Saturday, May 7, 2016

Anchor Point ~ Ninilchik ~ Russian River ~ Alaska

Still enjoying the sights of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska

We left Homer with overcast skies this morning.  Sunny days are always preferred but with a few clouds up there and no rain it’s another great day ….. as long as we can see those mountains!

Mt. Redoubt, Alaska
We are travelling the Sterling Highway on the Kenai Peninsula.  We followed this same route into Homer, which is at the end of Highway #1 and will make our way back to Highway 9 then south towards Seward. The sun is shining down on the mountains from above the clouds.

Anchor Point, Alaska
This small community is the most western point on the highways of North America.  The story is that it is named for being the location where Captain James Cook lost an anchor.  This also marks the Blue Star Memorial Highway of Alaska. This is a program started after WW 11 which honours all men and women who serve in the US Armed Forces and a Blue Star Memorial Highway is found in most American states.  The blue star indicates a soldier fighting in the war and was used on service flags.

Mt. Iliamna, Alaska
This incredible view was across a field with access from a pull-out on the highway.  We were among others who stopped to get photos and enjoy the sight of Mt. Iliamna of the Pacific Ring of Fire across the Cook Inlet.   The fireweed is found all over this northern countryside adding great color.  See more of the Pacific Ring of Fire on a previous page by clicking on here.  

Russian Orthodox Church
Alaska was originally owned and occupied by Russia until it sold to the USA 149 years ago so has many of the descendants still living in this region.  The small town of Ninilchik, Alaska is the home of this little Russian Orthodox Church which was just a short drive off the highway.  Luckily we managed to get in and turn around with our big RV units which can be a challenge at times, so were able to stop here for a visit.

American Legion Cemetery
The Russian-American Company established Ninilchik in the 1820’s for those who could not make the journey back to Russia due to age or health problems.  Other Russians began to move to the area and in 1901, the settlers built the church.   This is also the home of the American Legion Cemetery.

Caribou and moose antlers
This is not likely something we’d normally see on our travels anywhere else, but if one wants to buy some antlers, this would be a place to come.   The moose and caribou shed their antlers yearly so there is no need to trophy hunt for their antlers; these begin with a $250 price tag.  Antler carving is a popular art form in Alaska so this may be one market they cater to.

Two Rusty Ravens Gift Store
Right next to the antlers, there was a very chic little gift store.  It was such a contrast to their neighbours and fun to browse and shop while the men checked out the antlers and rocks.  I’d say this was clever planning by the owners of Two Rusty Ravens and the Alaskan Gifts in Soldotna, AK.

Russian River Ferry
The first ferry for the Russian River was a rowboat in the 1930s and the office looks like it may have been built back then, too.  By 1950 the ferry was on a cable system to carry fishermen across the river to the south side and good salmon fishing.  This ferry still gives access to the Kenai and Russian Rivers and costs $10.25 round trip for the one minute crossing.  The area attracts 150,000 fishing visitors every summer but the fish also attract the bears so one must always be on alert for them.

Gulls enjoying fish in Russian River
There was a small RV park at the ferry landing but no space available so we were given permission to stay in the parking lot overnight. This was not the first or only time we parked our RV’s in a parking lot!  We spent some time watching the doll sheep on the mountain behind us, too far away for photos, but there were about 60 sheep spotted up there.  We also had a nice visit from a game warden who was able to tell us interesting stories about the area.  Another great day of our northern adventure!


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