Visiting the Kenai Peninsula

Whenever we venture over to Katmai NP, we always do so via the quaint town of Homer, which is on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska.  About a 4-5 hr drive from Anchorage, the drive itself has a lot to offer … wildlife and views … and it’s one that we always enjoy.  This year though, much of it was done in the rain, well drizzle, and low lying clouds.  That always makes the “views” part of the drive a bit muted.

The stretch of roadway is almost a certain for spotting moose along the way.

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When we arrived into Homer, we’re immediately awed by the views … Kachemak Bay and the Cook Inlet, mountains galore, and glaciers, which were difficult to see clearly due to the fog layer.  Homer is probably my favorite town in all of Alaska, at least of the places that we have been.  It’s been proclaimed the “Halibut fishing capital of the world”.  They describe it as “a drinking town with a fishing problem”.  It’s a combination of seaside, artsy, eclectic, and definitely outdoorsy.  I’m sure that in the height of the season, it can be also quite touristy, but we’re not usually visiting at that time.  Adventures are there for the taking and wildlife is also ever-present.

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Bald eagles are probably the most known residents and can be found just about anywhere.  Such a thrill to roam about town and hear them calling out consistently in the distance.  This eagle is on the job watching for signs of tsunami activity.  LOL

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When I looked towards the lake where we take off from to go to Katmai, this is what I saw.  I didn’t hold much hope for a flight out in the morning, but as you know, we got off without a hitch.

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Gulls and black-footed kittiwake often live in their own version of “public housing” as they make their nests in the pilings of the underside of the dock on the bay.  It’s really quite the impressive colony!

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Yes, it’s quite peaceful to sit at the end of the “spit” and look across the bay and see those layers of mountains, with lakes and glaciers adorning them.

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The fog also hanging in the air and giving quite the mysterious impression of what lies on the other side.

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Yes, the sea is quite revered in Homer, as its fishing industry is a predominant one, so they pay homage to mermaid … however by the looks of things, I don’t think that the eagles and the gulls respect her as much.  🙂

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Near the fishing hole on the bay side of the “spit”, you can almost always count on spotting bald eagles as they wait for the changing tide and the fish that come with it.

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This year, while walking around the town, we came across this sight and so, you know I had to check it out.  Turns out to be an art gallery with a very fitting display, sure to attract attention.

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I especially loved these tiles placed together giving the illusion of the fireweed, which was still a bit in bloom when we were there.  Like I said, it’s an artsy town.

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On our way to the Beluga Slough, I spotted this sign on the road, which I found quite humorous and appropriate for the town as well.

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Last year, while driving past the roadside of the slough, I was treated to the “dance of the sandhill cranes” and I still remember it like it was yesterday.  Not so this year, but we were treated to sighting of the pair and their colt foraging out in the slough.  Such a precious sight.  Sandhill cranes are also a bird that you can hear and see in the distance at almost any moment.  Love it.

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We stayed on a campsite on the beach and woke up to views like this each morning.

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Nearby is a town of Anchor Point, where we visited to spot some wildlife … moose and bald eagles mainly, but another thing we found quite beautiful while there were the beaches.

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Tern Lake, though absent of terns in late August, is a place that we stop every year, always with different views and impressions.  This year, it was quite overcast, the fireweed had already past its bloom stage, and there were very few birds occupying the lake … just a few loons and a solo trumpeter swan.  As much as I prayed for a moose to emerge into the landscape, it didn’t happen.  Maybe that’s for next year.  🙂

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Now we’re ready to go across the Glenn Highway and onward to another seaside town … Valdez, where we hope to get out and do some kayaking and wildlife watching.  Be sure to stop by and check it out on Thursday.  We’ll be watching!  LOL

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© 2014 TNWA Photography

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