Alaska TripReport: Two Weeks in a Springdale - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-19-2014, 02:20 PM   #15
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Smile AK Report Continued: Soldotna Next.....

July 31 ~ Thursday: We moved camp down the Sterling Hwy. to the Centennial Park Campground, a city of Soldotna park & another major fishing site on the Kenai River. My wife & I had camped here once before on an earlier trip.

As our custom, we stopped at the Soldotna Fred Meyer for much needed supplies first thing. Campground Cost: $25 per night each RV in July, a peak fishing month (next day August 1, it would be $20).

After setting up camp & eating lunch, FishHawk read 31 July was the last day to dip net for salmon on the Kenai. Off we raced to the dip net area, stopping on the way to get a permit at Fish & Game on the way. Only a Alaska Resident may use dip nets.

Got to the dip netting area by the bridge over the Kenai well before high tide. Can only dip net close to the ocean. High tide is the best time to dip net.

The were quite a few people lined along the river trying their luck & a few in boats out in the river also with dip nets. FHawk had dip netted here last year when we were visiting. It's a long processes, one in which one need a good pair of hip boots or higher duck hunting waders. Stand in the water with the long 6' to 8' or longer handled 5' net upright in the river. Wait for a salmon to swim into the net. After a long time netting with many others having success around him, he netted a good sized pink salmon, not his favorite kind for they do not freeze well. We had it grilled (wrapped in foil) for supper. Very tasty freshly caught.

Another bright, sunny day in Soldotna & Kenai area, but very windy & chilly by the river near it's mouth near the town of Kenai. Pretty with two or three volcanos in the distance.

The campground is pretty with most of the sites nestled in trees. The roads & sites are gravel. It's not a resort. The draw is the fishing area within walking distance of many campsites. It has a boat ramp, fish cleaning tables, nice rest rooms (not so nice in the campground), a large parking area & a wide well maintained walkway set back from the river with access boardwalks out to the river with steps down to the water.
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:32 PM   #16
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Arrow A Few More Pics From Soldotna

First 5 pics ~ Soldotna Centennial Park Fishing Area.
Sorry about the second photo, I must have moved.

6th pic of neat old fiberglass Mini Class C I assume on a Dully Ford Ranger, we saw in the Fred Meyer parking lot.

Last 4 pics ~ From Dip Netting Area & Volcanos seen from there:
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:52 PM   #17
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Smile A Few Signs We Saw in Alaska

Signage Could be Informative and/or Attractive. Both makes them even better.

Rose's Cafe is one of the few places one can eat after leaving Fairbanks to Wasilla. We had eaten there, but not this year. We'd did a potty break near it. It's in the Healy area, just before getting to Healy from Fairbanks. Just past Dry Creek. On our first fly up (2010) to go see our newly born granddaughter, we'd driven down to Denali Nat'l Park & ate there. It was late in the Season, most of the shops & lodgings, etc. were closed & being boarded up for the winter. Being allowed to drive farther into the park (to the large staging & restroom area the tour busses taking visitors into the park, than normal. After leaving the park, we were out of food. Rose's was open. Wasn't too bad eating, nothing to rave about. We were happy it was open.

The "Welcome To" Sign Both Informative & Attractive.

The rest gives insight about Russian River Campground & Fishing Area.

The Graying Sign is for the nearest Access point in the CG to the Confluence of the Russian & Kenai Rivers.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:49 PM   #18
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Arrow AK Report Continued: Homer & Homer Spit

Aug 1, Friday: We drove south from Soldotna along the west coast of the Kenai Peninsula to Homer. Again, it was a sunny, blue sky day, a simply beautiful day. Following the coastline, but with trees & vegetation too thick or high to see Cook's Inlet to our right very often. Often only glimpse of it and/or the land across it, especially the three or four volcanos which were visible scattered alone that distant coast.

Very beautiful sights, although somewhat covered by clouds, some more or less than others. All apart of the Pacific's Ring of Fire. Also saw one or two area driving to the Soldotna & Kenai area & especially by the Kenai dip netting, two or thee. I do not believe, the one's seen on this drive were all the same ones from the day before.

Very scenic, fantastic vistas, nearer Homer, as well as in Homer & on the Spit. Many glaciers vistas from Home. We did stop at a few of the too few vista photo pull offs. Mostly closer to Homer.

