The Kenai River, Captain Cooke Point and Clam Gulch

May 22nd, 2008

Skilak Lake on the Kenai

The Redoubt Volcano across the Cooke InletRussian food! Closer to Russia than Montana here...

Sunset off of Captain Cooke PointNext we drove back up to the Sterling Highway from Seward and followed the Kenai River out to Soldatna where bought some delicious taco supplies and headed up North to Captain Cooke State Recreation Area. The IGA where we bought the food also had a small russian food section which fascinated me, and I bought two different kinds of Russian Kvass drink and taco preparationKvass to try. It actually tasted pretty good, but it made me gassy. Probably just new-food apprehension. We thought about checking out the Swan Lakes region, known for it’s canoe trails, but decided not to since a boat is the one thing we didn’t bring along on the trip. Captain Cooke was a good choice. It’s up on a small bluff looking west over the Cooke Inlet at the Aleutian Range and it’s volcanoes. Our savory burrito dinner (and frigid hands) was accompanied by and epic sunset over the Inlet and mountains, which was dominated by Double Peak and the Redoubt Volcano.

Sunset over Cooke Inlet

Razor clams from Clam GluchThe next morning we planned to go clam digging since one of the six or so large Razor Clam populations in the world is on the Kenai Peninsula. We grabbed a tide book to figure out the best time to dig and picked up some corn meal, which you feed to the clams so they clean themselves out. Unfortunately, as we looked into it more, we Acorn barnaclesdiscovered you need a $20 single day fishing license to dig, the clam populations are down a little, and we didn’t have an optimal low tide for digging. This meant we didn’t actually dig for clams, but we headed to Clam Gulch to check out the scene anyway. There were only a couple of people out digging, but they were nice and showed us what a clam dimple looks like and we got to check out their clam bucket. I have to say… even though I love clams a live Razor clam does not look appetizing. At all. But it was still very cool. As an added bonus Fish and Game was there doing a survey of clam populations so we got to check that out, watching them pump water into the sand to wash out the clams. One of the guys on the crew we found out working Bozeman at On the Rise bakery, one of many Alaska/Montana small-world moments. The final place we stopped at on the way to Homer was Deep Creek where they launch boats off of the beach using log-skidder tractors. It was pretty interesting to watch them drive into the ocean to pick up and drop off boats.

Deep Creek tractor boat launching Russian Orthodox church with volcano

Reboubt and Fish and Game clam survey from Clam GulchBad picture of bad Kvass with AWESOME label

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