Alaska 2014

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Comments added AFTER coming back to San Jose are in [square brackets].

Report 31. Day 31. Wed, June 4. Seward to Cooper Landing, Kenai Peninsula. Early Morning Drive for Animals.

Our plan today is to get up super early, which we already have, drive a 23 mile loop on a gravel road we heard about, for bears and moose and whatever's loose. Then we're going to drive back into Seward. We won't hitch up for this first animal chase. The early morning light on one of our nearby peaks is nice.

 

We are on our way to Cooper Landing, and somehow or other we start talking about how ponies are often mean. Shirley says she knows of a lady who was feeding an apple to a horse, and to show its gratitude the horse bit into the apple and bit the end off one of milady's fingers.

What better name for a mountain pass than the one below. At right, it's so early no wind has come up yet, and a handsome seaplane gives us a nice reflection.

Below, we think they are pre-fabbing a log cabin. The logs are pristine. Someone is notching one of the ends.

Below, this is beautiful Tern Lake, again with great reflections. And rotating about 70 degrees to the left, we have steam rising from the water. {We saaw arctic terns nesting here and a nice common loon on a nest}

Thus far, this morning, we have been without the trailer. We return to our camp, hitch up, and are ready for travel. But first...

Our plan is to go into Seward for some shopping, quilt store visiting and sightseeing. Sharon likes this church, up one of the streets away from the water.

In a clothing store, I admire Mr. Moose. Sharon poses with a scaled down model of an Orca up the street.

This fellow, hanging from the ceiling, is a Dall's Porpoise. We saw these yesterday, and I got great shots on video, but they would not surface totally before immediately going back underwater. So no photos. We are visiting the Alaska SeaLife Center, which has live seabirds and other animals. At right is a Tufted Puffin.

We see some puffin bookmarks 5 dollars each, and I think they are special since puffins made them. {They put paint down on some surface, the puffins walk through them and then walk on the paper out of which they cut the bookmarks. Then they say "the puffins painted these."

The wonderfully painted Harlequin duck at left, and a Red-legged Kittiwake at right.

A Horned Puffin relaxes and a Rhinocerous Auklet provide us great closeups that we didn't get at sea yesterday.

The Pigeon Guilemot is totally orange, like his feet, inside his mouth.

A pair of Specticaled Eider are wonderful, as is the agile Harbor Seal.

Forget the name of this guy, but he is awesome - all serious business.

We have halibut and seafood chowder for lunch then hit the road, with the trailer this time, but Shirley soon puts a halt to that, at the Bearly Threaded Quilting Shop. She and Sharon have a great time, and I think this was maybe their favorite quilt shop. {We loved Bobbin, their 4 month old puff of a dog.}

It's the Seward Highway till we come to the intersection with the Sterling, where we turn left.

Continuing on we make it to our RV park for the night, the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge and RV Park. It is deep in the woods and is a welcome stop.

Here is our rig. It is a back-in site. We spotted lots of mountain goats, and enjoyed looks with our scope and tripod on that mountain you can see behind our rig.

We unhitch, and take off, hoping for more animals.

Below is a setup for the following four shots. Look closely at the picture, in the mountain stream at the bottom of the picture. That thing that looks perhaps like a pair of butt cheeks is a moose, eating vegetation under the water, and though you can't see it in this photo, there is a reddish-brown baby at left, waiting for mom.

We are on the lookout for bears, and Jerry tells the story of him and another fellow in a canoe in Canada, pulled up on the shore. Suddenly they hear a bark, and look over to spot a baby bear cub. They take no chances and jump back in the canoe to get away from the danger, of mama discovering that her cub is barking at stranger danger. They see the cub climb a thin tree, then another one climbs up just below him, and then, yes, a third one climbs up to just below the second one. They are barking and barking, and unfortunately, Jerry anad his friend didn't have a camera with them at the time. Jerry says the tree was bending back and forth with the weight of the cubs.

We go back to the park, and watch So You Think You Can Dance, then intending to look for moose, we spend more time on the mountain goats with our scope.

Everybody but Jerry is a little goofy and the rest of us sing Marrrrrrrrrrrion, Madame Libraaaaaaaarian over and over. We sound goooood.

Tomorrow is our two hour float trip.

Cheers,
Bob and Sharon


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