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Alaska - 2009 Page 2

July 15 - July 31, 2009

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Blog #280



Homer Camping Trip - Best 1.3%

We went camping in Homer Monday through Wednesday and had a fantastic time.  The weather was great, for Homer.  It was rainy and windy at times, but we also had some sun and calm, which many Homer visitors never see.  I took over 2,000 pictures; here are the best 31:




We stopped at the Russian Orthodox Church in Ninilchik and then the Kachemak Bay overlook on the hill entering Homer.  You can just see the Spit on the far left of the bay.



As Joan and I set up camp the girls played on the beach.  No, Svea has not seen Titanic. 

Yes, she really is that lovely, especially when she doesn't realize there is a camera on her.




The wind calmed down and we went beachcombing.



It wasn't warm, but Brigitta wanted to wade in the surf and not get her pants wet.



We brought back drift firewood, made a campfire and s'mores.



I've camped on the Homer Spit since I was a child; I don't recall seeing such tame, almost friendly sea otters.  We sometimes could walk within 20 feet of them and they would continue playing; it was like they were showing off.



Brigitta grossed out Svea with dead crab parts.



By sunset it was calm and the sun had come out.  We went for a late walk.  In Homer you can't waste a minute of clear weather; it may be all that you get. Bedtime that night was after 11 pm.



The harbor at sundown (after 10 pm).  I was actually comfortable in short sleeves.





The inside walls of the Salty Dawg Saloon are covered with graphitized dollar bills.





I got up at 5:30 on Tuesday morning and went for a short walk.  I watched a bald eagle on the beach tear up and eat what I think was a loon.  The light was very low and my eagle shots were poor.  I did get an interesting long exposure shot of the remains of his breakfast:


Behind the Salty Dawg Saloon is Salty Girls Gifts:


Svea and Annika waking up:


We ate breakfast and then it rained so we went for a drive. This interesting houseboat-wreck-contraption has been on the Spit for decades.


More abandon wrecks on the Spit:



We drove up West Hill and Skyline Drive and found a nice view of fireweed, the airport and the Spit.



By lunch it stopped raining so we went for another walk and found starfish.


I just love wet rocks.



And I really love boats. 

The girls and Joan went back to the beach while I took harbor photos.  Overall I think I took about 500 pictures of boats in Homer; I'll go through those and post more this winter.


Meanwhile, Joan and the girls made beach art with the flat beach stones.




Wednesday we ate breakfast, broke camp, packed and drove home.  This picture below is the backside of the laundry at the Homer Spit Campground:


As we left the Spit we saw an Eagle on top of a pole:


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Blog #279



Seward Camping Trip - Drive Home

We stopped at Summit Lake Lodge, our usual "home from the Kenai" eating spot, on the way home for an early dinner. We all ate our halibut.



I just had to get a shot of this bridge.


These next two are at Bird Point.



Just before Potter's Marsh we pulled over to watch the kite surfers and to check out the snow-thrower train.








Blog #278



Seward Camping Trip - Exit Glacier

After our harbor visit we drove to the Exit Glacier and walked the trail to the glacier.
















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Blog #278



Seward Camping Trip - Friday Harbor

Friday morning as we were leaving Seward I decided to drive by the harbor for a few last shots.



Many workers bike to work:







I have no experience shooting wildlife or action anything other than exploding food and milk drops.  I stalked this Bald Eagle; he took off as I neared his power-pole perch even though I was no closer than the dock workers.  He probably didn't like me looking at him.  I learned a bit though; with a telephoto lens I should crank the ISO up very high for a better shutter speed.  My images were blurry due to bird and camera movement; any benefit of low ISO -low noise is lost if images are blurry to begin with.  I've been shooting landscapes from a tripod with a wide angle lens where shutter speed is not an issue.



This thing lifts boats from trailers and sets them in the harbor.


The Celebrity Cruises Millennium was docked.






An interesting house and yard in Seward:


Mount Marathon - someday I want to climb that thing.


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Blog #277




Seward Camping Trip - Thursday Campground

Thursday night was a typical camping scene with a campfire, hot dogs and s'mores. A wonderful experience for the girls, camping with all of their Alaska cousins.
















Kevin showed how quickly he could down a bottle of water; twice.



Robyn, mesmerized by the fire.



Annika's hot dog cooked a bit too long.






The girls made ghosts and hung them from the trees with fishing line.




Mark's car and our campsite in HDR.



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Blog #276




Seward Camping Trip - Thursday Harbor Walk

I love harbors, especially Alaskan harbors with cool old fishing and sailing boats.  We walked about the Seward Harbor on Thursday and checked out the boats and sights.














I took several HDR bracketed sets.  The constantly moving docks and boats made it impossible to get perfectly aligned sets; even with a heavy tripod.  Image alignment on the computer paid off, however.  If any pictures on this page are worth viewing full, they are in this set.













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Blog #275


Seward Camping Trip - Thursday Kayaking

Amy, Robyn, Joan and I went kayaking in Humpy Cove on Thursday morning.  It wasn't until the kayak service's landing craft pulled into Humpy Cove that I realized that I had been there before.  An old friend of mine had a family cabin in the cove and had taken myself and a few other friends to the cove.  The water was fairly calm and we had no real rain or wind.  A great time was had by all.











Van Alstein's Cabin; I think:





Seward Camping Trip - Thursday Morning






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Blog #274





Seward Camping Trip - Wednesday Night Beach

We went camping in Seward; Mom and Dad, Uncle Mark, Aunt Amy, Robyn and Kevin, Aunt Sheryl, Becky and Little Michael all joined us.  Wednesday night we took the girls to the beach where they played in the very cold surf.  The beach was rocky. They girls got soaked.  Brigitta stepped on a dead fish head.  It was all they needed for a fantastic first night of camping.  Annika was especially wet and cold so we stripped her to her underwear and Joan carried her home in a duffle bag that was intended for firewood.


















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