Anchor Point, on the Kenai Peninsula. And eagles. In a minute.
One of the many things we have learned about Alaska is there are about 20 seasons – all having to do with particular fish, their stage of life – and whereabouts. Seasons in Alaska have names like Silver, King, Red, Grayling, Coho, Halibut, Rainbow,… and winter. When certain fish are “running”, you might as well call it a national holiday. Everyone here fishes.
Our campground (a state park) was called Halibut Campground, if that tells you anything. The campground is practically right on the beach – it was terrific. And it is North America’s most western location that you can reach by road. I know that because the sign told me I should know this. I seem to recall a similar sign in Lubec, Maine a few years back.
But I have to ask: If I hadn’t been told not to, might I have occupied the dumpster in the campground? Here’s the thing: businesses don’t do anything unless they have to, or it adds value (profit). So, one might ask, what inspired this trash company to take the time and cost to stencil “Do Not Occupy” on four sides of a dumpster. Was it law, state park rules, or prior experience? Scary. And, to your question, no, I was not in fact thinking of camping in the dumpster. I am not saying I am above that – it just hadn’t occurred to me…
And it seems like a lot of Alaskans smoke. This may not be true. Of course, if I lived where it got down to -40 degrees F I might smoke myself. Let’s not rush to judgment.
Did I mention that the views from Anchor Point are drop dead gorgeous? I know that is a term I have probably used in every post I have written about Alaska, although not wrongfully. From the beach you can see at least four volcanoes across the inlet (Redoubt, Iliamna, Augustine and Douglas).
“Anchor Point, Boat 4, do you copy?”
“Copy, Boat 4”.
“We are done fishing for the day, heading back in, about 3 miles out’”
“Roger that, Boat 4.”
This kind of dialogue on the marine band radio goes on all day at Anchor Point, where for a mere $70 you can have your boat towed into Cook Inlet by a tractor and then retrieved later on in the day. What a process!
While in the pictures these tractors do not look that big, when I stood next to one the tires were almost as tall as I am. These are beasts.
Alaska is a place where you are constantly reminded of the circle of life. When salmon swim upstream to spawn, they soon die after this process, and bears, eagles and other fish-eating creatures gobble the fish up, on the way or after the fact.
Perched up in the trees or hovering overhead are some of these sentinels of majesty – the bald eagle, looking for their next meal.
If you think you are ready to go toe-to-toe with a bald eagle, take a second look at their talons.
Similarly, when fishermen bring in their catch, they deposit fish carcasses on the beach, and within minutes eagles, sea gulls and ravens make quick dispatch of these remains. It is not pretty, but it all serves a purpose; again, the circle of life.
Anchor Point is where the Anchor River terminates into Cook Inlet. The river is a favorite fishing ground for anglers – and majestic eagles. I was able to catch a few eagles having brunch.
The Kenai Peninsula continues to be an enormous source of views, wonder and magnificence. We are not worthy.