The Russian River Campground is an interesting place to stay when in Cooper Landing, Alaska. It is home to the notorious “combat fly fishing” for salmon, trout, and other varieties. It’s also a place where the photographers can find bears also fishing in those rivers. While we did find brown bears again on this trip, it was only one afternoon, and we really wanted to say our goodbyes to them. 🙂 So we visited the river via the boardwalk for a final walk. We took our time once we arrived at the confluence of the Russian River and the Kenai River, just down a bit of the ferry.
It was a stunning morning and once again we were treated to the early morning sunlight peering through the trees along the boardwalk. It was a bit cold this morning and foggy as well. We patiently sat down for awhile at the stairs and chatted with some of the fishermen. We received various stories of theories as to where the bears were … none of which were authenticated nor pleasant. I still hoped that they would return one last time for us. In the meanwhile, a big group of common mergansers came by. I was quite fascinated at their “team effort” in chasing down and beaching of some small minnows and smelt for their dining pleasure. I had never witnessed it before!
Harlequin ducks were also out and about in the Russian River.
When we decided to make our way back on the boardwalk, we encountered this sighting, which usually means only one thing … bear(s)! I eagerly made my way to their spotting. But it was for not, as it was simply a bald eagle that had flow in and the fishermen were simply admiring it and taking some cell phone shots as well. Dang! On the way towards Homer, we stopped a few times for photographs, but we were equally anxious to get there and check in with Beluga Air and Dave for our Katmai bear viewing the next day. It’s so beautiful to photograph the fireweed standing tall and proud in various fields. Once we arrived at our final destination for the evening, Homer, we ventured to the end of the “spit” and took in the beauty of Kachemak Bay and glaciers within the state park across the Cook Inlet waters. We visited the Beluga Slough area, which is a “must do” annually, though we didn’t see the sandhill cranes like in years past.
We also visited Bishop’s Beach and built our traditional cairn … in celebration of our upcoming wedding anniversary. Each year we build this feature containing 1 stone for every year we’ve been together … plus 1 more for good luck … so this year it was a cairn of 19! It wouldn’t be the same to not do it, though I’m wondering how much more stable we can make it during the next 5-10 years! LOL
We then checked in for our bear trip which initiates the next day … weather permitting, as always. Let’s hope for it to be a good morning. 🙂
Next up: Katmai or bust ….
© 2015 TNWA Photography / Debbie Tubridy