Most of these restaurants, located on the same docks as the charter fishing boats, will even cook your catch for a nominal charge.  This particular service has been denied us as my feline traveling companion enjoys her fish still flopping around on the plate and most restaurants simply refuse to indulge her.  We spent a day fishing for halibut and Coho Salmon on Resurrection Bay in preparation for a father/son fishing marathon in a couple of weeks…

  Alaska 2010 - Part 6                                                     August 2, 2010

Unfortunately, THIS wasn’t the place for either!   Seafood can be found in abundance nearly anywhere in Alaska and the waterside restaurants in the Seward small boat harbor offer some of the best food and views you will encounter…

After a long day running the trails, you really look forward to a great meal and a cold brew…

Halfway up the mountain we encountered this somewhat hazy view of Upper Trail Lake with what remained of our road in the foreground.   We soon found ourselves walking ever expanding circles around the Jeep in search of the most doable route to the top.  This was it…

Can you see the road?  Neither can we!  This particular trail led to the Crown Point Mine and an un-named glacier which can only be seen from this vantage point…

The short growing season combines with rugged terrain to make it especially difficult for visitors to view the many varieties of wildflowers inhabiting the backcountry…

Seward, Alaska.  This is the oceanfront town (actually located on Resurrection Bay) named for U.S. Secretary of State William Henry Seward who, in that capacity from 1861 to 1869, purchased the “Great Land” (Athabascan translation of “Alaska”) from Russia for the outrageous sum of 7.2 million dollars!!  Although referred to as Seward’s Folly at the time, I would rank this purchase right up there with that 13-mile long strip of dirt in New York Bay which, according to legend, we bought from a local Indian tribe for a basket of beads and a couple of tickets to a Broadway show.  We have been holed up here for the past couple of weeks in the Seward Waterfront Campground…

The weather has not been of the sort you write home to friends and family about but the wildlife we enjoy from the confines of our Urban Assault Vehicle are great compensation for the permanent “pruning” of skin we have developed as a result of living in a fog bank…

This “road” is actually meant for use by off-road motorcycles and ATV’s and when told that we wouldn’t be able to get to the top in a Jeep…well…that was all the inspiration we required to give it a go…

I had considered planting a flag and naming it in honor of my native Norwegian guide but “Zook’s Berg” just didn’t sound appropriate.   Perhaps we’ll make another run up the mountain if I can come up with a name that “sings” and the incessant rain lightens to merely monsoon strength.  Getting away from the ocean and into the mountains of the Kenai presents you with the opportunity to observe some of the more elusive of Alaskan wildlife, including both marmots and ptarmigan…

Our son has decided to pay us another visit in mid-August and has challenged me to a “catch or swim” competition (Be afraid, Junior!  Be VERY afraid!!).   I did manage to negotiate terms whereby I will enjoy a 5-fish old fart handicap and I am prepared to prove to him that old age and treachery will out-maneuver youth and skill at every turn.  I’ll let you know how it turns out next time.  On Monday, August 2, we booked one final full day combo halibut, salmon and rock fish trip out of Seward through Ninilchik Charters in Soldotna (fish@ninilchik.com  907-262-7825).   We arrived at the boat at 6:30am and were prepared to be out until 7 or 8pm that day.  In speaking with a few of the other fishermen, we learned that this was a full day halibut ONLY trip and did not include salmon or rock fish.  We confirmed this with the captain and he agreed that a 12- hour trip for halibut alone was an awful long time to catch 2 fish per person but he had to fish for what he was told to by their office in Soldotna.  He said that they have sold these combo trips before and when folks arrive at the boat and find out the trip is not what they paid for they offer some small refund.  I guess they just assume most tourists will still go out since they bought licenses and are already there.  We didn’t!!  The problem in a trip like this is that after you catch your 2 halibut, you are done fishing for the day.  You just sit on the boat, not permitted to fish, until everyone else gets their 2 fish limit.  We called their office, received both an apology and a refund through Alex (she is also the one we booked our trip through), and tried unsuccessfully to book with another charter company for that day.   And so we are now out $60 for 2 fishing licenses and 2 king salmon stamps that were good for only that one day.  We are not at all pleased with this bait and switch game that Ninilchik Charters plays and we recommend that you book with anyone BUT them on your next Seward, Homer or Ninilchik fishing trip.  We do, however, recommend J-Dock Charters in Seward  (888-22J-DOCK).  The owner, Kam, spent a couple of hours trying to get us out with one of the other captains, both his and others, that day.   Now comes the REALLY BIG problem: I have to spend the next few days with a pissed off Norwegian!!!   Hugs!  Chuck and Kalyn

Eagles are not as abundant in Seward as in other parts of the Kenai Peninsula but they are still every bit as magnificent as they are elsewhere.   Sea Otters are the local crowd pleasers and they have no difficulty playing, eating and mating in full view of us tourists and close enough to provide some great photo opportunities…

We did enjoy one day where the cloud cover lifted, the weather warmed and that shiny thing in the sky actually showed itself.  It is during these interludes in the sweltering 40 degree temperatures that the indigenous folks break out their bathing suits and picnic gear for a day at the beach soaking up that rare sunshine which the government has not yet figured how to tax.  We decided to enjoy the sunshine with some Bryan-style mountaineering…

Our site is neatly wedged between the mountains to our rear and Resurrection Bay on the other side of our windshield…