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Halibut Campground in the Anchor River State Recreation Area is at North America's Most Westerly Highway Point. How do I know this? There is a sign just outside of the campground entrance telling me so, plus I looked at it on Google Maps.

Halibut Campground's website informed me that there are 30 campsites here. What it didn't mention is that half of those sites are tent only sites. Our plan to leave Walmart early enough to arrive here well before check out time became all the more important when we learned this little bit of important information.

So at 9:00AM we did our first drive through of the campground looking for empty sites. At the second RV site we passed a kind gentleman flagged me down and asked if I was looking for a site. When I replied, ❝YES❞ he informed me he would be leaving today and asked if I would like his site. I again replied, ❝YES❞ and gave him a chair and orange cone to place in the driveway after he left. After doing this we drove around the rest of the campground loop and found no empty sites or anyone packing down as if they were leaving today. It was stil only 9:00 AM and check out time is noon, but I would expect to see some kind of activity if they were leaving. To the best of my knowledge only three sites left today and we were fortunate enough to get one of them.

I then left out of the campground and parked across the street from the end of the campground loop so I would see them as soon as they departed. After getting ROVER and THE POD in position on the side of the road I walked back into the campground to thank him once again.

I learned his name is Matt, he lives in Anchorage, and that he has been coming to this campground during salmon season for the last fifteen years. He mentioned that for the last five years he was unable to secure a site in this campground and had to camp somewhere less desirable. This year he had obtained his campsite the same way we did, by arriving very early and locating someone who would be leaving shortly.

His flagging me down was just his way of paying it forward for his good fortune six days ago when he arrived. Once again, thank you Matt and I'll try to do the same when it's our turn to leave this beautiful location.

There are four other state park campgrounds located along the last mile and a half of the road leading into here, but this one is at the end of the road, where it meets with the Cook Inlet. While none of the RV sites have a direct view of the water, it's only a short walk through the woods before you get an unobstructed view of the five volcanos located inside of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve on the opposite bank of Cook Inlet, some 40+ miles away.

Campsite #11 at Halibut Campground in Anchor River State Recreation Area.

Matt was even kind enough to prepare us a campfire with his left over fire wood.
If we don't burn it I'm sure the next occupant will.

If all goes as planned we'll only be here for one night before moving to our next campsite just 15-miles away. It too is a First-Come-First-Serve campground and we plan on spending a complete week there, so it's important to get a good site. Early tomorrow morning I'll drive over and try to locate someone leaving and ask them to allow me to hold the site by placing my chair and orange cone in their driveway when they leave.

Wish me luck!

Since we may only have one night here we need to get out and check out what's happening down at the beach. We knew what to expect, but were still in awe as to what we saw.

This is the way you launch and retrieve your boat from the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska if you want to cruise around in the Cook Inlet sightseeing or fishing.

After watching this process over and over again, back to back to back, for nearly an hour my first thought was, "Man, I wouldn't want the job of jumping into the icy cold water to hook the boat to the trailer. I'd want to drive the tractor instead."

My next thought was, even in my younger years, would I have been tough enough to do that job, day in and day out?

Well I've got a surprise for you, I know I was! The person doing that job happens to be a very agile, athletic, attractive young Alaskan teenage GIRL! That's right, I said GIRL! Bet you didn't see that coming!

These are not small boats they're hauling in and out of the water here.

Some, like this one, require a WIDE LOAD permit just to move them down the road.




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I wasn't going to bore you with Walmart parking lot photos, but I just couldn't help myself. These photos were all taken at 6:00AM JUST BEFORE the store opened for the day.

On the other side of these three trailers was a party last night, complete with a campfire.
There were also several unattended boat trailers to be found in the parking spaces too.

Unhitched, chairs out, slides out, jacks down and BBQs out
with coolers filled will fresh caught salmon to attract bears.
They even cleaned and filleted their salmon on their tailgate in the parking lot.

We were in the side lot where the parking spaces are clearly marked RV,
but this front lot was completely ringed by RVs all along the edges.

