Bill&Lynn 50th Anniversary Trip to Alaska 2016 travel blog


Out of Fairbanks and south bound. First stop Nenana. A town of the Tanana River about 40 miles from Fairbanks Visited the Railroad Station/Museum. Fun stuff. Found out that this is the PORT for all the river towns in the Interior and the Aluetians. All the barges had finished leaving the day before. Local tribe store/museum wasn't officially open but they let us in anyway. Some serious about the annual boat race and the official ICE OUT tripod. Weather clear and warm -70's.

Saw Mt Mckinley, locally spoken of as "mountain's out today" or "saw the mountain", in its entirety.Continued for three days of full viewing. Spoke with a tour bus driver from Whitehorse. He has been driving tours for 17 years and this only the sixth time he has seen the mountain. Lucky us.

We spent five days going from Fairbanks to Palmer/Wasilla. We are just some speedy! That area was interesting. Iditarod Race headquarters, Musk Ox farm etc. Stayed at the Elks Lodge, located on Finger Lake. Float planes and boats for fishing keep the view constantly changing. One evening we had moose and 2 calves cross the parking lot abouyt 10 feet from the front bumper.

Moved to Hope. Another gold boom town grown tiny. Camped along a creek with a spectacular view of Turnagain Arm and the Seward Highway across the water. Learned about the town's history and the local museum with numerous outbuildings loaded with equipment.

Moved on the next day to Soldotna. Stayed in Fred Meyers parking lot for RV's. Three day stay at no charge. That night the battery problems finally surfaced where I could trace down the fault. Next morning started on a battery hunt. NAPA had the best deal but only one of the two I needed. Available the next day from Anchorage. That gave us Friday and Saturday to explore.

Soldotna was basically founded in 1947. WW2 veterans were granted 160 acre homesteads, four 40 acre parcels contiguous. They had to build a dwelling and live there for six months to be granted a clear title. There was no road, no town. Just wilderness along the Kenai river about 15 miles east, upriver, from the town of Kenai. We had a great conservation at the Soldotna Historical site with a daughter of a pioneer in 1947. First road was built in 1952 linking the Kenai Penninsula to Anchorage. Pioneers rode the railroad to Cooper Landing area and then walked from there.

On Sunday we moved to Homer. Basically the end of the road. After the town of Homer you drop downhill onto the Homer Spit. a narrow tongue of sand that extends out into Kachemack Bay about 5 miles. We stayed in the city campground, read as a gray gravel flat area, at $15/night. Our view out the windshield was to the North looking at Kachemack Bay. View to thje South was towards Cook Inlet. View West was snow covered mountains, some are volcanoes. Toured Homer well. Famers Market of Wednesday and Saturday. A lot of fresh picked veggies available. Drove the East Road 23 miles to the end and a Russian, Orthodox, community. Views were great. School towards the end of the road had a great view West of the mountains. We found a quilt shop in the local hardware store! Several bakeries had some interesting goodies for Bill. The Fishing Hole was on the East side of the campground. Salmon catch was fairly high even with the seals trying to steal the fish on the hook. Cleaning station was loaded with seagulls. Every so often the seagulls scattered. The eagle had arrived to feed. Lynn has picture, on her phone, of an eagle about 5 feet away.

A lot of equipment and supplies are moved by landing craft. Some are converted LST's. We watched a beached one as they renewed propellers and performed maintenance over a period of two weeks. All work done on the low tide. A bigger ship came in for two tides. Inspected and then it shifted to local shipyard. Drove north to Anchor Point. That is as far west as one can go on the road system for North America. That for sure gives us all the corners.



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