Lottery and bear viewing–
OK. I think it is going to be important that we win the lottery and
very soon. So far we have traveled over 7000 miles in the RV since
leaving San Diego. The price of gas has been fairly high but doing
some of the really exciting touristy things in Alaska can be very pricey.
Have been looking into going to Kodiak Island, Katmai, etc. to see the
brown bear (grizzlies). Yikes, the trip we want to take is well over
$1200 for the two of us for the day. Can’t justify spending that kind
of money for a single day excursion, though the trip sounds absolutely
wonderful. With the cost of fuel for the plane, etc. this is probably a fair price,
it’s just more than we can justify spending. Of course if we hit the lottery big time
then maybe more then $1000 would be just “chump change”. I suppose this means
we’ll have to buy a lottery ticket, something we haven’t done for quite
awhile. I do think if you have a lottery ticket it improves your chances of
winning, but only very slightly. Well, luckily we do have a Plan B.
We’ll be going to Hyder, AK. near the end of the summer and
Hyder is famous for bear viewing. Also, they don’t demand you bring a
Brinks truck with you to Hyder to pay for it.
It’s not that we haven’t seen grizzlies. We saw lots of them when we volunteered for a
summer in Yellowstone and recently while in Denali N P. It is just that we get such a thrill
seeing them just being bears in the wild.
We spent the last two nights at Soldotna Fred Myers in their parking
lot along with quite a few other RVers. This Fred Myers has
designated spots for RV overnighters of up to three nights, a dump
station, and potable water at no charge. So we’re thinking Fred Myers
caught on to something that Walmart has known for years…when RVers
stay overnight in your parking lot, they spend a lot of money in your
store. It’s just a smart business move. We’re here and it’s
convenient so we bought gas, stocked up on a lot of supplies, Jerry
bought a new camera and we’ll buy more “stuff” before we leave. Will
boondock along the way when we leave Soldotna and head south down the
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Soldotna, Alaska–
This place is huge. The visitor center is just outside Soldotna and
is located at the edge of this “Alaska size” refuge. I love that you
get to the visitor center from Soldotna on “Funny River Road” (The
names of some of the places in Alaska are sooooo interesting).
The rangers in the visitor center are quite knowledgeable and helpful.
The visitor center itself is interesting.
There are some easy loop trails of only a few miles into the refuge that
start next to the visitor center. It rained today but mostly it was
a light rain and it did not deter us from taking this trail.
Foolishly, we went off into the loop trails without applying our Deet
spray. Big mistake! About a quarter of a mile in, a full air force
regiment of mosquitoes descended on us. There had been no mosquitoes
to be seen prior to this so we were lulled into complacency. We
increased our walking speed, put our bare hands into our pockets,
Jerry pulled up his hood to protect his neck and ears, and since my
hair is long I walked along swinging my hair as a switch. Undeterred,
the mosquitoes followed us along all the trails landing on any exposed
skin that stopped moving for more than a second. Somehow, we were
successful in warding off bites but we won’t be caught unprepared
again.Despite the mosquitoes and the rain, the trail into the refuge was beautiful.
It leads to a large lake then around through forested areas. Though
we were warned of bear and moose, we saw only a few birds on this
There’s lots to learn at the refuge and we spent a considerable amount of time
learning as much as we could about this habitat, it’s history and the
animals protected here.