"I think this could be the most wild place I have seen in my life."
Written by: Jacques Massie
Well we begrudgingly boarded a plane from Juneau.. I love that place.. and headed for Anchorage. Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska with a population of just over 300,000, more than 40 percent of Alaska's total population. I wasn't a huge fan of Anchorage, probably because I was so used to being in nature. But just out of Anchorage in all directions you will find something magical! Let me share 3 locations with you.
Where- Alright so to get to these spots you are going to need a hire car so suck it up, whip out the credit card and make it happen. Your in Alaska! To get to Beluga Point from the Airport jump on Minnesota Drive. Follow this road for 8 minutes observing signs for AK-1 South. Merge onto AK-1 S. Your destination will be on your right in 17 minutes. Find a spot to pullover safely.
What- Heard of Beluga Whales? The white whales with large heads... bet you know em now hahaha. They are incredible creatures but they are near threatened and increasingly hard to see in the wild unless of course you are in Alaska. Beluga whales are found throughout the Arctic and subarctic waters and will venture south over the months of July and August during the Salmon run. The Turnagin Arm, where Beluga Point is located, happens to be one Beluga populations salmon feeding area.
I highly recommend checking out Beluga Point on your way out to the Kenai Peninsula of course.
Where- The Kenai Peninsula is a large peninsula that juts out from the south central Alaskan coast. The Kenai Peninsula derives it's name from the local Kenaitze Tribe that inhabited the area. They called the Kenai Peninsula Yaghanen- this means "the good land." Homer is a small town on Kachemak Bay. Homer is a hub of activity during the summer months but over winter the town completely shuts as the locals hunker town for the winter.
From Anchorage find AK-1 South. Follow AK-1 S for 4 hours and 20 minutes (hahaha 4.20!). Boom your in Homer hahaha not to difficult aye.
What to do- You have plenty of options in the Kenai. Here are 3 options to try out;
Number One: Go Grizzly bear viewing! We were so so unlucky with the weather and were unfortunate to miss out on a day viewing grizzly bears. Oh well we will have to go back again hahaha. We were going to go with these guys- Alaska Bear Adventures. It is super expensive but dudes! You are in Alaska get used to the costs and book yourself an unforgettable experience.
Number Two: Go hiking! It is completely free unless you want to get across to Kachemak State Park, water taxis cost about $80 per person and include pick up at the designated time.
Number Three: Try your hand at Halibut fishing. These fish are no joke and grow massive! Check out Bob's Trophy Charters for rates and package deals.
Accomodation- We stayed at Driftwood Inn and had an entire house to ourselves. From memory we got a sweet deal and only paid about $120 per night between 3 of us. I would highly recommend this place. The accomodation is great, rates are more than fair (for Alaskan rates) and the staff are very helpful.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre(AWCC)
Where- Alright so it is time to start making your way back to Anchorage so you don't miss tomorrows flight back to Vancouver or wherever it is you are going. If, like us, you were unable to go Bear viewing due to poor weather conditions then you are in luck. At the base of the Turnigain Arm is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre. If you are headed back from Homer on the AK-1 North, you will find the conservation centre turn off at the base of the Turnigain Arm. Roughly 3hrs and 20 mins in drive time.
What- The Alaskan wildlife centre is dedicated to preserving Alaska's incredible wildlife through; conservation, education, research and animal care. The centre takes in orphans, injured animals and... AND... even brings animals back from extinction! Wood Bison were once thought to be extinct in North American, thanks to the efforts of the dedicated team at AWCC they now roam free once again.
It will cost you $15 per person, well worth it! Check out the pics below for a sneak peak at what you will see.
We spent our last night in a cheap hotel close to the Anchorage Airport. It was a tough goodbye! This State is absolutely incredible and I am so glad I was given the opportunity to visit. No doubt in my mind Paulo will be coming with me next time!
Keep chasing your dreams!
Jacques | Massie Bros
Massie Bro's | Paulo | Jacques