When you free overnight park at Walmart, or anywhere for that matter, there are unwritten rules on how to behave while on someone elses property. For starters, you are overnight parking, not camping in the parking lot. That means you don't pull out your slides and awnings, you don't put down your leveling jacks to dent the asphalt and you don't leave your trash in shopping carts spread out in all corners of the parking lot.

You don't pull out a BBQ or propane fire pit to grill up your dinner or make youself some s'mores. You don't run your generator all hours of the night to watch TV or run your AC. You don't unhook your truck from your trailer and go out sightseeing all day and leave your trailer unattended.

And most importantly, even if you ignore everything I just mentioned, you don't stay setup in the same spot in the same Walmart for days, weeks or even months on end. Nearly every single RV in the lot this evening has Alaska license plates on it. I know that Alaska is a huge place and their homes could be hundreds of miles away from here. Or just maybe, their home is right here at this Walmart! There are signs clearly posted all over the lot that there is a 24-hour limit on parking here.

None of this is rocket science people!
It's just a matter of common courtesy and polite etiquette.




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This morning we're traveling a short distance down the Seward Highway, that's the highway that deadends at where else, Seward, AK. But we're not going to Seward just yet! We're heading to the town of Kenai and in order to get to the town of Kenai you'll have to turn right at the entrance to the Sterling Highway. Guess where the Sterling Highway deadends? If you guessed Sterling, you'd be absolutely wrong!

The highway travels right through the small town of Sterling before it deadends some 85-miles away in the town of Homer. That's where we're eventually heading several days from now, but first we'll stop in Kenai at the Walmart for a free overnight visit and pick a few groceries.

Most of the highways on the Kenai Peninsula dead end when they meet the sea. So most of our travels for the next several weeks will involve driving until the road ends, make a u-turn, then head right back up the same road in the opposite direction. That's another reason the Kenai Peninsula reminds me of Key West, it too is at the end of the road.

We got on the road a little bit early this morning so I could find some cell signal to post the previous blog. We found some in a beautiful roadside pullout with a view of the mountains. At least it would of had a view if it wasn't raining so much. Anyway after several hours of uploading photos and writing the post we're back on the road to Quartz Creek Campground.

This is our second Chugach National Forest campground in a row. There are more than a dozen campgrounds in the National Forest and before we leave we will have spent the night in five of them. For us, they're half price ($7-$9) and are usually quiet with clean bathrooms, that makes them a pretty good bargain compared to the Alaska State Parks, which usually cost around $20 a night for the same amenities.

Our soggy Campsite #13 at Quartz Creek Campground located on Kenai Lake.

A view of ROVER and THE POD from the lakeshore.

The lake behind our campsite is the 22-mile long, zig-zag shaped, Kenai Lake. It's average depth is about 300' and is the headwaters of the Kenai River.

Later in the afternoon we took a drive to see the Kenai River in Cooper Landing.

SATURDAY - As luck would have it, this morning for the first time since we arrived here, the sun came out and gave us this beautiful rainbow and lit up the far shoreline with sunlight.

Just in time for us to leave!




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For the first time in a while we didn't have to wake up early and break down camp. We have reservations at our next stop and won't need to arrive early enough to secure a campsite.

We lounged around until almost 11:00AM before getting ready to move and were lucky enough that the rain also stopped while we prepared to leave. It's a short drive today to just the other side of Turnagain Arm to the Granite Creek Campground in the Chucach National Forest.

That name may sound familiar because for the last week we've been camping in the Chugach State Park campgrounds and now we'll be spending a week in the Chugach National Forest campgrounds.

Traveling along the northern shoreline of Turnagain Arm.

Even though the rain has temporarily stopped, the clouds are still threatening more rain before the day is done. At the head of the Turnagain Arm bay the Spencer Glacier can be seen from the road.

Spencer Glacier as seen from the Seward Highway.

