to have
breakfast at a little eatery next door to the campground in Talkeetna.
I indulged in a very cheesy omelet, home fries and an English
muffin, while Steve got an omelet full of things I couldn't even
identify. (I'm such a picky eater!) It was the perfect way to
begin our last day on the road.
you know that as soon as we left Talkeetna behind, the skies cleared
and the sun came out? We watched the truck temperature gauge show
50F when we left Talkeetna, and go up to 73F as we got close to
Nenana. We only made one stop at the rest stop near Hurricane
Gulch Bridge, so that Steve could dump four cans of gas into the
truck - the fuel we'd need to get home. (We've been buying our
gas in Fairbanks and Anchorage to save money, and hauling the
extra fuel with us so we don't have to pay the high prices in
the middle of nowhere). Even with our frugality, these trips to
the peninsula are costing us around $400 in fuel alone. Ugh. It's
still cheaper than flying though - and much more scenic.
The photo above is of Hurricane Gulch Bridge. This bridge spans
918 feet, at 296 feet above the Chulitna River. There is no way
I was going to walk out into the middle of it and snap a photo
of the river below, even though Steve dared me to. I have such
a huge fear of heights, and standing on the side of the hill to
take this photo made me get that bad feeling in my stomach
and my feet tingle! Whenever we drive across that bridge, I can't
even look out the window and down to the river. I just keep looking
straight ahead until we're across.
When we finally got home last night, we were so happy! My plants
were doing well (we had rain in Fairbanks while we were gone),
the house was clean (I make sure to clean before we go away; I
love coming home to a clean house!), and we couldn't wait to relax
on our comfy sofa and loveseat, and sleep in our own bed. Heavenly...
Today, was spent doing a lot of nothing. We did some laundry,
cleaned out the camper a little bit, ate some of the leftover
food we brought home with us, and basically lazed out watching
TV. Tomorrow, I plan to do some more preparing for Donna's arrival
(Saturday!!), by getting the guest room more organized for her.
I've got a few errands to run, some bills to pay, and maybe I'll
find a little time to run to Creamers Field with Sedona for a
walk. Steve's got things he needs to tend to as well, so I think
we'll be running in separate circles tomorrow.
I look forward to Donna's arrival and our trip to Seward and
Denali Park. I really hope we have gorgeous weather the entire
time she's here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she's the
weather good luck charm.