Driving to the End of the Road

Alaska’s highways are unlike those anywhere else in the Lower 48 in many ways. For one thing, you can drive on every single paved road in the state, if you’re so inclined… But that means flying or ferrying to some of the towns with roads, including Route 7, which would require doing that three different times. A less complicated thing about Alaska’s highways is how simply they’re numbered: Route 1, Route 2, Route 3, and so forth. Ah! Yes. We like simple.

And, of course, driving in Alaska means watching out for moose. This big bull moose grazed alongside Route 1, stopping traffic.

End1

The morning we drove across the Kenai Peninsula a fog had settled in from the Cook Inlet, reminding me of Nova Scotia, with the dreamy haze of gray over brilliant green foliage:

End2

And of course, we waited our turn for pilot vehicles to guide us through sections of road work…

End3

…made worse only when stuck behind someone intent on harming not only their own health, but ours as well:

End4

[*Warning: Rant Ahead] Honestly, why do they insist on trying to keep their own vehicle smoke-free while subjecting the rest of us to their noxious fumes?!? [End of Rant!*]

Ample fresh air awaited us At the End of The Road: in Homer.

Yep, Homer is considered “The End of the Road” because it’s the farthest West you can drive — without hopping onto a ferry. And the views? Here’s a peek at what we looked at every morning, afternoon, and evening from Oceanview RV Park:

End5

And just down the hill, access to this stony stretch along the Cook Inlet:

End6

From here we could enjoy some of what Alaska delivers up in numbers too high to count, like fireweed (with still much of the top left to bloom, so we knew we had some summer left)…

End7

…a few of the over 100,000 glaciers that populate the state…

End8

…and wait… what’s that I see while looking out the RV window while washing dishes?

End9

I hear you. Hard to see in this photo. And I wasn’t sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me when I was there, tromping down the gravel pathway, camera at the ready, so I climbed on the benches, then the fence, and kept snapping, until:

End10

Woohoo! A sea otter! Right out there off the rocky beach! How cool was that?

Well, there is one thing more cool…

I have to tell you this like a story. We’d been staying there at Oceanside RV in Homer for a few days, and I couldn’t help watching out the window nearly every minute for another glimpse of a snoozing (or maybe clam-smacking) sea otter. I got a lot of dishes done, and didn’t see much, until:

End11

Here’s a closer look:

End12

This raft of sea otters was pretty far out, so this is just a snippet of the huge group of a hundred or more we saw floating past. We’d read they hold onto each other to keep from drifting apart, and that was true with this group. My apologies for not getting a better photo — it truly is hard to appreciate the amazing sight they created out on the water. Later we heard it’s rare to spot a raft of sea otters like this, and we were grateful to have been given the gift of seeing this group.

Advertisements

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in and Critters in General, Animals, Cool Experience, Flowers, Interesting Stories, RV Parks & Lifestyle and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s