Airstreaming to Alaska – Chapter 15: Kenai Peninsula

Posted April 3, 2023 – Narrated by Carmen
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Airstreaming to Alaska

Atmosphere is way over our heads.

Near ‎⁨Ninilchik⁩ on Highway 1

We can’t tell a cirrocumulus from a stratus, but we know what we like. A good cloud show is a thing to behold.

Hike to Exit Glacier near Seward

I was hooked from the moment Mama first laid me down outside on a blanket, face up.


In Alaska, the sky is the Greatest Show on Earth, and clouds are the elephant parade, dominating every scene. 

Beauty and The Beast is like a cloud passing through, trailing a silver lining.

‎⁨East Fork Sixmile Creek⁩, ⁨near Hope⁩

We fancied ourselves rainmakers because summer thunder storms continually shadowed our path.

Our campsite in Seward

Leaving Anchorage

Heading south on Highway 1, we followed the railway tracks along Cook Inlet toward Turnagain Arm and The Kenai Peninsula.

Near Beluga Point overlooking Turnagain Arm

Until recently (1789), the Kahtnuht’ana Dena’ina were the sole culture of The Kenai Peninsula which they call, “The Good Land.”

Turnagain Arm near Girdwood

Weather permitting, we hoped to go kayaking but cool and wet conditions threatened these once-in-a-lifetime plans.

‎⁨North shore of the Turnagain Arm near the Chugach Mountains

Jim wisely scheduled long stays in each of our August destinations. August, is the rainy month. Using the “broken clock” theory, he projected we would, at least catch a few rays if we remained in each destination for several days.

Across Highway 1 from the Alyeska Resort near Girdwood

He was right. Most daylight hours were like this


with rare moments, like this.

Resurrection Bay, Seward

And we seized those opportunities with gratitude knowing they would not last, and that shortly we would be cocooning in Beauty again playing Five Crowns and resuming our Mary Tyler Moore Show binge party.

Shawarma! Jim’s delicious Living in Beauty cooking

With the dental problem behind me and taking a course of antibiotics, I was fit for travel and able to appreciate the scenery along Highway 1.

Near Placer River

The views of the Alyeska mountain range prepared us for adventure.

Russian River near ‎⁨Cooper Landing

Road construction delays were no longer a big thing. We’d learned to plan for the worst.

Constant, routine roadwork on Highway 1 near Sterling

The majestic summer landscape rolled out the fireweed carpet. Things were looking up.

Near ‎⁨Ninilchik⁩, ⁨on Highway 1



We had a three-day reservation on Homer Spit at Heritage RV Park.

Overlooking Kachemak Bay and Homer Spit. The North Pacific Plate is gradually subducting beneath the North American Plate. The coastline of the Kenai Peninsula is slowly being dragged into the sea.

Until summer of 2020, we traveled like wolves with no reservations – thrilled to get a spot, any spot. Now we’re more like sand hill cranes, reserving months ahead to secure a space where we can spread our wings. We traded spontaneity for a new challenge – getting the best spot – which Jim continually slays like a silverback.

Our waterfront campsite on Homer Spit

With a unobstructed view of Kachemak Bay


and easy access to the water …


one way …

Our inflatable Advanced Elements kayaks have now navigated the waters of 49 states!

or another …


our outside time on The Spit flew by.

Windy day on our fabulous Dolphin eBikes
Kenai is about the water. Of its 25,600 square miles only 15,600 is land. 

Fortunately, whatever-the-weather distractions are a Homer speciality.

pika pika bento
Pika Pika Bento Japanese and Vietnamese street food made in a 1950’s Airstream in downtown Homer

We love the Homer vibe and fantasized spending an entire summer on The Spit.

On the first perfectly beautiful dry day, we pulled out.


The long daylight hours flexed our schedule so we stopped at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for a hike.

kenai national wildlife refuge
kenai national wildlife refuge

Jim and I share the wheel and that arrangement really paid off in Alaska,


giving both of us equal access to the scenery.

‎⁨Kenai Lake⁩, ⁨Cooper Landing⁩⁩
Because of rough grade, mountains and construction delays, the drives are usually 25%-50% longer than GPS estimates.
Just north of Cooper Landing

There’s not a moment to rest your eyes.


In Alaska, the drive is the destination.

‎⁨Near Bear Lake⁩⁩⁩
Highway 9 north of Seward
‎⁨Resurrection River⁩


Sometime in the early evening we settled into a charming seaside town on Resurrection Bay. Jim snagged a serene water’s edge site with plenty of space to relax and shake off the road dust.

