Last stops on the Kenai Peninsula. As we depart the Kenai, it seemed appropriate to show a few pictures that reflect Alaskan culture: birds, bears and fish.
We diverted from the main “highway” onto Skilak Road (a suggestion from friends we met), a gravel road that took us near the Kenai River and several lakes. We camped at Upper Skilak Lake CG, which is a US Fish & Wildlife managed area, and it was awesome!
I did some paddling on Skilak Lake and it was just beautiful in every direction. There is a small island just off the shore that is home to Cormorants and gulls. What a racket from the gulls!
We had campsite guests! Truth be told, we were the guests – they live here. There were warning signs for black bears all around the campground, and were justified.
When I came back from paddling, Karen yelled to me (from inside the trailer mind you) that a big black bear had just (10 minutes prior) been walking through our campsite, not 6 inches from our screen door.
Being the caring, loving husband I am, I asked, “Did you get any pictures?”
“Pictures? Are you f’ing sh*tting me? Did you not hear me say the bear was looking in our trailer through the screen door?” she says.
Clearly I am a candidate for some sensitivity training. I am man enough to know when I have crossed a certain line.
Meanwhile, you all are saying, “Hey, did you get any pictures?” Oh, that is just shameful.
Well, a short while later, while taking Dottie out for her constitutional, I saw Mama Bear just up the road. At another campsite. Let me just say – I did not dally.
Not an hour later we got another set of visitors: three cubs, looking to do a little grab-assing. There is a huge cuteness factor here, but there was no cuddling going on with these guys. And while we didn’t see Mama while they were in our campsite, we knew she was probably close at hand.
The next day we moved up the road to another suggested campground at Quartz Creek.
Quartz Creek is a creek that branches off from the Kenai River, and we could easily see salmon were making their move back “home” to spawn. This is an absolutely interesting process salmon go through; birthed up this stream, swam out to the ocean, converted to salt water conditions, spent years in the ocean, traveled thousands of miles, converted again to fresh water living and returned to their birthplace. How does that happen???
This particular creek is not open to salmon fishing, but you can fish for Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout. The Dolly Varden follow the salmon upstream – not sure why, but these are salmon you see.
We will miss the Kenai, but cannot argue that we did not have a most awesome three weeks here. Glorious!