Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ninilchik Camping Trip

The third week of July I found myself and Spirit heading to the Kenai Peninsula with my Willow Creek camp hosts, Sarah and Pat. Their friend Melissa, from Florida, also joined us. We caravanned down the Sterling Highway to  Ninilchik where would camp at the State Park at Deep Creek. This is Pat and Sarah's favorite place to camp and fish. The fish come right out of the Cook Inlet into Deep Creek to spawn and die. This is the week they always go to catch Silver Salmon; also known as Coho salmon. Imagine our surprise when the silver run was not yet there. We were bummed, but had a wonderful 5 days there anyway.

What's not to like?? The scenery is magnificent! Looking across Cook Inlet you see Mt Redoubt, Mt Iliamna and farther to the south Mt Augustine. These are active, though quiet at the moment, volcanoes! They are also part of the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific Ocean Ring of Fire. Pretty exciting and oh so beautiful.

We camped four nights. We hiked, did some sight seeing, threw our lines in (Pat caught a small flounder) and drove to the Homer Spit for lunch. Of course, I took a lot of photographs.

There were a lot of eagles at Deep Creek. Many were juveniles. We marveled at their flight and diving after other birds. It was quite the show. One morning we awoke to a juvenile sitting atop someone's RV. He didn't seemed bothered by us walking around taking his photo.

Spirit was the perfect camping buddy. Content to lie outside by the beach or go on one of the many walks we took. He had his first time in salt water and couldn't understand why he couldn't drink it like he could the creek water. It was rather cute. At night, he'd lay on the table turned bed in my Scamp and sleep without stirring by my side.

Below are just some of the photos I took all week. I'm hoping to get back down there again before the season is over. But as I write this, we've had quite a few days of rain and looks like more to come. No wonder Alaskans treasure each sunny day. You never know when the weather will turn and that's the end of the perfect days...for now!
The campground at Deep Creek. Can you spot my Scamp?
The first night we camped on the swamp side of the camp. It was full of eagles!
Spirit loved the Inlet. He keep looking at the little waves.
Spirit in the golden hour light.
Juvenile eagle
Eagle, bluff, fake lighthouse
Pat walking Maggie--the sheepdog!
The gulls were everywhere.
Rays of light
Mt Redoubt from the campground
Perfect camping spot-My blazer and Scamp, Pat and Sarah's RV--oh and a couple volcanoes to gaze at.
Mt Iliamna and Mt Redoubt
bird, boat, volcano
The air was warm and the water cold, but the kids didn't seem to mind.
What a view!
Never did find out what was burning near Ninilchik.
Spirit was a happy boy walking the beach.
Pat with Maggie, Melissa, Sarah with Lucky.
I never got tired of the view.
This juvenile eagle let me walk around him taking photos.
Iliamna in background.
Getting closer
...that was close enough!
How they launch and retrieve the boats.
Spirit was happy to nap in the shade after his walk.
Pat stares at Deep Creek at low tide, wondering where the fish could be.
The Russian Church in Ninilchik
Lots of flowers through the cemetery.

Old town Ninilchik. They had the most wonderful shop with all hand made items. Too pricey for me, but not bad for museum quality pieces.
The church sits on a bluff with this view.

Old town Ninilchik.
Straight out of Northern Exposure in Ninilchik!

Back at Deep Creek. At one point I counted 7 eagles sitting in this one dead tree.
Iliamna sparkles!
Redoubt sunset

The ladies in the sunset glow.

Kachemak Bay 
Looking back toward Ninilchik

Donna and Spirit acting like tourists!
The gulls at the end of the Spit.
Fishing at Land's End. I'm told you can catch halibut from the shore.
Melissa and Spirit, Pat and Maggie, Sarah and Zoey
The resort. We had a fabulous lunch on the deck overlooking the bay.
Halibut! The largest was 143 pounds.
Leaving Homer we spotted an eagle's nest. We stopped and watched the eagle bring food for the babies.

Back at the campground-storms moving in.
Eagle soars
More fingers of light.
Looks like a good place to nest. Really??
Could be laying an egg!
Nah--just seemed to like the roof of this RV.

Looked me over pretty good---and then took off!

Coming in for a landing on the beach.
A tasty snack.
What do you mean I have to share???
If that's the case, I'm leaving!

Sunset--the set netters and processing ships could be seen in the distance.
I'll never tire of this view. Sigh.