Weekdays were quiet, but the park is packed on weekends.

And the views! What sorcery is this?

The Kenai Mountains view across the water from our campsite
Another view of the Kenai Mountains from our campsite

A neighboring eagle, perched in the trees above us, kept a keen eye on … Pico 🫣

seward eagle
Photo taken from our campsite.

So our little security specialist went undercover…


which only prompted Eagle to change vantage points. Perching only a few yards away on a post, he seemed to be asking me, “Hey, you gonna eat that?”

seward eagle

Like Homer, it rained every day in Seward.

Resurrection Bay

On drizzly days we cozied up by the fire, to watch the bay traffic …


and strolled to town …

William Seward who organized the purchase of Alaska
Pico is a fair-weather chihuahua
Great coffee and pastries at the Sea Bean

and visited the Alaska Sealife Center

and marina …


Almost everything is within walking distance.


The Exit Glacier hike is just over the hill. Pico stayed home because we needed poles for this trail and a downpour was predicted.

exit glacier
exit glacier
exit glacier
exit glacier
Glacier ice looks blue because long, red wavelengths are absorbed by the ice crystals while short, blue wavelengths are transmitted and scattered. The more densely crystalized, the more turquoise it looks.
exit glacier
exit glacier

There’s no easy way to say it.

At this point. I became seriously ill.

I suffered a bad reaction to the antibiotic prescribed as follow-up for the dental surgery. Though I took probiotics and yogurt daily the antibiotic still ravaged my gut. This was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life. I was unable to travel – even to fly – and I doubted my ability to finish this trip.

Overlooking Kachemak Bay near Homer

Whenever a storm comes around, Jim and I scan the dark turbulent atmosphere for God-light. 

View from our campsite

Rainbows, shafts, and silver linings are not only good omens. I’ve heard these special deliveries from the magnetosphere also bestow healing effects.

Resurrection Bay

Focusing on signs of hope in bad situations can also cause body and soul to flourish under the most trying circumstances.

Homer Marina

Abuse of this natural phenomena is widespread. The Pollyanna injunction to “search for the silver lining” is often a cue to hide your symptoms, implying there is a right and wrong way to do pain – that the condition of suffering is annoying to others and equivalent to failure.

Beachcombing along Kachemak Bay

In the 1980’s at Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, my niece, Beth and other children there taught me the work of suffering is communal. Sharing the good and the bad can be an act of heroism.

Kayaking Kachemak Bay

It is a radical transformation to choose to focus on the bright side of a dark situation. I’ve seen this force in action, watched the light break through grey concrete-thick misery to gestate hope and clear the air for Joy if not comfort; Love if not health; Peace if not independence; Cheerfulness if not full-mobility; treasured memories over anguish and regret.

Homer Spit

But talking wisdom now is cheap. I thought I was going to die.

Kayaking Resurrection Bay

I darkened the bedroom and fixated on my cremation …”Alaska or California?” Meanwhile, Jim reached out to his wonderful San Diego doctor friends to consult with them about my condition. Almost instantly, the situation brightened.

Resurrection Bay
(On every mile of the Oregon Trail, 10-15 people died of diseases)

These magnificent docs prescribed new meds and food therapy which, they said, was the most important protocol. Yes, I needed yoghurt and probiotics, but I also needed beans, apples and broccoli. Additionally, they prescribed red wine, beer and very dark chocolate – my favorite – several times a day. Seriously? Day drinking and dessert before dinner will heal me?! I felt like Woody Allen in Sleeper when he woke up in a hospital bed in the far future being treated with hot fudge and cigarettes.

So, leaving Seward, with a local IPA in one hand and a bar of Godiva in the other, we continued on, practicing the fine art of being human in an uncertain world, looking for the silver lining under the tutelage of the Alaska sky.

