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The second trip to the Kenai Peninsula

The second trip to the Kenai Peninsula

Like already announced, we still had more plans on the Kenai Peninsula. A new window for our van would be available after the long Memorial Day weekend, which made us travel around for this trip only with a provisory tape setup covering the hole. Also, we could store all our winter-equipment that we would not need at my buddy Erik’s place. 

So Memorial Day weekend came up, one of the long weekends that Americans go crazy about camping. Obviously with their big motorhomes. But more on that later.

It’s only been Thursday yet and we already started ahead of everyone else down the Seward Highway to, who would’ve thought it, Seward! This lies right at the coast snugged between snow-covered mountains.

The harbor of Seward.

Also, the town itself is really nice. Especially the harbor district and the old town were quite fun to visit, not to mention the walkway along the shore. There we got welcomed by seals, sea lions, otters, and eagles. And seagulls, they’re even up here in Alaska.

The night we spent in a quiet forest next to the Resurrection River, which origins from several glaciers.

Evening light at the Ressurection River.

We set an alarm for eight o’clock the next day, as there was great weather on the forecast. 

And that’s how we got to Friday, which was full of different adventures. After a luxurious breakfast with banana pancakes and coffee, we drove up to the Exit Glacier. Next to that glacier, we hiked up the mountain beside it until we reached the snow line and the avalanche hazard got too tricky. Instead, we scrambled down the slope to the edge of the glacier and enjoyed some spectacular views.

Great ice formations at the Exit Glacier.

We almost took all our glacier equipment with us, however, after seeing a sign that the lower part of the glacier was closed to travel we left it in the car. Up here we could’ve gone on the already snow-free glacier.  A bit disappointing, but next time we’ll make it. 

It would’ve been fun to head out onto the ice as well, but we haven’t had our equipment with us.

In the afternoon we hiked back to our vehicle and drove back to Seward to visit again with now great weather.

Another visit to the Seward harbor.

We quickly saw the incoming flood of Memorial Day campers that were parked everywhere along the coast. Literally everywhere.

Americans doing what Americans do best: Camping!

After a short visit, we drove on to the coast, too and enjoyed a hot chocolate in the sun. And while we sat there and then actually there were to humpback whales appearing, blowing fountains into the air. Alaska definitely treated us well again!

Hard to catch on a photo, however, really impressive!

Even though it’s already been six o’clock in the evening we decided to take a bit more advantage of the weather and still traveled a bit further. The sun would only set by 11 pm so there was plenty of time left. The next days were supposed to be bad weather again. So we used these hours and traveled inland through the wild and beautiful scenery of the Kenai Peninsula.

Evening mood on the Kenai Peninsula.

Here and there we pulled over to gaze and take photos until, late that evening, we arrived a the shore of the Skilak Lake where we finally cooked dinner and watched the sunset. I guess I didn’t lie when I said that this day was full of adventures.  And it was definitely beautiful!

Cooking dinner at the Skilak Lake.

We went on with the journey from Skilak Lake to Homer. It’s been raining this morning and we expected the mood there to be rather gloomy. However, once we got there the rain stopped and our new friends from Anchorage already had a party running at the beach. So we immediately joined them for beer and barbecue and relaxed by the ocean. Good change to always just sightseeing.

Barbecue, beer and party at the beach.

Until late that night we sat together, laughed and danced around the fire always having a good drink at hand. Altogether this was a fantastic night with a great party and a lot of nice local people. 

Obviously, after such a long night we slept in the next day and put down our camps late that morning. It started to rain again so we used the time to visit one of the laundromats in town and had a shower, washed our clothes and charged several electronic devices. 

Only when the weather cleared in the afternoon we left and actually took some time exploring the Homer Spit, a long road leading out on the ocean with some really cute houses along the spit.

Tents, tiny houses and huge mountains by the sea.

Man, seeing the mountains and the ocean round that was, once more, just beautiful!

Homer at it’s best!

Only one more thing we still wanted to get off the bucket list down there. Being in a fishing town we had to get some good fish. And fish’n chips were absolutely trendy up here. Just there were almost no places that were still open after seven o’clock that night. There was only one fancy place that was still open and had fish and chips on the menu, however, this place was quite busy and honestly, also pretty expensive. And that’s how we ended up ordering fish and chips for two to take away and eat it right on the beach. For 50 damn dollars! Most likely the most expensive fish and chips I ever had, but at least they were quite good. 

Well fed and with a lot of good impressions we left Homer on that same evening and made our way back up North, where we found a great place to sleep right next to the ocean. I got a recommendation from a friend in Revelstoke to go there and that was a good hit on the bullseye. The magnificent sunset made it all perfect in the end. 

Stunning sunset at the Kalifornsky Beach.

Another great day on the peninsula we spent in and around the little village of Hope. Once more we got recommendations from our friends from Anchorage that we should still go there.

The small town of Hope.

We definitely got a positive surprise there. During the day there we went out for a hike up to the Hope Point, which offered spectacular views over the town of Hope and the vast Turnagain Arm.

Hiking up to the Hope Point.
Vast view from the summit over Turnagain Arm.

Even down to Anchorage we could look. As spectacular as it was up there, it’s also been super windy and cold, so we quickly ended up leaving again and hiking down to the valley.

Quickly escaping the cold again.

There we visited the town itself. Once quite a crowded place, Hope now was just a remnant of one of the many Gold Rushes that came over Alaska. Still, there were quite a lot of historic buildings there from that time. 

The main street in Hope.
A cute, historic building.

For dinner, we left the town itself and drove along the highway to mile 13, another recommended place. It’s been a super sweet spot to camp next to the ocean.

Another great campground next to the sea.

And also we experienced another stunning sunset that literally blew us away. Too beautiful to be true!

Mindblowing sunset over Turnagain Arm.

And the big advantage of Alaska sunsets is, that they last for several hours and you could really enjoy them. What a good end to our trip over the Kenai Peninsula! 

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