Just when you think you've figure a place out and have come to expect more disappointment than revelation from it, everything can change. Having been in Alaska for nearly two weeks now, we were surprised to find that most places that would make good boondocking spaces were all buttoned up and now paid park areas, we headed into the Kenai Peninsula and discovered a real gem.
It was cold and wet when we left Anchorage, a city we apparently didn't understand how to navigate. I was surprised in Anchorage when we tried to find a way to the shore that there is no parking anywhere, parking was paid only, or that you couldn't actually get to the shore line. So far we've found most areas we've wanted to see accessible but Anchorage was just different. It seems that if you really want to see the city you need to take one of the trolleys tours, and another time we might be interested in that, but right now we just kept rolling.
Heading out of Anchorage we started toward Steward. With the cold rain and the gray day we agreed that we would just drive and see if a specific camping spot would work for us instead of stopping along the winding Seward Highway along the fjord. After our other experiences this week looking for sites, It didn't seem likely that we would actually find a nice place to camp for the next few days as we hadn't had good luck with this sort of thing since arriving in Alaska but just when you think you have it figured out the place surprises you again. We drove a very short distance off of the Seward Highway to a wide flat spit of land next to a lake near Moose Pass. Even with the cold drizzle the lake is stunning and the mountain vistas breath taking.
The mountains as we entered the Kenai Peninsula changed almost immediately from what we have seen as well. Instead of stark rocky peaks these mountains are skirted by trees, grass and shrubs. This area was dug out by a huge glacier in the distance past and on any stretch of open road you can see the U shape of the valley as well as deep flat bottom trough between peaks where smaller glaciers made their slow halting path into the deeper valley. These glaciers left tons of sediment and rich growing soil for trees and plants to cling to.
Many of the lakes in this areas are the remnants of these once great ice giants.
Rain or shine we keep rolling as we make our way through the vast open spaces of Alaska. No matter how much you plan, no matter how much homework, or research you do, until you experience a place you don't always truly comprehend its nature. Although we have looked at the maps of this beautiful state and read much about what it has to offer it only really started sinking in how much of this state is truly wild. There are very few actual roads in Alaska compared to the lower 48. This means that there are narrow corridors in which to travel limiting what it is possible to see and do. Rolling seems to always be teaching us something new and this lesson is epic.
This week we will continue to work our way along the Kenai to see what we can see and we will continue to do our research and study into what we would like to do. I'll also be researching for my next Generations book for the Cattleman's Daughters even while I work on some fun Christmas in July books. I've already been through North Pole Alaska near Fairbanks so how hard can it possibly be? Don't forget to check out my website and see what books we already have to offer in the Ornamental Match Maker Series.