The Kenai Peninsula...

Based on all we've read, "The Kenai Peninsula has it all". Literally. Within its 16,000 square miles one can experience state and national parks, abundant wildlife, majestic mountains, rivers, lakes and ocean, ancient glaciers, world-class fresh and saltwater fishing, and Alaska’s fascinating history and culture. It’s where Alaskans come to play! Well then, let the playing begin.

Our first stop was to visit Exit Glacier, the only area of the Kenai Fjords National Park accessible by road (we haven't committed to getting on a boat just yet).
The Visitor's Center had a cool exhibit on what makes glaciers the amazing color most appear to be. As it turns out, blue ice occurs when snow falls on a glacier, is compressed, and becomes part of the glacier. Air bubbles are squeezed out and ice crystals enlarge, making the ice appear blue. There is no way to describe how beautiful a blue this hue is. Wow.



Sadly, less than 100 years ago the entire trail system here was under ice. Date signs everywhere indicate just how much the glacier has retracted. Our hike to get there was a stroll through the forest that has sprung up in the wake of the glacier.

We then headed to our night's camp via the Skilak Lake Road, an 18-mile-long loop gravel road which is (supposedly) the premier wildlife-viewing area on the Kenai Peninsula. And while we did get spectacular views of lakes and glaciers, there wasn't a wild anything to be found. This is our third side trip, on a 'special road', that touted spectacular wildlife sightings... we're 0 for 3 currently.
We thought this was awesome and today's Only in Alaska that we've seen.
And this is Only in Alaska 2. These boot scrapers are next to many of the trails and to be used to keep invasive weed species from spreading. So clever.

So the only wild thing we saw was this beautiful mushroom. We do know that there’s plenty of human history on the Kenai, too. Captain Cook explored the region, Russians colonized the parts of the eastern coast and Dena’ina Alaska Natives thrived on the Kenai Peninsula.  And let’s not forget the Gold Rush, which spurred development of the Alaska Railroad and communities here. The Kenai Peninsula is packed with interesting history and culture. We will be sure to take the time to soak it all in.

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2 comments:

Karen Booth said...

You and Brady have both had "blue day" photography. Pretty cool - for you literally.

Cyndy Brown said...

Love the poodle and the bathroom sign.

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