Chapters in the “Airstreaming to Alaska” series

  • Chapter 1 – San Diego to Malibu
    • Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay – Chula Vista, California
    • Malibu Beach RV Resort – Malibu, California
  • Chapter 2 – Malibu to Morro Bay
    • Morro Bay State Park – Morro Bay, California
  • Chapter 3 – Morro Bay to Santa Cruz
    • Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park – Santa Cruz, California
  • Chapter 4 – Santa Cruz to San Francisco
    • San Francisco RV Park – Pacifica, California
  • Chapter 5 – San Francisco to Eureka
    • Vinnie’s Northbay Airstream Repair – Wilton, California
    • High Water Brewery (Harvest Host location) – Lodi, California
    • Harmony Wynelands (Harvest Host location) – Lodi, California
    • Van Ruiten Family Vineyards (Harvest Host location) – Lodi, California
    • Four Fools Winery (Harvest Host location) – Rodeo, California
    • Lawson’s Landing – Dillon Beach, California
    • Mia Bea Wines (Harvest Host location) – Redwood Valley, California
    • Johnny’s at the  Beach – Eureka, California
  • Chapter 6 – The Oregon Coast
    • Harris Beach State Park – Brookings, Oregon
    • Bay Point Landing Resort – Coos Bay, Oregon
    • Blue Herron French Cheese (Harvest Host location) – Tillimook, Oregon
    • Seaside RV Resort – Seaside, Oregon
  • Chapter 7 – The Strait of Juan de Fuca
    • Washington Land Yacht Harbor Airstream Park – Olympia, Washington
    • Salt Creek Recreation Area – Port Angeles, Washington
  • Chapter 8 – Victoria, British Columbia
    • Weir’s Beach RV Resort – Victoria, British Columbia
  • Chapter 9 – Victoria to Mackenzie
    • Riverside RV Resort – Whistler, British Columbia
    • Big Bar Rest Area – Clinton, British Columbia
    • Walmart Parking Lot – Prince George, British Columbia
    • Alexander MacKenzie Landing – Mackenzie, British Columbia
  • Chapter 10 – The Alaska Highway
    • Northern Lights RV Park – Dawson Creek, British Columbia
    • Former Prophet River State Park – Peace River, British Columbia
    • Hay Lake – Fort Liard, Northwest Territories
    • Northern Rockies Lodge and RV Park – Muncho Lake, British Columbia
    • Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park – Liard River, British Columbia
  • Chapter 11 – Yukon
    • Watson Lake Visitors Center Parking Lot – Watson Lake, Yukon
    • Teslin Rest Area – Teslin, Yukon
    • Norsemen RV Park – Atlin, British Columbia
    • Hot Springs Campground – Whitehorse, Yukon
    • Real Canadian Superstore Parking Lot, Whitehorse, Yukon
    • Gold Rush Campground – Dawson City, Yukon
  • Chapter 12 – Top of the World Highway to Chicken, Alaska
    • Downtown Chicken Cafe and Saloon
  • Chapter 13 – Tok to Valdez
    • Tundra RV Park – Tok, Alaska
    • Gulkana River Rest Stop – Gulkana, Alaska
    • Bear Paw RV Park – Valdez, Alaska
  • Chapter 14 – Glacier View to Anchorage
    • Grand View Cafe and RV Park – Glacier View, Alaska
    • Alaska Raceway Park (Harvest Host location) – Palmer, Alaska
    • Ship Creek RV Park – Anchorage, Alaska
  • Chapter 15 – Kenai Peninsula
    • Heritage RV Park – Homer Spit, Alaska
    • Marathon RV Campground – Seward, Alaska
  • Chapter 16 – Whittier to Talkeetna
    • Williwaw Campground – Whittier, Alaska
    • Talkeenta Camper Park – Talkeetna, Alaska
  • Chapter 17 – Denali
    • Riley Creek Campground – Denali National Park, Alaska
  • Chapter 18 – North Pole to Chena Hot Springs
    • Riverview RV Park – North Pole, Alaska
    • Chena Hot Springs Campground – Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Chapter 19 – Tok to Haines
    • Fast Eddy’s Restaurant Parking Lot – Tok, Alaska
    • Gravel Turnout – Beaver Creek, Yukon
    • Gravel Turnout – Destruction Bay, Yukon
    • Haines Hitch-UP RV Park – Haines, Alaska
  • Chapter 20 – South to the Lower 48
    • Gravel Turnout – Haines Junction, Yukon
    • Teslin Rest Area – Teslin, Yukon
    • Jade City Parking Lot – Jade City, British Columbia
    • Mehan Lake Rest Area – Bell II, British Columbia
    • Fort Telkwa Riverfront RV Park – Telkwa, British Columbia
    • Walmart Parking Lot – Prince George, British Columbia
    • 100 Mile House Municipal Campground – 100 Mile House, British Columbia
    • Mt. Paul Golf Course (Harvest Host location) – Kamloops, British Columbia
    • Crowsnest Vineyards (Harvest Host location) – Cawston, British Columbia
  • Final Chapter – Lessons Learned
    • Philosophy
    • Preparation
    • Planning
    • Mileposts (the book)
    • Roads
    • Weather
    • Camping
    • Cash and Currency
    • Clothing
    • Food
    • Wildlife
    • Bugs
    • Fuel
    • Dump Stations and Potable Water
    • Pets
    • Internet Connectivity
    • Hiking
    • Cycling
    • Kayaking
    • Damage
    • Dangers
    • Canada Border Crossing
    • US Border Crossing
    • General Observations
    • Serendipity
    • Final Thoughts
    • Our Camp Sites

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.

