We Say Goodbye to the Ocean

On Saturday, July 10, we made the 175 mile drive from Homer to Seward.  Even though the towns are probably not more than 50 airline miles apart, the mountains have a way of making road building somewhat challenging.  The good news is that the weather has continued to hold and the drive across the Kenai Peninsula was scenic, to say the least.

Seward is a community of about 3,000 year-round residents and, like most of the communities on the southern edge of Alaska, it is situated on a beautiful fjord, ringed by glacier filled mountains.  Seward is a cruise ship stop, so there are the usual waterfront shops and touristy stuff.  There is also, however, a very nicely done aquarium and aquatic research institute devoted to Bering Sea marine life -- The Alaska Sealife Center.  We really enjoyed our visit, especially the seals.

On Monday, July 12, we said goodbye to our last ocean stop on the caravan and headed north for Denali.  We camped for one evening in the town of Houston, about 35 miles up the Parks Highway from Anchorage.  Aside from just being a pleasant campground, we got our first opportunity to sample our Halibut.  We pooled a few pounds from each catch and cooked it up, both deep fried, and on the grill.  Good eatin!

The campground is also adjacent to the Little Susitna River and, like all Alaska Rivers, it has a good population of fish.  We decided to try our hand to, if nothing else, sharpen our casting skills.  The locals said there were still a few King Salmon in the stream, and that the Sockeye (or Red) Salmon were just starting to come in.

Alas, no luck this time.  As evening progressed, we saw at least a half-dozen Sockeyes, but they were not interested in striking our lures.  We knew they were Sockeyes, because there were several big jumps and they were the brilliant red color that marks a spawning Sockeye.

The campground owner is also a fishing guide and we may come back here after we leave Fairbanks.  He figures the Sockeye will be near their peak around the end of July and we may decide to do a charter or two with him.

Tuesday and Wednesday July 13 and 14, we will be at Denali for two days, and then on to our final destination in Fairbanks.

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Downtown Seward

From the Sealife Aquarium.

Alaska Sealife Center

A well-done aquarium and marine research facility.


One of the seals in the aquarium, chasing a stick-on toy that kids can throw up against the glass.

Mutual Fascination

This seal seemed to really enjoy playing with the children.

Elliott Creek Fishing. . .

For Sockeye Salmon. Just a bit early for the mid to late July run.


This Holland America cruise ship backed out of port and then did a 180 degree "flip" right in front of our campground.

11:00 PM Sunshine

Fascinating to see the weak sunshine on the mountains directly across the harbor from our campground.

Fish Fry

Some of our recently-caught Halibut served up at our campground in Houston.


Also on the Grill

Halibut tastes just great any way you fix it!

And All the Trimmings

This group sure knows how to cook!

Fishing the Little Susitna

The river right behind our campground.

Looking for the Big One

Sue practices her casting technique.

Looking for the Perfect Spot. . .

. . .hopefully without snagging a log or branch.

Oh, Well - Nice Scenery

The fish were there, but not interested in taking our bait.