June 21-22: Too soon to stop if we’ve only traveled 45 miles? It just depends. What about the great Cook Inlet views we heard about at the Deep Creek State Recreation Area? It was sure worth a quick stop to see. So, after only 45 miles on the Sterling Highway south from Soldotna, we made a right turn just after passing through the town of Ninilchik. Driving down the hill into the state park the views of the volcanoes across the inlet are fantastic. Then we saw the rvs parked with the full view of the water and mountains. No question about it. We pulled right into a prime spot for our two-night stay. And the price is right also, $10.00 – for a million-dollar location. Here’s our view:
Another attraction, for Jerry especially, was the boat-launching service he heard used tractors to put the fishing boats in and out of the inlet. As soon as we got settled, we walked down to watch. Here’s another summer job for the young Alaskans, we suppose. In the small shack near the beach a young lady peered through her scope out toward the entrance to the inlet. In a minute we would see that a boat was heading in toward us and the team of two young men would be hooking up one of the numbered trailers parked on the beach and backing into the water. The bigger the boat, the deeper they went. In about ten seconds flat the man on the back would have the boat attached and the tractor was yanking it out. As it got later in the afternoon, there were more pullouts. It was fun to watch, mostly charter fishing boats with their customers after a day of hooking halibut or salmon.
Of course, we also went straight out to investigate Ninilchik, the small fishing village next door to the park. The 100-year old Russian Orthodox Church there is still active. The cemetery adjacent to the church was curious, to us anyway. Perhaps there is some tradition that is connected with letting the weeds and wildflowers grown tall throughout and on top of the graves. The grounds around the church otherwise were well groomed. I guess this is another question to answer at some time. Does anybody know?
As we took in the view of the inlet from the church grounds above the small village, the eagles began soaring overhead. There were smaller birds also circling and screeching, trying to protect their young. When we came back to our park, there were numerous eagles and osprey having their evening ceremony as well. We soon learned that there are so many eagles in and around the area, you don’t stop to watch all the time. It would be impossible. At times there were ten or so eagles feeding on the fish washed up by the tide near our spot. They also rest in the creek that feeds into the inlet behind us or fly overhead looking for critters upon which to feast. On the beach, the other birds stand by waiting for the eagles to finish so they can feast on the leftovers. Never have either one of us seen this many eagles at one time. What a glorious sight!