A very large & nice vista point is found on top of the hill just before descending into the town. Grand vistas of the distant landmass & at least one volcano, Homer's Spit & the Kachhemak Bay & mountains & glaciers on the far side of the bay, as well as an island or three.

Quite a view on a clear day, we had a moderately clear one. Extremely enjoyable! Cook's Inlet & Kachhemak Bay are extensions of the Gulf of Alaska. Cook's Inlet leads to Anchorage & Turnagain Arm as well as Knik Arm which is near Eagle River, Wasilla & Palmer.

The view of the mountains & glaciers as one drives into Homer is quite grand. Then a little farther on one drops down to a low slough area, then out into the Kachemak Bay on the Spit jutting out into the waters.

To Be Continued......
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:34 PM   #19
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Thumbs up Homer Spit Campground

Homer Spit is thin strip of sand & pebbles jutting 4.5 miles into the Kachemak Bay. The spit is home to the Homer Boat Harbor. The harbor contains both deep & shallow water docks and serves up to 1500 commercial & pleasure boats at its summer peak. The Spit features the longest road into ocean waters in the entire world, taking up 10–15 minutes to cover by car.

FishHawk (our son) found the city campground on the spit, he'd camped at in the past & wanted to do so again was now only for tents or RVs 20' or less. It was also very filled with tents, no room for us anyway. This campground is on the west side or wave action side of the Spit.

Across the Hwy. (on calmer side of the Spit) was a larger campground, also city. It is by a manmade lagoon. The Fish Lagoon Campground sites along sections nearest the bay & by the lagoon were filled. There were plenty of empty sites in the 'Back 40' & the meddle section as well as those on the side fronting the highway.

We choice 2 sites side by side in the meddle area. Cost: $15 per RV. Could've parked both RVs in one site, but rules said must pay for 2 sites, so took two sites. Another easy setup, thus far each site has proven to be somewhat level side to side requiring adjusting just with the 4 stabilizer jacks on the trailer.

FishHawk, Ax & the 3 girls tried fishing in the lagoon (man-made with a small access cut to the bay which can be closed off by low tides). It was full of salmon which were released from the lagoon into the bay as smolts in earlier years. They return to this lagoon to spawn as mature salmon (mostly Red Salmon, but King as well. But can not because it is salt water. The returning salmon simple swim around, jumping out of the water again & again.

Many salmon were being caught, but many more trying to catch them were not being successful. Our anglers were among the later.

I'm not sure how any are caught. Rules state: can't snag them (not snagging hooks allowed), must be hooked in the mouth, but they are no longer feeding. Most were casting & reeling lures with the idea of the line getting into a fish's mouth, then the hook. Lures were feathery like large flies, bright or shinny spoons, spoons mimicking salmon eggs which they try to scoop into the mouth to go re-bury & artificial squids. Some had bobbers out with bated hooks, not sure with what. Our Fishermen tried everything except the bobbers on the few days we were there. No luck. Not only in the lagoon, also in the bay.

Friday evening, our son & his wife were able to book a half day halibut charter for Sunday, earliest available for a half day. This was the main reason for them coming to Homer. I did feel I was up to halibut fishing. Our daughter-in-law had never gone. Her nephew would be going also, his second time.

There were a couple of large ships anchored off the Spit (calmer side). We believe they were collecting salmon catch from smaller salmon fishing boats.

At low tide, water levels in the lagoon were very low indeed.

To Be Continued......
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:13 AM   #20
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Arrow Homer & Homer Spit Report Continued

Saturday, Aug. 3, Drove to Homer:
Ace Hardware, Farmers Market (lot of Arts & Crafts, as well as food), ate lunch @ "Mermaid Cafe Cajan Food & Sausages", (Lot of Poor Boys; limited menu, LadyHawk had cup of Red Beans & Rice with cornbread, I had cup of Chicken Gumbo & a salad, both good, but wouldn't return), took a scenic drive into hills above the city, found a neat city park with neat playground and before returning stopped at "Boss Hoggz", a burger, milk shake/malts/ice cream, BBQ place on one end of a gas station/convince store, the Petrol Express for shakes & malts. LH & I shared a small cup of vanilla ice cream a treat for us.

The Scenic Drive had Great Vistas of Homer Spit, the mountains & glaciers across the Bay. Well worth the effort to drive up it.

After supper, we all walked to the harbor, found the charter boat. Then crossed over Hwy. to ocean side to walk back to the campground. Many of the shops & cafes are on stilts overlooking the beach along there.