41 thoughts on “Airstreaming to Alaska – Chapter 15: Kenai Peninsula

    1. Thank you, Melinda! We are so happy that you have an eye on our escapades. Sometimes when we’re in doubt about our next step we ask ourselves, “What would Jim and Melinda do?” The answer is always, “GO!” xoxo

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  1. I love following your travels. We were blessed enough to get on the road full-time for about 8 months in 2021, and it was a dream come true. We had to stay in the states so my husband could fly for work. Hopefully retirement will come in the next 5 years and we look forward to exploring Canada Nova Scotia and Alaska by Airstream.

    1. Thank you for reaching out etabor1! We are so happy to have you with us. Now that you’ve had a taste of this lifestyle, the next five years will fly by because the planning stage is almost as fun as being Out There.

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Ralph!

      What year did you go and what year are you planning to go back. We met many Alaska Regulars who RV there and back almost every year to fish. They travel fast, get their fish and leave just as fast to their fish in the freezer ASAP. Man, that’s some hard core RVing.

      Great to hear from you and thanks for sharing!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Charles & Susan!

      We’ve gotta stop meeting like this 😂

      I love your Spit photos. Honestly, there wasn’t a whole lot to photograph in the fog. We were lucky that the wind came in and cleared the view of the mountains. But man, it was soooo cold!!!

      Considering that it was August and La Nina we were lucky to have five dry days out of 31.

      We love your blog. The photos are gorgeous and your story is enticing.

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Kurt!

      Your concerns are justified. We made the trip without sustaining any damage other than high blood pressure. Sadly, over-landing is the best way to see the Alaska interior. But you could fly into Anchorage or Fairbanks and rent a camper van. Many travelers do exactly that. One scenario is to fly into Fairbanks, travel for a month or two and turn the RV in at Anchorage – but I’m sure there are many ways to go about it.

      Thanks for bringing that up! Very good point!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  2. I made the drive from Seward to Anchorage & back w/o a trailer in the early 80’s with a few of my Coast Guard buddies & a case of Heineken. We used the cardboard box to sled down a hill or 2. Safe travels!!

    1. Hey Robert!

      Oh absolutely, the Heineken Tour 😂 I’ll bet you guys wrote your names in stones along the Alaska Hwy for posterity.

      What fun! Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  3. Wow, so glad you came through that ordeal and were able to continue on! Serious reactions to antibiotics are very scary. We have good friends who lived in Homer for many years and now spend summers there. It’s been on our list for a long time…your post fuels my desire! Just need to get settled in our tiny house first. 🙂

    1. Hey Laurel!

      Yes, so many people exercise caution about vaccines while antibiotics are the meds more likely to harm you. I once met a surgeon who specializes in bone marrow transplants and she’s afraid of antibiotics for herself and her family because so many of her surgeries are a response to adverse reactions to them. I am allergic to the penicillin family of drugs and hypersensitive to most others, so there’s always a risk.

      When you go to Homer I hope the weather is nice. I heard that Homer was spectacular in July.

      Thanks so much for checking in Laurel! xoxo

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Funniest Man in San Diego!

      Thank you so much xoxo but I was hoping for a joke. I could use a joke. Is it the supply chain problem?

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Jim!

      Thank you for the enthusiasm. We appreciate you.

      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Carol!

      So wonderful to hear from you! Yes, I am alive. A close shave like that makes everything and everyone even more wonderful.

      To Health! 🍻🍫

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  4. I’m sorry you got so sick, Carmen. When in traveling mode, conditions like those are even more challenging and disastrous. I hope you recovered within a couple of days. I’ve felt seriously ill lately as well, due to immense migraines after hiking (at higher altitudes), but at least I know there is an end to that suffering after half a day.

    Your photos are stunning as always. Alaska is beautiful!

