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Camping in the Kenai

July 26, 2010

Well, we survived our camping trip! 🙂 Friday night we met up with the guys at our campsite near Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula. It was around 55 degrees and breezy, so we wasted no time setting up the tents and getting a fire started. We joked that our campsite could have been in the REI catalog. Our tent is the smaller one in the back, and it worked out perfectly!

The kids were completely entertained by skipping rocks – or in the case of the 2 year old, throwing them into the water. He made repeated demands to “throw rocks” throughout the trip, and we were happy to oblige him.

As you might have figured out based on the sky in the picture above, the weather did not cooperate with our grand plans for trout fishing in the lake. It rained most of the time we were there, and Saturday night it rained harder than I’ve seen the entire time we’ve been in Alaska. Saturday was also colder, with highs only around 50 degrees – plus the rain and wind. We spent a lot of time around the campfire, which was nice.

I spent all day Saturday wearing 5 layers on the top half of my body – but I was comfortable and not freezing! 🙂

Nelson loved running around sniffing everything and he had great time camping. Jackson spent 90% of the time in the tent curled up on Howdy’s sleeping bag. He was not a fan of the cold and rain. I didn’t even keep him on a leash, because he would sit on my lap by the fire for a while and then jump down and run over to the door of the tent, waiting for me to unzip it and let him in. Poor guy. Nelson was cold too, so when he wasn’t busy sniffing the trees and bushes nearby, he curled up on my lap by the fire too.

Late Saturday night when the rain really started to come down, we called it a night and went to our respective tents. Just as we were starting to drift off to sleep, we heard a car pull up and park in the clearing where we were camped. We thought it was a little odd that they were starting their night of camping when it was so late and raining, but we didn’t think too much about it. We were more paranoid about bears at that point. Eventually we fell asleep cuddled with the dogs, listening to the sound of rain falling on the roof of the tent and the fire crackling outside – and wolves howling in the distance.

In the middle of the night, I sat bolt upright at the sound of a gunshot nearby. Nobody else was woken up, so I laid back down and listened intently until I fell back to sleep. A while later (I’m not sure how long I was sleeping), Howdy and I were both startled awake by 3 quick gunshots nearby, which echoed off the water and the surrounding mountains. We were both freaked out and my heart was pounding. It was still raining and the only thing we could think of was that there might be a bear in the area. Again, we listened as hard as we could until we finally fell back asleep. Then AGAIN – 7 rapid gunshots from the same distance!! We literally almost jumped out of our skin!

When our heart rates slowed down a little, we logically reasoned that by the amount of time that passed between the shots, and since they were always from the same distance, either someone was just shooting guns in the rain for no reason whatsoever, or they were actually hunting (it is bear season around here). We laid there wide awake for a long time after that though. I don’t think I fell asleep again until it was near dawn.

The next morning it was still raining hard, so we decided to pack it up early and head out around 11am. While we were packing up the tents and the trucks, the 2 guys who had camped near us during the night also packed up and left. We determined that they were the ones shooting in the middle of the night while it was raining. After all that it looks like they were just shooting “for fun”… and scaring the crap out of us in the meantime. 😦

Because of the rain, we didn’t get to fish in the lake, but it worked out okay. The guys got a ton of fish Friday on their charter. The max of halibut is 2 per person/per day, and they also caught salmon, rockfish, and something else I can’t remember (there was a HUGE pile of fish on the ground in another picture):

The charter company filleted the fish and vacuum-sealed it for them, so we just brought it home and put it in the freezer. I am totally jealous because I really want to go, and Howdy thinks I would love it. We’re already trying to figure out a weekend when we can go together… although since we have a freezer full of fish now, I’m thinking maybe we should wait a while. 🙂

Resurrection Bay is gorgeous too!! (Photos courtesy of Mike):

It was a great weekend despite the rain and cold (and lack of sleep), and I’m excited for our next camping adventure!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2010 8:29 am

    The gun shots would have freaked me out too – but “you know you live in alaska” when you are like “oh, its bear season.” LOL. Looks like so much fun and you got some great pictures! So glad you are taking advantage of the beautiful place you live in.

  2. July 27, 2010 9:55 am

    Those pictures are incredible!! Glad you had fun and survived!

  3. Lindsey Lare permalink
    July 27, 2010 10:55 am

    AWESOME pictures, I want to come back! Camping sounds like so much fun, not the gunshots though. There is no way I would have even fallen back asleep! Glad your trip went well.

  4. Jill N permalink
    July 27, 2010 11:42 am

    Beautiful! Not sure about the guns and bears…but hey when is Alaska I guess! Glad you got out and had an adventure!

  5. Stephanie permalink
    July 27, 2010 2:44 pm

    Thanks for the recap! Sounds like a great time and I love the pictures. It is so beautiful up there!

  6. July 27, 2010 3:34 pm

    LOVE the pictures! Looks amazing!

  7. Rachel P permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:30 am

    Your camping trip sounds like it was fun (minus the gun shots!) The pictures are so beautiful!!

  8. Michelle T. permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:18 pm

    your pix are gorgeous!


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