So Many Activities in Anchorage and Kenai!

Well, it has been absolutely awesome in Anchorage and Kenai.  Being not so fond of cities, I didn’t have high hopes for A-town, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The city is so dispersed you can’t really tell how big it is, there’s Nature everywhere, and all the people I have encountered have been great.

After arriving I was invited to tag along for some local trout fishing by a fellow EXPO member, the coolest cat in A-town, up and coming T.V. star, and the King of the Hipsters.  All of which are the same person, a jack of all trades to say the least, and will be referred to as Khip from this point forward, to protect his identity from you crazy fans.  We also had another cool local, who is also a T.V. “star”, on the endeavor.  He will be referred to as Gandalf.

Anyhow, this fishing trip was an experience for sure.  It was the first time I ever voluntarily killed a living creature.  Well, minus the chipmunk I accidently killed with a sling shot as a kid, then proceeded to build it a casket filled with acorns and a grave site with a fence and cross, it was very traumatic.  Since Khip and Gandalf were farther down the bank, when I caught my first fish, and the initial excitement subsided, I realized I had to “man up” and do the inevitable.  This wasn’t easy for me, it still kind of bothers me, but I feel it should be mandatory for anyone who wants to eat meat.  The process is easy to forget when you buy your meat from the grocery store, but what it actually takes to produce the meat, the ending of another creature’s life, should be respected and not taken lightly.  This is why I absolutely hate the meat industry.  Well, anything that uses animals as a commodity really, but definitely the meat industry.

Off of that soap box.  The following Anchorage adventures ranged from hiking a local trail the the guys, exploring the city, and hanging out with Khip.  Once the two GA travelers, and four dogs, started going South we found all kinds of adventure.

Seward was a cool place.  Definitely a fishing town as expected.  Which the constant smell of such industry wouldn’t allow me to stay there long term.  Not saying the town reeks of odor.  I just catch the scents and the hippy inside dies a little.  That’s just me.  At the visitor’s center the Ranger gave me advice on trails and one that was a guarantee to see bears, Russian Lakes.  Needless to say, I was sold on the bear trail instantly.  We found a sweet campsite near Exit glacier, and then headed towards the bear trail the next day.

Once arriving at the trail, and dealing with the extremely lazy kid working the gate, we finally hit the trail around 5PM.  The locals at the trailhead were packing heat, and some joked at me choosing bear spray instead, but their desire for protection made me confident I’d finally see a bear in the wild.  With no set destination, almost endless hours of sunlight, and an adrenaline surge for adventure, we were off!

At the start we saw salmon jumping at the waterfalls.  Being the time of day and setting, the mosquitos were in full force.  Me not being a fan of drenching myself in DEET, I filled lots of mosquitos up that night.  Around 9 PM I passed a sweet creekside campsite, but my body and mind just wanted to keep on moving, but your pack gets real heavy real fast when packing for yourself and two dogs and your adrenaline starts to wear off.  Around a mile after the campsite, with that being one of 2-3 campable spots we saw along the whole trail, we headed back.

We made it back and set up camp.  The dogs were absolutely over the mosquito infestation and couldn’t get into the tents fast enough.  We were all doing everything we could to avoid the little vampires, so I started to build a fire.  It was actually rather dark in the thick forest, so the fire could shed some light, but most importantly help with mosquitoes.  While crouched down tending the fire, Cliff loudly comments from his tent, “What’s that?” as all the dogs start barking.  Startled, I turn expected to see a bear, since that’s what this trail is known for, but instead see a porcupine scurrying up a tree.   We hiked out the next day, with no bear sightings, which I wanted, but a good amount of sightseeing and definitely good exercise.

I headed to Homer the next day. Moose were everywhere, kind of like deer in GA, and I even saw a mom and two calves just walking up a driveway within meters of people’s front door.  Homer was cool.  It had potential, but being so sore and beat up from hiking I just quickly checked it out and started heading towards Anchorage.

Returned to Anchorage to hangout with Khip, his wifey, their neighbors, and all the above’s little furry pups.  Great company, conversation, and amazing new friendships.  A great way to end my Anchorage experience.

Needless to say, Alaska has won me over.  The abundance of Nature, how majestic the lands are, the great people everywhere, and the all around vibe are unlike anything else I’ve seen.  I definitely don’t want to leave, and if it weren’t for school and ROTC, I’d be planning my move up. It will come in due time, but it’s definitely inevitable.

Hiking up Wolverine on Cliff's Bday.

Hiking up Wolverine on Cliff’s Bday.

My souvenir

My souvenir

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Seward artwork

Seward artwork

The last line cracked me up.

The last line cracked me up.

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Firewood!

Firewood!

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There were salmon everywhere at the falls.

There were salmon everywhere at the falls.

Swim? I'd rather fly!

Swim? I’d rather fly!

Loons.  They're beautiful.

Loons. They’re beautiful.

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Khip pictured me picturing him and Gandalf

Khip pictured me picturing him and Gandalf

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Dinner!

Dinner!

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Gandalf and a pre-hike beer.

Gandalf and a pre-hike beer.

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King of the Hipsters, Khip (pronounced Kip)

King of the Hipsters, Khip (pronounced Kip)

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