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.