Day 45, 7//13/15, Monday
Weather: Rain with a high in the 50s.
Today will be a day of travel. With the weather report today calling for rain, we decided to finally leave Homer Spit and begin heading back north.
Before we actually left the city of Homer, we stopped once again at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Islands and Ocean Visitor Center to purchase some interesting books. We also stopped for breakfast at a small restaurant called Two Sisters Bakery. This was featured in the local magazine as well as being highly recommended to us by people from home. The menu consisted of assorted rolls, Danish, and muffins. This was a good start to the day.
We continued on to the city of Soldotna with a few interesting sight-seeing stops along the way.
We first stopped at the community of Nikolaevsk, a settlement of “Russian Old Believers”. This consists of three communities of Russian Orthodox, Russian Old Believers (Old Right Believers) and some non-Russians living a lifestyle where they hunt, fish, and garden for their food. We had seen some of their people at the farmers’ market and shopping in the stores. Russian is their first language. The baptismal font (submersion) is outside of the church. Paul found the gravel roads in the community a challenge!
Next we stopped at another historic Russian Orthodox Church in Ninilchik which is one of “the most famous tourist attractions in the area” we are told. As we drove up the long dirt road leading to the church, Gail uttered a determined alert, “Moose!” To our immediate right amongst the tall grass was a moose about thirty feet in from the road. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make this a photo session and, the moose was fully cooperative by ignoring us.
Next we stopped at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Soldotna. Gail took a 5-6 mile hike on a BEAUTIFUL loop of the trail. She came upon fresh bear “scat”, a polite term for poop! Fortunately that was the only sign of bear. She did have her “bear spray” handy.
On again to Soldotna where we arrived late in the afternoon and selected the same camping area as we used on the trip down (N 60.490551° W 151.047435°).
G & P