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Today as we were exiting the campgound we had a special guest there to say goodbye. When I first spotted this majestic looking creature on his perch I thought it was one of the many painted wood carvings you can find all over the state. Then he turned his head towards us! WOW!

I can see why the Bald Eagle has been America's National Bird since 1782
when it was incorporated into the Great Seal of our country.

Just as we started rolling again he let out one loud screech ...

... as if he was saying, "Hey you missed taking a photo of my best side."

After leaving our new avian friend behind, we drove the 85+ miles to our new Home-For-A-Day, the Russian River Campground inside of the Chugach National Forest. This is the busiest campground in the National Forest making it difficult to get a reservation. In order to give the most people a chance to camp here they have a 3-night maximum stay, while nearly every other National Forest campground in the entire country has a 14-night maximum stay. We were lucky to find one night available that fit into our schedule, so we took it!

Why is this campground so popular? Because of location, location, location! It provides easy access to the 13-mile long Russian River which is the most popular sockeye salmon stream in Alaska and a top-rated spot for rainbow trout. Retention of sockeye salmon is legal from June 11th to August 20th. Silver salmon can be retained from July 1st to September 30th and Trout can be retained from June 11th through April 30th.

For the non-fishermen like us there are hiking trails all over the area and most begin right here in the campground or at least pass by it.

At the back of our campsite there is a footpath that leads to a series of stairs down ...

... to a trail that follows the river bank for over a mile.

Along the trail there are more than two dozen access points
where you can wade out into the water to fish.

There weren't many people fishing from inside of the campground today. Most people we saw only caught one or two salmon (the daily limit is six) for their efforts. All the serious action was 2-miles up the road where the Russian River and Kenai River converge, this is where you'll find the busiest fishing spot in Alaska.

It is such a popular spot you'll find the Russian River Ferry which does one thing, transport fishermen about 100 yards across the Kenai River to the opposite bank where the entrance to the Russian River can be found.

For just $11 cash you'll receive a round trip ticket on the luxurious Russian River Ferry.
It sure beats trying to swim across with all you gear!

For $15 cash you can park your truck and launch your own raft or row boat
(no motor boats allowed on the river) from the ferry boat's ramp.

During the busiest part of the season the fishermen would be no more than 4-feet apart
all along the bank at which point the scene is known as Combat Fishing!

We found this mother and son team fishing far away from the madness going on upstream.
Sadly they weren't having much luck catching dinner!

If you want to know more about fishing in this area I found this great webpage.

I almost forgot to share photos of our campsite. With all the fishing going on around here they experience a higher than normal amount of bear activity in the area, so each campsite comes with it's very own bear proof container to store your food and outdoor grill safely inside (as seen in the second photo).




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