Always so nice & refreshing walking on a beach, even pebble beaches.

A very enjoyable day.

To be continued........
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Old 08-21-2014, 01:18 AM   #21
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Alaska Cafes Along the Way

Our welcome to Alaska (day after fly'n in & a late afternoon shopping in Fairbanks), our Alaska kiddos stopped for what turned out to be the best ever BBQ brisket at a small hole-in-a wall joint. Located at a gas station & convenience store, called "Bad 2 Da Bone BBQ". It even had a small separate dining area.

They had eaten his BBQ several times. Our son first had some when at the "Arctic Man" event at Summit Lake at the end of Winter. Since then, "Bad 2 Da Bone BBQ" served BBQ on base at an event. They often stop by on the way camping or on the way back. I can see why. Excellent BBQ & the sauce is good, but the meat really does not need any.

Started talk'n to the chef/owner, he offered a smoked/cooked pork roast (large enough to feed all 8 of us) at cost. Yep, it was also the best ever. He had prepared to many & didn't want it going to waste. He'd given us a taste of his ribs (over cooked, he said), they were delicious.

Had some for lunch, Sunday. Oh, so good. Tender, melt in your mouth, etc. Our son leftovers for lunch a few more times.

I'm still following Doc's orders (he said, ever once in a while, I can eat normal), I'm on a special trip & I'm being careful.

Mostly we enjoyed eating our own cooking, but a few times we did go to a few cafes along our way.

One of these was on our way to Eagle River from Fairbanks. We had not shopped for stuff to eat before leaving. When Supper Time had long passed, we were extremely hungry & it was still a long way to Wasilla & Eagle River.

Not many places along the way from the community near Denali Park & Wasilla to eat. One wayside cafe, my son remembered, was the "Trapper Creek Trading Post" in Trapper Creek, of course. An RV campground was there as well.

The food turned out pretty good in fact. LadyHawk & I had the soup of the day, "Southwest Soup", and a salad with oil & vinegar. I'd say it was a very good, kind of like a chili. They enjoyed their burgers & fries, too.

We enjoyed our Halibut lunch in Seward at the Chatter Mark Cafe.

I've mentioned the "Mermaid Cafe Cajan Food & Sausages" & will add more on "Boss Hoggz" later.

We had planned to eat a good Seafood Dinner on the the Spit at a place we had enjoyed a few years ago, "Captain Patties". Excellent Food. More on it later as well.

Photos:
"Trapper Creek Trading Post"
Several of "Mermaid Cafe Cajan Food & Sausages"
"Captain Patties"
The "Bad 2 Da Bone" Chef said they often go to Hawaii, therefore the surf boards. A Native of North Pole, Alaska.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:39 PM   #22
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Arrow AK Report Continued: Homer & Homer Spit

Aug. 10. Sunday started with an early start for the 3 halibut fishermen, brought our youngest granddaughter over to continue sleep with her two sisters. Then they walked to the charter in the harbor. The girls slept fairly late. G'ma made b'fast, dressed them, etc. Then they played in the trailer. No problems. It had rained during the night & was damp & raining at times all day, very cloudy.

Around 11:50 am or so, FishHawk texted saying, "We're back." I drove their Durango over to the harbor, but could not see them, nor the boat. In my hast, I did not take my cell phone. At 12:20, he called saying, they were walking back. I went back & quickly saw them. Each had caught a small halibut & a large one, their limits, one of each size. The crew filleted the halibut on board the boat while returning to port.

After changing clothes, we all went into Homer to a fish processing place to have the catch processed into 2 lb. servings, vacuum sealed & frozen. Weighed in at 43 lb. & could pick them up next day about noon.

After delivering the fish to be frozen, Fishhawk took us to eat at "Boss Hoggz", LadyHawk & I had BBQ Chicken breast, sauce on the side & Salad, pretty good taste, nothing to rave about. Don't think they cooked it in house, perhaps frozen, then warmed up. Others had cheese burgers & fries or fish & chips, or a corn dog with fries, and shakes. We had water.

The captain of the Time Bandit came in & was greeted by the owner & had his lunch very quickly (cheese burgers & fries with a shake or malt. We did not bother the man, didn't even snap a photo.

After lunch, we went to the Island & Ocean Visitor Center. Federal, I believe, with free admission, an extremely nice building with excellent displays. Very educational & hands on, a must to experience. Not extremely large, not small, a really nice place. A must see, IMHO.

