Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cook State Recreation Area

We have spent the past two nights parked at the North Kenia Peninsula Recreation Area. This place has a little bit of everything, including a huge domed swimming facility with a 132 foot slide. They allow free overnight RV parking and for $2 we can use their shower facility.

Yesterday we decided to drive out to the Cook State Recreation Area. Our intention was that we would stay in the campground, but after driving around the campground, we decided to just use the day use area which had beautiful views of the Cook inlet, beach and the mountains with four "active" volcanoes. We had previously bought a load of firewood from a roadside vendor and we really wanted to have a fire and watch the sunset. We arrived at the area at about 3:00 pm and took off for our daily run. I ran out a couple of miles and on my return trip I saw a moose about a hundred yards off the road. It was near river and was quietly watching me. I watched it for awhile an then headed back to my starting area. On our drive into the area, I saw what I thought were three fox.

Hollie and I then started about building our fire. I'm sure you Mississippi people have a difficult time relating to building a campfrie in July. But, you have to realize that the temperature was in the 50s and would be in the 40s at night. Just after we got the fire going a Native American family of grandma, adult son, adult daughter and granddaughter pulled into the parking lot. They kept looking at our fire and finally the young man came over and asked if we would like to share our fire with them. He said they wanted to teach the granddaughter how to make Smores and they would share them with us. How could we refuse? It turned out to be a good decision as we thoroughly enjoyed talking with them---especially the grandmother who shared some interesting stories about growing up on an island and living in Alaska.

Eventually, they left and we cooked our hotdogs, green peppers/onions and chili. We also had some deviled egg potato salad that we had purchased from Walmart. We topped the meal off with Smores that they had left for us. We then sat around the fire until sunset (sometime between 11-12 pm) and eventually drove back to the rec center to park for the night. Since it was closed, we had to go to sleep smelling like the campfire. After this morning's run, I was very happy to get a hot shower and put those stinkly clothes away.

We then drove into Kenai to watch the dip net fishing. We had never seen nor heard of this, but it was interesting to watch. The people use these huge nets attached to a long aluminum pole. They get in the water (wearing chest-high waders) and as the fish swim by they get caught in the nets. They then haul the net onto the beach and take the fish out of the nets and hit them with a small bat (like a miniature baseball bat). According to the locals, the run has not really started, but it should at any moment. How do they know this?

We are planning to stay in the Kenai Walmart parking lot tonight and in the Soldotna Fred Meyer lot tomorrow. We probably would leave the area tomorrow, but there is a 5K and 10 mile race on Saturday. I always like to do a race when we are on our travels and I especially want to do one in Alaska. Hollie and I will both do the 5K.

1 comment:

Bob said...

I loved the campfire story. Sharing the fire: nothing says "camping" like that! :)