Thursday, July 28, 2011


Kenai Peninsula is known as Alaska's playground, because it accesses numerous areas for fishing, boating, wildlife seeing, fishing, flightseeing, fishing, and Alaska in it rawest form. Basically a lot of fishing happens in this area, along with an uncensored (meaning in your backyard) view into the ecology of the wildlife in Alaska.

D and I took our obligatory pictures at the sign on the side of the road...while keeping one eye on the camera and another on the treeline for bears. no, really.

breathtaking... K and I walked down the beach to the place where residents were dipnetting. You must be an Alaskan resident of 1 year to dipnet. Basically, residents use giant nets and stand in the Kenai River to catch the "running" Salmon. It tends to be faster than using a fishing pole and you can amass a greater amount of fish in a shorter amount of time. You may catch 15 fish per head of household and 10 fish per each dependant.

People literally camp out on the beach with their families, fishing, filleting, and socializing.

It is is a sight.

To give you an idea of the dip nets...

Just standing in the water, with waders up to their chests,

catchin' fish. How to Dipnet, According to Halley, As Demonstrated by Some Guy on the Beach

(look in the lower right hand side of the following pictures for pictorial demonstrations)

Step 1: Get a fish in your net

Step 2: Pull 'em in from the water

Step 3: Flop the fish out of your net

Step 4: Hit fish in head with rock from beach

Step 5: Fish will fight, hit him againStep 6: Pick fish up by gills and put in coolerThe end.

Cars and tents as far as you can see on the beach. Guess what these kids were grilling on their campfires...salmon? heck no, hotdogs! Bet these Alaskan kiddies are sick of salmon! ha! :)


Don't know if it's the fact that this is a vacation (for me, not poor D!), that I'm with a dear dear friend daily, or that my surroundings are amazing but I am so content.

I am playing hard and resting hard. : )

Yesterday K, miss A, and I went to Soldonta's Wednesday Sale. Basically vendors selling everything from jams to hand carved wooden Salmon in tents in the middle of a park. It was fun to walk around to each tent and visit with the vendors. I didn't find anything special but it was deliciously fun to "window" shop.

After we shopped we walked along the river. It was so peaceful. Just fisher-people fishing, and water streaming, and breezes blowing. happy.

Miss A played at the park.

Then we all had an ah-mazing lunch at Veronicas. K had been telling me about this little jewel, but I had no idea. Veronicas is an eclectic house plunked on the bay with gorgeous food....can you tell I loved this place? ha! I had quiche with a rosemary polenta crust and chicken sausage, potato, and cheese filling and cheesy cauliflower soup and a nobake cookie the size of my fist while sitting at a picnic table in the sun watching ERA planes literally fly over our heads. K and I agreed that we need to go back at least 3 more times before I leave.

Today is sunny and clear. K and I are going to "sun" ourselves on her patio and maybe walk on the beach? How am I feeling about this? blessed and content.


p.s. As wonderful as it is to be in Alaska, I am missing home just a bit. Hi everyone! Miss you, love you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


First thing we did after leaving Denali was eat dinner!! We were hungry and it was chilly outside and nothing sounded better than pizza. Luckily for us, I had read a review online about a pizza place just outside of the park that was supposed to be spectacular. Didn't need to tell us twice. We ordered "the lower 48-it ain't" pizza, which consisted of reindeer sausage, elk meatballs, and buffalo mozzarella. It was delish. I was a little leery about eating elk and reindeer, but was pleasantly surprised. soooo good.

After dinner we went in search of our cabin for the night. How cute is this?

Our entire cabin was literally an arm's width wide! It was cute and fun for a night but any longer and we would have had too much togetherness. ha!
The view was beautiful. We stayed at Denali River Cabins (which I would recommend to anyone visiting) which were actually located on the river. So we could see mountains and rafters coming and going in the river.

We spent the morning exploring the little city outside we are in front of more mountains.

I saw this sign and said "Where's Ohio!?"

Nice view ; )

I was so happy to get a good picture in front of the park sign. I kept telling D to smile and cooperate because this picture would probably end up on a poster board at our funerals... ha! His response? Way to plan ahead I thought it was funny and actually a nice picture.

Oh Alaska, so beautiful ...


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


There is only one road, 92 miles long, that leads visitors in and out of Denali National Park. That only "winedy" road parallels the Alaska Range and travels through low valleys and high mountains peaks. Around mile 66 lies Eielson Visitor's Center, where on a clear day you can view Mt. McKinley....we did NOT visit on a clear day! : ) I was having a hard time comprehending what exactly I was seeing on the map, so D had me look at this discolored rock...

...and then find the same rock on the mountain range. See?

It may be cloudy, but we're still happy to be here!

Again, D is using pictures to explain how little we can see! ha!

Isn't it crazy that we are standing infront of a HUGE mountain and can't see it!?

Ah, my favorite summer accessory! Off Clip-On Mosquito Repellent!! I have discovered that mosquitoes are actually the state bird of Alaska. There are large and in charge. It may be dorky but this baby keeps the mosquitoes away so yeah, I'll be sporting it regularly this trip.

After 8 hours and 88 miles on a bumpy school bus, we arrived at Wonder Lake!

There you have it, our trip to Denali! Truly, truly a once in a lifetime trip.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Goin' on a Bear Hunt...

Gonna catch a big one! With big brown eyes and brown fuzzy hair!

As we were driving home from Seward (more on that later) on Saturday we noticed that traffic began to slow down to a slow crawl. Assuming it was just an accident we settled in for a wait, until I glanced out the window and saw this guy. oh my gosh. That bear was huge, as in made my knees weak, huge. I hopped out of the car with my camera like a hillbilly and started snapping away.

I'm so glad I did. LOOK at that bear.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

just a random Thursday in AK....

Good morning, Alaska! This is the view from the porch of our rental house...water, volcanoes, and mountains...that's all ; ) Today I spent the day with K and little miss A. We started our morning at The Moose is Loose Bakery. Oh my gosh, yum! I had a cheese and cherry danish. It was so delicious. I see many more visits to this spot in the (near) future.

After a trip to the grocery store and a quick lunch K and I headed home to bake a pie. This is vacation right? so there is a lot of eating ha! ha!miss A helped

It's 2:15pm in Alaska that means it 6:15pm in Ohio....'s time for wine!

yum! blueberries covered in sugar!

I'll give ya 5 bucks if you can name the animals on our pie. If you said bear, moose, and bald eagle, you win!

Then as we were driving to the fish processing plant to pick up some flash frozen salmon, we just happened on some friendly moose. You know, on the side of the road, 6 feet from the car...just another Thursday afternoon.

Hi Moose!

womp, womp, just a bit of smoke while baking.

The pie turned out well. It's still in the oven so no picture.

Just another random Thursday in Alaska with my best buddies.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


In the wee hours of the morning Saturday (as in, 3:30am), D and I ventured to Denali National Park and Preserve. Unfortunately for us, it was raining and a bit chilly that day but we enjoyed the park, scenery, and wildlife none the less.

See the skinny, windy road, literally on the side of a mountain? Uh, yeah they maneuver school buses around those curves sometimes stopping and backing up to allow other buses to pass simultaneously on the same road. Talk about holding on for dear life! : )

D in front of a mountain



rain = mud

Meaning, the back and windows of our bus were covered! At each stop, D and the bus driver would wash our windows.