Friday, June 13, 2008

Anchorage & Seward

Hi everbody. It has been awhile since I updated. So here goes.

We arrived safely in Anchorage to a really low grade campground. It was a gravel parking lot in front of a motel located right on the Seward Highway in downtown Anchorage. The spaces were tight and we had to park the truck in the motel parking lot. On the plus side, all the utilities worked; we had 35 channels of Cable TV and the wi-fi signal was strong. We were disappointed in the visual look of the campground since this was going to be Michelle's first impression of our trip together. However, I checked around and this is one of the two campgrounds in Anchorage and the RV Forum web site said the other park was worse.

We went to FredMeyers and stocked up with food and drink. Also got diesel for $4.65 a gallon so that was a good thing. My sister, Marla, has a good friend, Jo, that lives near Anchorage. Jo and her daughter came to the campground on Wednesday afternoon and took us on a tour of Anchorage and Girdwood, the nearby ski resort. She showed us a waterfall that not many tourists get to see and took us out to dinner in a great local restaurant. After she dropped us off, we cooled our heels for a couple of hours before going to meet Michelle at the airport. Michelle's plane was only a few minutes late and we had a joyful reunion.

Thursday morning we hooked up the camper and headed south to Seward, Alaska. This is a beautiful drive, with the ocean bay on the right and high mountains on the left of the highway. There are waterfalls coming down the mountains near the road. It only took us about 3 hours to make 135 mile trip. We checked into the Stoney Creek RV Park about 11:30 am. This is a beautiful place, surrounded by woods and there is a stream nearby. The wi-fi works great in the rig and we get 12 channels on the TV. Life is good.

We drove into Seward to explore the town and the surrounding area. Walked on main street and picked a place for lunch on Friday. I was advised by 2 local fisherman that the Sockeye Salmon were coming in with the tide at a certain point on the bay at an entrance to a river. High tide was at 9:51 pm on Thursday. I found the area, put on my waders and wading boots and headed out into the bay. There were about 50 persons out there fishing. The fishing method was different than anything I had ever seen or done. The process was to tie a large treble hook with a lead weight on the shank onto your line and throw it out into the water across a channel where the salmon were running. Then you jerked the line and reeled in; repeating this process until you retrieved the line. Then you did it again. Hopefully, you would snag a salmon. I was out there for about 4 hours and boy were my arms sore. People were catching 25 to 40 inch long salmon to my right and to my left; in front of me and in back of me. I never hooked a salmon. I did hook a small "18" flounder, which I released. So no success fishing, but the setting was incredible. Snow capped mountains on all sides, standing in the ocean up to my knees at times with people battling salmon all around. I wish I had thought to bring my little pocket camera out there. For the first time on the trip, I saw the sun go down. That was about 10:30 pm and it went down over a high mountain. Have I mentioned that it never gets dark up here in June?

On Friday, we went to the Seward Aquarium and Sea Life Center in the morning; followed by a great lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon we hiked up to the Exit Glacier. The hike was about a mile and a half from the parking area; but the elevation gain was not too difficult. The glacier was quite an experience; not as dramatic as the glaciers that send skyscraper sized icebergs into the ocean, but dramatic none the less. I made some more attempts at fishing later in the day, but still with no success. I hope that the next 5 days will be more fruitful in the fishing department.

In the meantime, it is great having Michelle with us for this time and we are enjoying her company. Tomorrow we move on to Soldotna and the Russian and Kenai Rivers.

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