Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Soldotna & Homer

On Saturday, the 14th, we drove the 90 or so miles from Seward to Soldotna. We checked in to the Klondike RV Park, which is nice in appearance; but has the most rigid rules we have ever come across in a campground. Pet urination or defecation is prohibited in the campground; subject to instant ejection from the park. Any spillage of waste or cleaning of fish will result in a fine and ejection from the campground. The owner did not seem to enjoy working with campers. I think she was just in it as a business. We stocked up on groceries and did some sightseeing in the area. We drove over to Kenai and saw a moose alongside the road that was patient enough to stand there munching away while we drove up alongside her and took pictures. Michelle was impressed. Except for the Moose is Loose Bakery, which has the best apple fritters on the planet, Soldotna was pretty disappointing. Mosquitoes were everywhere. I caught my second 6 inch fish of the trip, in the Kenai River which is famous for the largest King Salmon ever caught.

On Monday we drove south about 85 miles to Homer, the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World. Rosie and Michelle had finally convinced me to not be so cheap and to splurge on a halibut charter boat. Michelle made a contribution as a Fathers Day gift. We checked in at the Ocean View RV Park. What a change from the park in Soldotna. The check in person was friendly and helpful. She had set us up in one of the better spots in the campground with a great view of the ocean. She set us up for a fishing charter for me and a bay cruise to a nearby Island for Rosie and Michelle. After getting settled in, we went for a walk on the beach and drove down to the Homer Spit to walk around, do a little shopping, confirm our reservations for our outings, and have some ice cream, courtesy of Michelle. The spit looks like a typical pier boardwalk on any coastline. Wooden sidewalk with lots of shops and other places to spend your money. Michelle bought a genuine alpaca and wool sweater with a hood. Rosie and I managed to not buy anything.

Tuesday morning I arose at 4:30 and headed down to the spit for my ocean fishing trip. Had breakfast at the Spit Sisters Cafe (limited menu, but the only place open at 5:00 am). I joined 4 other guys on a boat and we headed out to sea. My fishing buddies were from Minnesota, South Dakota and northern California. We were on a combination halibut and salmon trip. By 11:00 am, we had all caught our limit of 2 halibut. Mine were 15 lbs and 25 lbs. The 15 pounder was my first one and I could have chosen to release it, but my fishing luck has been so crappy, I was concerned I wouldn't catch another, so I kept it. My second one was about 20 lbs, but I did release it to take a chance on something bigger, which I did get. The largest halibut we brought in among the five of us was about 40 lbs. We moved the boat and went trolling for salmon. We brought in 2 King Salmon (neither one was caught by me) during a 3 hour attempt. When we got back to the Spit, our fish were cleaned and Itook mine back to the camper. We had halibut for dinner and I cut the rest up and put it in the freezer. I weighed my halibut filets before I left the pier and I had 24 lbs of filets for my efforts.

After dinner, I think I crashed at 8:00 pm. I should tell you that Michelle and I managed to darken the interior of the camper with velcro squares holding black construction paper over the door glass and under the skylights in the ceiling. It is much easier to sleep when you can create some darkness. I will put together a photo record of the last few days and post it on Snapfish.

Today Michelle and Rosie are out on their bay cruise/luncheon. Sammy and I are holding down the fort. He and I went for a walk on the beach, I refilled a propane tank and am doing other minor housekeeping chores. Tomorrow we head back north to Anchorage. We cancelled our reservations at the terrible campground in town and chose a State Park campground we heard about from our fellow campers.

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