Nice pathway to a boardwalk out into a wetland area, the Beluga Slough. We walked only about a quarter of the walkway, to an area where about 5 Sandhill Cranes, several of them young ones were feeding in the high grass. In the distance, we could make out a white swan swimming in the water.

Upon leaving the center, FishHawk drove into the 'Old Town' section of Homer, just behind the center & past Mermaid Cafe. He found the way to drive onto the beach by the Beluga Slough, near the boardwalk were we watched the Sandhill Cranes. Didn't get out of the Durango.

Stopped at Safeway for a few provisions on the way back to camp. Not raining, but overcast while in Homer. Back on the Spit, it was fairly sunny. LadyHawk & I took a long walk from the camperground to the harbor and on to the end of the Spit. Interesting to see all the commercial actives, ferry terminals, salvage yards, shops and a few ships at sea. Nice, easy walk, good company & a very enjoyable time.

Finally late Sunday Evening, we went out to eat. We drove to Captain Patties, but it had an hour wait. So we went across the highway to another nice place. A larger place & no waiting. The "Harbor Grill Seafood & Steaks". They offered a similar Seafood Sampler as "Captain Patties". Excellent. Chowder was Great, too.

An excellent day all around. Started to rain later on again.

The first photo is out of order. It's of the boardwalk into Beluga Slough.

Seven & Eight are by Lands End at the end of the Spit.
The last photo is of Boss Hoggz on the Spit. Didn't see it, but found the photo on their site.

To be continued.......
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:26 PM   #23
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Arrow AK Report Continued: Back to Cooper Landing

Monday, Aug. 4: Woke to a wet morning, light rain which turned to moderately heavy one just as we were at the dump station. Picked up the packaged & frozen halibut at the processors. A light rain as we're leaving & now enveloped in fog/low clouds. Stopping at the Homer vista pullout, no vistas today for a potty break for the kidos. On our way to Sodotna for fuel, provisions & to eat a late lunch, were the rain had recently stopped, with plans to camp 3 days at the Russian River Campground.

We did just that with the rain not returning and the sun returning more & more. We were treated with a full rainbow along the route with the widest bands I'd ever seen. It was extremely long as well. Didn't get a photo, however.

In no time we were back at Cooper Landing. Arriving a little after 5 pm, we had no trouble getting a double site for 3 days. Cost: $9 per night, $27 total. Again half price with my Senior Pass. Got assigned a site very near were we had been a week before. Site #49 instead of #51.

Even had a view overlooking the Russian River canyon with sound of the river & a small glimpse of the river. Campground wasn't filled at all, many vacant sites. Still a lot of fishermen on both rivers, mostly on the Kenai.

To be continued........

Photos starting on Homer Spit in the rain to Soldotna Fred Myer's "campground" in the side parking lot. Then on to Cooper Landing & the Russian River Campground.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:20 PM   #24
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Cool AK Report Continued: Russian River Campground

I noticed today, I've missed dated at least one entry. The Sunday post, should have been dated Aug. 3 (not the 10th).

Back to Aug 4:
After getting the campsite set up on arrival, our fishermen went fishing down by the Russian, hikers followed along to watch or to catch up with them. Still no luck fishing. No bear sightings either.

Late: More Chef FishHawk on the grill. More good eating.

I did notice by midnight it is dark out now, the daylight hours are getting shorter since we had arrived in Alaska.

Aug 5. Tuesday: Ditto, the fishermen went fishing, hikers followed along to watch or to catch up with them. Still no luck fishing. No bear sightings. More Chef FishHawk on the grill. More good eating.

Fished morning, Upper Russian, afternoon, the Kenai at the confluence. FishHawk drove us all to the near access site to the confluence, the Grayling parking area for the afternoon trek.

Lot of pics of the Confluence area, etc.

In the 7th photo about where the man is standing, another gentleman from Arizona slipped & fell into the water. A woman had to give him a hand to get up onto his feet again. We talked with him & his wife after he'd returned to shore. He took it in stride, but went back to the parking area to change out his wet clothing.

6th photo has the ferry which crosses the Kenai River from a staging area by the highway.

8th photo shows the Stairs across the Russian from us. It is also across the Kenai River from the highway.

Last two pics are of our son taking his 3 girls back across the Russian River after taking them over so they could go with him to reach the Kenai River fishing. The younger two didn't stay too long, but the 8 year old fished with him the whole time.

But no luck again fishing.

