Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Moose , and Elk and Grizzly Bears! Oh my!

As we headed home from our camping trip with Kevin and Patty, we stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
Here we saw a number of different animals. First we drove by the moose. They were so friendly that you could pet them through the fence.
Next were the orphaned baby moose calves...there were 4 of them. So Cute! We weren't allowed to touch the babies as they are more susceptible to sicknesses.
On to the Grizzly Bears...
When we pulled up to them, there were 2 playing in the water.
They seemed to be having a great time splashing and fighting with each other. Then they climbed up on a log and were playing "King of the hill" it seemed.
We past drove by the Muskox and bison to view the Elk.
What Awesome animals!
They had some huge bulls here and some cute baby calves.
They were also close enough to the fence to touch.
As we slowly drove past the Elk, there was a small red fox trotting along the road. I hear some one say, "Felix is out again!" :)
Next came the Caribou, and then the Black Bears. They were walking along the fence wanting some attention, too.
We had a great time admiring these animals.

Salmon, Salmon, and more Salmon

Kevin had a good time fishing while here on vacation and Keith had fun taking him out to do it!
Keith caught 1 salmon dip netting and was able to show Kevin how dip netting was done.

He also took him fishing on the Russian river and they caught their limit of Salmon there for the day. They saw lots and lots of fish and even saw some jumping up through some water falls, trying to get up stream further.

They also saw a bear on this trip along the river. Some guys along the trail said that there was also a brown bear lurking in the bushes close by.

Here at home, Jamie took the guys out for the day in his boat. They had a good time fishing, but Kevin is the only one who caught his limit of 3 Silver Salmon. They also got "a little bit of" stuck on a sandbar, but the boat is light enough that they could just push it into deeper water. Luckily, there was some...:)

We were able to send Kevin home with a fish box full of Salmon and clams....and who knows what else Keith threw in there???

Happy eating Kevin and Patty! Glad you could come and visit with us!

Cozy retreat!

We were able to stay a day at the cutest little place in Cooper Landing, Alaska. Patty Linville knows at least one person in each town along the road from Ninilchik to home, Wasilla it seems. These friends of hers, Jim and Deb, were so nice to let us pop up our little camper in their yard and stay a night and part of a day.
Dawson warmed up to Jim right away and they had fun playing keep away with some sticks. Luke was a little afraid of Jim with his bushy beard and his playful attitude. Jim would say, "I'm gonna get you!"
Dawson would run and giggle and Luke would grab tighter to Keith's pant leg.
I've got to say , Luke gets it honest...:)

Keith and Kevin spend the next day on the Russian River fishing and Patty, I and the boys spent the day roaming around Jim and Deb's garden patch. I loved being able to open the door and have this beautiful garden to look over. So many picture opportunities here, too.

Jim and Deb homesteaded this plot of land, and have just in the last few years
gotten electricity and running water to some of their cabins. They have built numerous cabins on their place that they have used to live in, that are now garden sheds, a shop,a guest room, and storage cabins
. They now have a unique big main house that has a small bedroom on the third level. You get to this room by going up through a small opening in the floor and climbing up a ladder made of wood. Once in the room you can see out almost above the trees, but that isn't all! You can then go out another door and climb up an aluminum ladder to a lookout platform! We stood up there for a while glassing the grassy hillside for any signs of life. It was awesome! We were at the same level as the tops of the trees! This place has loads of character and I loved it!
I wish I would've gotten a picture of this old dog sled that had been sitting for years in the same spot. It now has a 8ft. tall birch tree growing up through the slats. There were little knick-knacks all around this garden and it was fun to discover them. The boys were good about
posing for me with the different flowers and carts, and had fun chasing "teach-other" around the sawdust paths.
After playing around the garden for a while we decided to go on a walk. There is a trail that leaves their place that goes to the Resurrection Trailhead. We walked towards the trailhead about 1.5 miles, or to the 3 mile marker along the trail. It was a nice trail that had been recently groomed, but by this time, Dawson was slowing down and was fighting the long grass along the trail with his "sword sticks". There is only so far little legs can walk, so we headed back to our garden refuge.
We ate lunch and played a game in the trailer while we regained some energy to play outside some more. The fireweed was so tall that the boys were hiding in it. It is such a pretty backdrop to get pictures in as well.
Luke's friend Cole was so sweet and gave him an airplane to play with when we stopped to visit them in Kenai. He and Patty shot that little plane back and forth and up and over the wires above their heads. It was great fun to have that little plane with us!
Kolby had fun exploring the rocks around the driveway.
Before we left, I got a picture of Kevin and Keith back from fishing and wore out. They had a great time also.
Many thanks to Patty and her friends for this great little adventure we were able to have in Cooper Landing, Alaska!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Clamming with friends

We went down to Ninilchik with some friends from Durango that were here visiting us. We ended up camping for 2 nights at Deep Creek. Jamie and Heidi came down for one of those days to see how clamming was done as well.
The weather was not that good and we got cold and wet. I think I saw that it was 55 degrees out.

The wind seems to always blow down on the beach and I have to keep a bandanna on or my hair drives me crazy blowing in my face. The boys did so good the first day out. The weather was actually not too bad this day and the boys had fun looking for sea treasures.

Kevin Linville ( Keith's co-worker from Durango) seemed to catch right on to clamming and had fun. I think he might have gotten the record for smallest clam though...was it an inch?? :)

Luke is showing Amber something from out of his bucket.... Hmmmm??? What could it be?? A hermit crab? A starfish? A small fish? A sea shell? A small white butter clam? So many treasures to find out on the beach when the tides are low.

Chip is going to try his hand at clamming, too.

He was a trooper and stayed out there with his Daddy while the other kids were in the truck.

A picture of Keith and Kevin clamming with the ominous skies lurking overhead. The clamming was poor with only 86 clams harvested that first day, between 4 of us hunting for clam holes. Keith said that he has heard that when there is stormy weather the clams go down deep and are harder to find. I'm not sure, but it seemed like that was true to me this trip.

Patty, Kevin's wife and our hygienist back in Durango, has lived in Alaska before, years ago. The clamming was not nearly as good as she remembered and actually the worst since we have been going. We usually get our limit of 60 per person, 120 a day for Keith and I.
She was excellent with the boys and they adored her. Dawson was continually asking for her to help him do things and Luke always wanted her to play games. She is probably glad to go home where her horses don't talk. :)

Another shot of Kevin and Keith, doing a double dig. It is hard work pulling the clam shooters back up out of the sandy muck full of sand and mud.
I saw some guys using there buckets as seats to rest on.

This is just a barnacle-y rock that was uncovered when the tide was low. There was a small red starfish on one side of it. Who knows what else was hiding on it....

On our way down to Ninilchik we have to go along the Turnigan Arm. The wind was blowing so hard that the sand on the low tide beaches was drying out and getting blown down the inlet. I had never seen this before and it looked as if the beaches were moving.
Alaska is full of interesting things to see and do. You have to be willing to get out and get wet and dirty to do some of them though.

I know just the family who will do this! :)