Once we make our way around the Turnagain Arm to the opposite side we will have arrived in the Kenai Peninsula region of Alaska. From the memories of my previous visit to Alaska in 2006 I remember it contains favorite locations of the entire trip, so for that reason we will be spending an entire month in this region, nearly a full one third of our time in Alaska

Just 12-miles from the Kenai Welcome Sign is our first stop at the Granite Creek Campground. From this location we'll be able to visit both the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and the small waterfront town of Hope, AK. Last time with only 17-days for the entire visit to Alaska we had to skip both of these locations, not this time, with 100-days to spend in the state we'll see both of these and a whole lot more.

Campsite #13 at Granite Creek Campground in Chugach National Forest.

Heading out the back of our campsite I followed a short trail ...

... that led over a dry stream bed ...

... before continuing on to the shoreline of Granite Creek.

TUESDAY - Today we've planned a trip back up the road aways to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center near the turnoff for Whittier.

On the outside it may look like just another zoo, but this place does so much more. They take in orphaned and injured wildlife and nurse them back to health, then they adopt them and care for them the rest of their life.

For instance they have an American Bald Eagle that was shot and left for dead. The eagle had to have a severely mangled left wing amputated so now he will live out his life being taken care of at the center. Same they for an orphaned porcupine that was found abandoned during it's first few days of life. He too now lives at the center.

They also are breeding a small herd of Wood Bison here at the facility to be released into the wild to try and return the animals back into their native lands throughout Alaska.

All the animals found here are native to Alaska and some are so elusive you'll only see them here, up close and personal like. We enjoyed the few hours we spent roaming around the grounds on foot and then hopped into ROVER and drove the entire property before leaving.

You'll find our photos in the slideshow below!

WEDNESDAY - Today, if it ever stops raining, we'll venture out to go visit the town of Hope, AK (pop. 192). Winston and VerJean texted us they were there yesterday, but didn't mention what campground they were staying in. We'll see if we can find them and maybe have lunch together. It shouldn't be too hard, it's a very small town.

The turnoff for Hope is just 6-miles down Highway 1 from our campground. Then another 17-miles down the aptly named Hope Highway until you're at the end of the road in downtown Hope. After searching a few possible locations for Winston and VerJean we found them in Sea View Campground right on the shoreline of the Turnagain Arm. It was by far the best views in the city.

After chatting with them for 30-minutes we learned one very important thing, don't come to Hope on a Tuesday or Wednesday and expect to have lunch, everything is closed for these two days, even during their busy summer months.

Again, you'll find our photos in the slideshow below!

A.W.C.C. and HOPE, AK

Here is the majestic one-winged eagle I mentioned before.
Right next door was this beautiful owl, not sure of what his story was.
Nearby was the orphaned porcupine, now all grown up.
There were also a handful of adult moose to observe ...
... along with two newly arrived versions of moose like this guy.
Some of these appeared to be taking an afternoon break ...
... while others were still enjoying the free lunch.
There was also one pen filled with female elk ...
the male elk were housed in a separate nearby pen.
We have yet to see a black bear in Alaska, so this one will do for now.
There was a pen full of black tailed deer.
This one seemed rather curious about why we were looking at them.
These are muskox and we'll probably never see one of these in the wild ...
... because there are so few of them left and they are only found in the northern tundra.
Just like this pack of wolves.
At the back of the property there was this gazebo to enjoy along the Turnagain Arm shoreline.
With low hanging dense clouds our drive into Hope was dreary ...
... but these two van dwellers found a lovely shoreline to spend the day on.
This is downtown Main Street in Hope and where we found Winston and VerJean.
Most of the buildings in this area are well over 100 years old ...
... like this modest home on Main Street.
This looked like a great place to have lunch (just not on Tuesday or Wednesday).
The bar will be open, but not until 4:00PM, we can't wait that long for something to eat.
This cabin was larger than most others.
Most of them were this size.
Another final look at the Seaview Cafe before we head back to camp.
On our drive back to the campground the sun actually peeked out from behind the clouds ...
... just long enough for us to enjoy all the greenery that surrounds us.




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