Thursday, July 19, 2012


We are still in the Kenai, Alaska and we are experiencing our best weather yet. The highs have been in the low 70s and the lows in the 30-45 range. One of the things that we really enjoy is watching dip net fishing. This is an opportunity that is only available to Alaska residents. When the salmon run into the mouth of the Kenai river, people stand in the water or ride on small boats hold “dip nets” into which the fish swim. These nets are huge and are attached to an aluminum pole. The people wear chest high waders or wet suits and go out into the water, some up to their armpits. Once they capture a fish, they take it up on the beach and kill it by bopping it with a small bat. Then, the fish is handed off to someone else who cleans it. Sometimes there is an assembly line going and there is one person in the water, one person bopping and sometimes several people cleaning the fish. The debris from the cleaning is left on the beach and the sea gulls feast.

As you will see in the pictures, this is a huge family activity. Each permit holder can take 25 salmon and 10 flounder and 10 of either for each additional household member.

Tuesday afternoon we drove out to Captain Cook State Park. We had bought some salmon and firewood and proceeded to cook our fish. Not really knowing what we were doing, we tried four different methods. Using aluminum foil, we placed the fillet on the foil and added either butter, Italian salad dressing or Evil Evelyn’s (honey mustard) which we had bought early in this trip. We then double wrapped with the foil. Each of these turned out quite tasty, but we had either cooked them too long or had the fire too hot. It really did not matter since we were having such fun with the fire and enjoying the view out over the inlet with the mountains in the background.

It is indeed a small world! As we were finishing up our picnic, three people came along and we asked them if they would take our picture. While talking with them, we discovered they were from the Katy, TX area and the more we talked, the more we realized that we had quite a few mutual friends. That was really fun! There were here working for a company that is hiring for some new/renewed oil and gas development.

Since we were so smoky smelling, we wanted to get a shower before going to bed. We have found that we can get free showers ($2.00 for non Seniors) at the Kenai Recreation Center. This had worked quite well until last night when the shower area was taken over by “natives” who had been dip net fishing. To put this as nicely as possible, I have never seen so many large naked women. It was not a pretty sight. I have not discussed what Hollie’s experience was like and I really do not want to know.


Yesterday morning we decided to drive to Homer which is about 80 miles South of Soldotna. We weren’t sure if we would actually make it since there are so many places along the way which we had previously visited and wanted to see once again.

About 15 miles South of  Soldotna we headed out on a nicely paved loop road that promised great views of the Cook inlet. Too bad that we did not get to see them. At least not today. About 4 miles into the loop we had a blow out. No problem, we have a nice new spare. Too bad the hook on the rod that cranks the jacks just broke right off. At this this time, we are not too happy with Toyota since this is a brand new jack that came with our brand new truck. I was also kicking myself for not renewing the Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance that we had last year. So, we bite the bullet and I call Good Sam’s and explain that my policy has expired but ask if they can tell me who they *would* have sent had we had the policy. They were very nice and gave me the name and number. I called the guy and he was changing the tire within an hour of our call. Needless to say, I will be renewing the Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance.

Now, we have to have a new tire so we go back to Soldotna and buy one. We also need a new rod for the jack, but since there is no Toyota dealer here and that rod was pitiful, we plan to go to Walmart later tonight and buy a new and hopefully better jack or rod or whatever we think we need.

The strange thing about the negative things that have happened on this trip is that neither Hollie nor I have been too upset. Our attitude is shit happens and you just deal with it. While on the trip we have had the trailer furnace repaired, our house in Hattiesburg was struck by lightening and now we had this blow out. We just altered our plans and went out for our workout. The real frustration is that when we went back to the Recreation Center to shower---guess who was there? Yes, once again I had to shower with all those naked Native women. I don’t think I’ll be going back there.

We spent another night at our “second home” the Kenai Wal-mart parking lot. Today I will go the track and do a speed workout and then we’ll try to continue on to Homer.

Life is still good!

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