    1. Hey Liesbet.

      I’m so sorry about your headaches. About twenty years ago I had the same headache symptoms you describe. The headaches were profound for a couple of years. Then, my son and I decided to hike Mt. Whitney in California. Just before the summit my son – who was hiking in front – turned and looked at me in horror. Blood and mucus were flowing out of my nose staining the entire front of my shirt. I felt nothing, I thought the moisture was just heavy perspiration. Then, instantly, my head cleared like it has never before. It felt as if I had been living in a fog my entire life. I described this event to a ENT doc who said I may have saved myself a surgery on that hike. So, my advice to you is to be prepared.

      Thank you for taking time out of your amazing South America adventure to look in on us.

      Hugs to Maya!

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  5. So, red wine is just as healthful as apples, and dark chocolate is just as therapeutic as broccoli. Who knew? The things I learn from this blog, I tell ya. LOL.

    Honestly, I feel for you. Getting sick while traveling anywhere is tough. Getting sick in the wilds of Alaska is a whole other level. Thank heavens Jim “knows people,” and I’m glad he jumped into action while you were busy planning your funeral. 🙂

    Oh, Alaska. This trip of yours was just epic. So, so trying, but so, so rewarding. I could look at these gorgeous pictures all day.

    1. Hey Laura!

      Yes, Jim’s network saved the day and gave me an excuse to have brownies and wine for dinner whenever my tummy is a bit off 😋

      Writing this series is a therapeutic reminder to us about how amazing the Alaska trip was. The scenery is almost too much of a good thing. At this point in the journey I had to struggle to process it, to be amazed by it. I’m only now looking at the photos for the next chapter. Whoa, Denali! It wasn’t a dream. We were really there! Thank you for allowing us to share it with you.

      Hugs to Thor!


      Safe & Happy Travels!


    1. Yes, Linda. There is an all-seeing eye – and it decided that I needed to live a bit longer. Whew!


      Safe & Happy Travels!


  6. I’m absolutely loving the podcast. Started at the beginning in January as we are on the countdown to our own full time adventure in May (Alaska is on the top of the list!) It’s been in my ear as I’ve worked to clear out our home and get things in order to start moving into our rig. It’s been just the inspiration and entertainment I’ve needed to keep me on track! Thank you for sharing your travels!

    1. Kassie,

      Glad to hear you are enjoying the podcast. We have to admit that finding a quiet place while traveling full-time can be a challenge at times. Sometimes we will think it is the perfect time to record the podcast and something happens: a lawn mowers starts up, air traffic picks up, large trucks start passing, it starts raining, a party begins next door, birds begin singing, and many other sounds that would interfere with a clean clear recording.

      You said you started listing to the January 2022 podcast where we started our amazing journey from San Diego, up the western states coast, through British Columbia and the Yukon, and finally to Alaska. We just published Chapter 15 and hope to finish the Alaska adventure with a lessons learned in Chapter 20. Stay tuned!!

      Congratulations on your plans to start full-time travel in May… NEXT MONTH!!!!!!!!!!

      Hope our paths cross at some point in your travels! Stay safe out there and happy travels!


  7. My brother & a buddy did that trip before we fished on the Kenai P. It’s as beautiful as you describe so well.

    I’ve followed you since we met in Sarasota. What a grand adventure you are on!

    1. Charles, we agree, the Kenai Peninsula is a beautiful area of Alaska. That being said, we found a lot of beautiful areas in Alaska, as well as the Yukon.

      We considered trying some fishing, but the weather would not behave. Rained almost the entire month of August.

      Wow, Sarasota!! We met you in January 2018 at Sunny South RV Park. Thank you for following living in Beauty all these years.

      We love this lifestyle and sharing the crazy adventures. Glad to have had you along these last 5 years.

      Hope our paths cross again some day.

      Stay safe out there!


    1. Dean, we are guilty of loving good food. Before COVID, we found a lot of places who served good food and offered good service. In our observation, things have changed since the summer of 2020. Even though many restaurants are trying to get back to their original menus, we have found the service below normal. The restaurants attribute that to a lack of people applying for open positions, and that is true, but lately something has been missing in our restaurant visits. It just hasn’t been the same. Like most folks, COVID forced us to eat more at home (in our Airstream) and that caused us to up our game on our own quality of cooking. We don’t eat out as often as we used to and we are throughly enjoying our own meals. I am even working on a cook book of recipes that can be done in a small kitchen that serves two people for approximately 600 calories per person. I have started listing some of those recipes here. Dean, thank you for following Living in Beauty even before we started traveling full time back in July 2016. Jim

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