The 2014 Alaska Caravan was a 10.5 week journey commencing in northern British Columbia, traveling into the Yukon, and then northwest exploring the mountainous landscapes, glaciers and rivers of central and southcentral Alaska.
The caravan consisted of about 20 Leisure Travel Vans from all over the US and Canada and was lead by Duane and Lynda Pilson of Rec-Vee, and Bill and Helen Harder on behalf of Leisure Travel Vans. Our LTV marketing team caught up with the caravan for five days, five weeks into their journey in Homer, Alaska, located on the shore of Kachemak Bay, on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula.
We set up camp for three days along the beautiful Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mile long paved peninsula that extends into the Kachemak Bay, looking south across to the grand peaks of Kachemak State Wilderness Park. Home to just over 5000 people, Homer is known as the Halibut fishing capital of the world.
Our first day in Homer was a beautiful sunny day, an apparent welcomed break from the wet weather the group had been having for the first portion of their trip. Half of the group decided to take advantage of the clear skies and they headed out on a fishing trip in Kachemak Bay. Calm waters and an abundance of fish provided a successful trip enjoyed by all, with enough Halibut brought back to stock the freezers. While the fishermen were out on the water enjoying the sunshine we headed out with Jerry on a seaplane tour above Homer and Kachemak Bay National Park, taking in the magnificent peaks, glaciers, mountain lakes, and rivers. This was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of our time there.
After an awe inspiring and eventful day, that evening we got together with some of the couples to shoot some lifestyle photos and video along the beach. Incredibly good sports, we filmed them as they strolled the beach, beach combed, and even danced with the mountains as their backdrop!
Early the next day we left Homer and headed to Kenai for one night. We stayed at Beluga Lookout Lodge and RV Park, located along the Kenai River – a large glacial system draining the central Kenai Peninsula. While we were there we were lucky enough to catch the first day of the King Salmon fishing season. The Kenai River is famous for large runs of salmon, particularly King Salmon, and every year the salmon navigate back to the rivers in which they were born to swim upstream and spawn. They swim up in such large numbers that Alaskan residents are allowed to dipnet for them, potentially stocking up enough salmon for their families for the year. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, when dipnetting, the head of household is permitted 25 salmon each year and 10 additional salmon per additional household member under their dipnetting permit. If you plan on visiting the Kenai area try your hand at dipnetting! Visitors to the area can enjoy professional charted fishing tours up the river and can catch one King Salmon per person.
That evening the rain slowly set in and our group got together to enjoy a communal dinner consisting of a fish fry using the freshly caught Halibut. Bill, using his infamous ‘Bills Dust’ – his top secret tasty spice blend – prepared the halibut while Mark helped out with the cooking. We all enjoyed a potluck of various salads and appetizers, complimenting one of the best Halibut meals I have had. We continued to enjoy the evening getting to know the great group of people on the caravan, sharing many laughs and good times.
Stay tuned for more about the 2014 Alaska Caravan journey, where we head into Seward and take a boat tour to the Kenai Fjords National Park’s Glacier!