Monday, July 19, 2010

Camping on the Kenai

Thanks to all the of the thoughtful people who gave us Target gift cards for our wedding, most of them went to camping equipment. Joshua and I packed up the Subaru for an adventure Friday night. We had no idea what we were getting into.

We drove just past Cooper Landing and bought a regional map marking area campsites. First we checked Russian River Campground: 44 sites. All full. So was the next stop. And the next. All the campgrounds for the next hour and back. We know, because we checked.

So we drove back to Cooper Landing crossing our fingers for good luck at the Quartz Creek Campground just before Cooper, that we blew past two hours earlier thinking, oh, let's go further to somewhere we've never been. Now we were humbled. We would be happy for any campsite at all.

They were full. We stopped and asked locals locals where to camp. They suggested all the places we had already checked. At past 11 p.m. we were losing hope and trying to think of any way not to drive home.

Josh kept driving down the road off Quartz Creek near beautiful Kenai Lake and randomly turned down a bumpy deserted powerline road.

There, in the middle of nowhere, were two vacant campsites with firepits. No amenities, but at nearly midnight and losing daylight, it was perfection. And it was. Soon our brand new tent was up without too much trouble for the first time set-up and the fire was blazing.

The rest of the weekend was smooth sailing with bike rides, walks, tending to the fire and lots of mosquito swatting. It was refreshing to get out of the city and iPhone range for a couple days.

The Kenai River looks bright turquoise from glacial melt.
 Alaska's fireweed was in bloom everywhere.

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