Pictures of the Week – Friday, July 20th

Another beautiful, wildlife-filled week in Alaska is behind us – with another night in Canada mixed in for good measure.

We woke up last Friday morning in Homer on the Kenai Peninsula and fell asleep last night in Haines. Today we’ll be taking the ferry over to Juneau for more Alaskan adventures!

Our favorite pictures for the week all came from our time on the Kenai though – thanks to Couchsurfing, a wildlife cruise, and a beautiful drive.

A Room With A View

We have absolutely loved our Couchsurfing experiences in Alaska…even if the accommodations were not what we expected before visiting America’s last frontier.

For example, the cabin we stayed in during our visit to Homer had no running water. That meant hauling in water to do dishes, trips to the outhouse for potty breaks, and visits to a local laundromat for showers. One of the windows in the upstairs sleeping loft was missing a pane, so we got up close & personal with cold, nighttime breezes coming off of Kachemak Bay. However, all of these things just added to an exceptionally enjoyable experience in Homer.

Across the dirt road from the cabin was a small family farm, so each morning we could hear the sounds of goats and donkeys. Every morning we would wake to the sight of mountains in the distance and boats in the bay, and at night, we would fall asleep to the view you see above. Peaceful. Breathtaking. Idyllic.

Freed Willy

Other tourists in Denali National Park. Fellow campers in Ninilchik. Our cashier at Napa Auto Parts in Soldotna. What do these folks have in common? They ALL told us to go on a wildlife cruise in Seward, AK. Since the endorsement seemed unanimous, we decided to loosen our tight fists on the travel budget a bit and spend the money to take one of these tours. Luckily, it was worth every penny!

The tours aren’t called wildlife cruises for nothing. We saw eagles, jellyfish, puffin, sea lions, porpoises, a sea otter, humpback whales, and orcas. The fella peeking out of the water in the picture above is one of the orcas we saw in Resurrection Bay, swimming pretty darn close to our boat.

Still Waters

In order to get to Seward for the wildlife cruise, we drove up Alaska 1 to State Highway 9. All along 9 there were ponds and lakes reflecting the blue skies, fluffy clouds, and snow-capped mountains surrounding them.

After almost a week of gray skies and rainy days, the sun and clear skies were a welcome sight for us. The gorgeous scenery made the trip down to Seward even more beautiful.

We stopped a number of times to get pictures of the reflective waters, but this one was our favorite. It shows just how lush and green so much of the Kenai Peninsula is.