|Commercial fishing boat setting out from Homer, AK|
|The Boardwalks at Potter Marsh|
|Humpbacks bubble netting|
|Whale watching with Herman and Jenny|
|Ursa at Exit Glacier|
|Dip-netting for salmon on the Kenai River with my Aunt Traci|
The towns of Kenai and Soldotna are a pair of quaint little fishing towns cut out of Alaska's boreal forest. They are not as touristy as the port towns of Seward and Homer which play host to a lot of cruise ships. The real draw for Kenai is the fishing, particularly in the silty waters of the salmon rich Kenai River. We had a great time dip-netting for red salmon. There is not much science to dip-netting, I would love to tell you that it took a tremendous amount of skill and perseverance to perfect this technique, but that would be a lie. Just wade into the water, drop in net, when a fish hits in it you'll know. Then drag said fish to shore and repeat. I got 10 which was more than enough to fill our freezer to the brim. But more important than the fish was the community involvement of it all. Standing in the river, talking to your neighbor, waiting for a fish to hit your net makes you feel a part of this community in a way that I hadn't before. Dip-netting on the Kenai River is an activity that just feels distinctly Alaskan.
|Sea Otter floating in Cook Inlet|
Kenai and Soldotna are rather small towns, so consequently my expectations of what to find there in the way of fine dining were rather low, but as it turned out I was pleasantly surprised by the places that we ate at. Our first night in town we had a lovely dinner at Mykel's, which was good but like most of the places to eat during the tourist season, is overpriced. The next night, we had a wonderful dinner of steak and smoked salmon with our friend, and Ursa's old boss, Joe Conte. Thanks Joe, it was all fantastic and we look forward to seeing you guys in New York, hopefully sooner as opposed to later.
St. Elias Brewing Company where we had sandwiches wrapped in the best pita bread I've ever had. And yes, the beer was delicious as well. I sometimes wish that I was more of a beer nerd, and could better appreciate a good microbrewery but unfortunately I'm only a nerd in every other sense of the word. Ursa knew that she would love St. Elias before we even sat down, based upon the mural on the wall of Bieres de la Meuse, which was originally painted by her favorite artist, Alphonse Mucha.
|The Salty Dawg Saloon|
For this week's Destination Libation, I would have rather included something new or exotic or especially something regional, but it just didn't work out that way. By the time that we got to the Salty Dawg, we had just come in from a long day of fishing and I just wanted something familiar, so I ordered my go-to drink, a whiskey and 7up. I suppose that I could give you the recipe, but the ingredients are kind of in the title. . . add whiskey, add 7up, and keep 'em coming.
All said, we had a wonderful time getting to see some of the attractions that Alaska has to offer. Because of Ursa and I's work and travel schedule whenever we are at home, in Alaska, we tend to just skulk about around Anchorage, and relax in our apartment. It sometimes takes a concious effort to force yourself to treat your back yard like a tourist would and apreciate it for all that it has to offer. It was refreshing to get a chance to see more of Alaska than we typically bumble into.
It was also Ursa's birthday this r&r, so I would like to say, happy birthday Ursa, I love you so very much! We had a wonderful party for her at her favorite sushi restaurant in Anchorage, Sushi & Sushi, and our friend, Autumn, did all the decorating and made a fantastic, 3 tiered cake, sugar cookies, and homemade truffles, it was such a great time, and a stellar effort from Autumn. Thanks again, Autumn.
Looking forward, I will be having a bunch of new posts coming up this month. Ursa and I will be driving my car up from Idaho to Anchorage, making stops in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, as well as Calgary, AB, and then a lovely drive through Canada. I'll be keeping everyone posted on here with a travel log during the trip, and later converting that log into my more conventional posts. I'm especially excited to see some of my old friends in Boise and Twin Falls. So we shall see you all soon. Bye!
|Happy Birthday Ursa!|