To be continued...........
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:45 PM   #25
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AK Report Continued: Cooper Landing Area

Wednesday, Aug. 6: Fishermen, tired of fishing without success, didn't walk down to the boardwalk. Played frisbee by camp, rested, etc. in morning.

FishHawk took all on sightseeing drive in the afternoon. Drove up a paved road which paralleled west side of Kenai Lake without many public access to it, nor many places without trees & vegetation blocking a view of the lake. The pavement turned into gravel which became one not maintained in the winter. But the road wasn't in bad shape now. It was a neat drive & we saw a lot of neat, new country for all of us.*

Photos of the neat area we discovered.

The first few are from the farther end of the road of Kenai Lake. The ones in the middle are of Rainbow Lake(s) & the last two are of Kenai Lake closer the the paved section of the road.

One is of us picking blue berries along the Rainbow Lake Trail.
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:25 PM   #26
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AK Report Continued: Cooper Landing Area to Anchorage

Thursday, Aug 7: Time to leave the Russian River Campground & head back to Anchorage. We could tell when we woke, the weather was coming back & sure enough more rain as we were leaving.

Gradually, we drove out of the rain by the time we got back to Anchorage.

Time for Ax to fly back & time to return the Springdale on Saturday. We'd do an overnight at the*Elmendorf FamCamp & take the trailer back tomorrow. Then get Ax to air port.*

Stopped by Cabalas' first & eat. A very interesting place, so much to see, as they are always. A new one, FishHawk hadn't been to. Made it to the FamCam. *Later, on the way to eat supper, clam chowder, we stopped at a very new Bass Pro (also a neat place with a lot of displays much like Cabalas'. *Made it to the chowder place in downtown area; it was closed, not just closed, but out of business. It was late, finally went to a Texas Road House, near one of gates to Elmendorf.*
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DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
2015 Lance 1985 ~ Casita de Campo ~23' 4"
~Previously ~ 2005 16' Scamp
2009 White Ford F-150 Reg. Cab Longbed ARE Topper
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:50 PM   #27
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Name: Adrian
Trailer: Lance 1985~'Casita de Campo' ~23' 4"~Dinette Slide Previously: Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette, Front Bath
New Mexico
Posts: 1,185
Ending of a Great Alaskan Holiday

Friday, Aug 8: Got the Springdale back to Richardson's rental as planned. FishHawk decided we'd go back to Cabalas'. We'd wait there while his wife took Ax to the airport. All stay at the TC in the parking lot. We ate lunch in the TC & then checked Cabalas out again.

She had to escort him to the departure gate & wait until departure. Underage for flying alone. Alaska Airlines would escort him onto and off the plane, etc. then on.*

Got on OK, but soon airport security had to escort an unruly passenger off, then had to escort his wife off as well. Took a lot of time. Eventually, she could leave & was able to rejoin us.

After eating what she at gotten at the airport & all going back into Cabalas again, we found ourselves heading back across Anchorage & on to Eagle River. After a fuel stop, we were off to Fairbanks & Eielson AFB. Some rain at first, then fairly sunny, mostly blue skies. Denali was still hidden from view by clouds, but it was a nice drive.

Forgotten about the slow down for construction near Denali Park toward Fairbanks, we should have taken the Glen Hwy from Palmer to Glennallen, then hang a left to Delta Junction. Another left onto the Richardson Hwy to Eielson. But we didn't.

Our daughter-in-law tired of driving, so I took over for her just passed the halfway point between Fairbanks & Anchorage. I drove back as far as North Pole, where we stopped Safeway for a things for breakfast. About 150 miles.*

Saturday, we used to sleep in, wash a few clothes, pack our bags & play with the grandkids. Late that night, they took us to the air port & early Sunday morning we flew to Portland, then to Tucson.

An End to a Great Alaskan Holiday!
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DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
2015 Lance 1985 ~ Casita de Campo ~23' 4"
~Previously ~ 2005 16' Scamp
2009 White Ford F-150 Reg. Cab Longbed ARE Topper
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:55 PM   #28
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Name: Adrian
Trailer: Lance 1985~'Casita de Campo' ~23' 4"~Dinette Slide Previously: Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette, Front Bath
New Mexico
Posts: 1,185
A Few Sunsets

A few sunsets:
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2015 Lance 1985 ~ Casita de Campo ~23' 4"
~Previously ~ 2005 16' Scamp
2009 White Ford F-150 Reg. Cab Longbed ARE Topper
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