Blog 70: Alaska Finale
ContentsRearview Mirror - Summary of the past week
Pups Across America! - The Kids go boating
(Note: click on any photo for a larger image/slideshow)
Note that this blog is a continuation of last week’s Alaska photo trip. If you missed it and like photos of eagles, check out Blog 69: North to Alaska from October 30, 2011.
Homer, Alaska, is one beautiful place. Known for its fishing (primarily halibut and salmon), commercial and recreational fishermen are abundant in season. Gorgeous scenery everywhere including mountains and glaciers. Nature lovers have lots to see with wilderness parks and wildlife refuges taking up much of the land of the Kenai Peninsula. Along with the large eagle population there are numerous birds of other breeds, lots of brown bears, whales, dolphins, otters, seals, and on and on. Anyone who enjoys nature and beauty will marvel at this place. http://www.homeralaska.org/
Friday: Picture Perfect
Just a gorgeous day with warm light and warm temperatures. Lots of fun shooting birds in flight and a few perched, majestic avian specimens.
Tides: For those of us from Florida and others on the sea, we are used to the rising and ebbing of tides and plan our boating accordingly. However, we ain’t seen nothing like Alaska tides! (Tides range from minus five feet for a low tide to 23-plus feet for a high tide.) We experienced a 23-foot tide, high enough to shut down the road. The good news is that it allowed us access by boat to almost anywhere.
Saturday: Rain and Snow
The weather went from light clouds and dry, medium clouds and rain, and then dark clouds and heavy snow. Regardless, it was a great day for photography. I also took advantage of the changing weather to practice making blurs. See what you think.
The Homer Harbor (home to one of the vessels from the “Deadliest Catch”) is two-thirds down the Homer Spit, right inside Kachemak Bay. Each day the boat captains would take into consideration the tides, winds, and weather and concur with our photo leader as to where to hunt the eagles. Several times, for example, we were in China Poot Bay. Another way to think of it is that China Poot Bay connects to Kachemak Bay, which connects to Cook Inlet, which connects to the Gulf of Alaska, which connects to the Pacific Ocean.
Sunday: Drive to Anchorage
At 9:00 a.m. I met Aussie Mark in the windy dark morning. We drove slowly up the Spit* because the front desk clerk had told me that the combination of high tides (over 20 feet) and high winds was causing waves to toss rocks upon the road. As the skies lightened up and the wind went down, we enjoyed nice weather the first 75 miles or so of our trip west, north, east, and back west. However, from there we shifted from dry, easy-driving pavement to slick, snow-covered highway. We had plenty of time, however, so we just slowed down and enjoyed the view. The trip along the Alaska Scenic Byway took us through Anchor Point, Ninilchik, Soldotna, Sterling, Coopers Landing, and Hope before arriving at Anchorage. We detoured a little taking the Seward Highway and stopped along the way past Moose Pass to enjoy the pristine solitude made up of the black-and-white landscapes
At Anchorage I took the red-eye to Minneapolis, and then returned to Ft. Myers arriving at 1:30 Monday afternoon.
*If you are not familiar with the term, a spit is a deposit of sand that connects to land and extends into the sea--a big sandbar. Our motel, the Lands End, was at the end of the spit.
Monday through Saturday: Back on Pine Island
Fortunately I had no travel planned this week, and after unpacking from Alaska, I was able to “regroup” from our five-month motorhome trip. The weather was wonderful (high 70s to low 80s). While walking, biking, and driving around the island it was great to see the eagles in or around their nests (we have 16 active nests). Friday morning I took this pic of an eagle perched just west of the post office.