On our way back north from Homer, we had to stop in the teeny town of Hope for one last visit. Our last stay a few weeks ago was way too short for our liking. This time we lucked out with the prime spot for the week.
Once again, we opted for the dry camping spots with the awesome view.
The girls got right down to business painting their nails.
And Luka immediately made himself at home in Caleb and Ariana’s Land Cruiser. Our first order of business was to make ice coffees. Ariana provided the coffee and we provided the milk, sugar and ice cubes. Teamwork!!
One of the reasons for our return was desire to use our hiking sticks again and for the awesome fishing steps from our campsite. The kids fashioned fishing poles from sticks and random fishing line they found nearby.
We then walked the the water’s edge to watch the salmon making a run up the river.
Luka was the most excited of all the kids, I think. Pants off, dead fish on his line and neighboring fishers smiling.
Look at my skeleton fish!
That wasn’t the only dead fish of the day. He walked around until he found a better one.
So proud of himself.
Back at the campsite, we sometimes indulge in a little internet action when we can get it.
Stop talking photos of this!
By the end of the day, we were once again joined by the awesome BodesWell crew.
Another campfire under the Alaskan sky. It almost looks dark here. Almost.
I love when a sunset is so good that you need to get up and shoot it.
And then after you sit back down, it changes and you have to get up again.
And it happens multiple times.
We got some info from a local on a beautiful hike to small lake in the nearby mountains.
After a long drive down a dirt road and a mile through bear country, we found the spot. Everyone was ready to swim.
But the water was way too cold for half of us. But not Dan and Shawn the Sheepdog.
Our our friend Ariana in her floating tube.
In their bathing suits, the kids hiked a little bit further up the hill.
And guess what they found?
We took a slight detour on our way back to the cars.
Blueberry picking was also on the docket today.
We all sat and picked blueberries from the ground.
Collecting them in an empty water bottle for all of us to share later.
Just like the bears do. And speaking of bears, it was strange not to see any today. It felt like we were taking over their territory and would be approached any second. But nope.
Back at camp, we made blueberry cobbler with lots of sugar.
Since we were parked literally in the parking lot of the bar, we had to make at least one more visit.
And another. But they are our memories and here they will stay.
There’s Luka making himself at home in the red bus once again.
Since Dan had to pay for a fishing license, he trying to catch as many fish as he allowed.
And once we catches them, he does as the locals do. He kills the fish immediately with a rock and then cleans them on the water’s edge.
Ava didn’t enjoy this part at all. Neither did I. But Mila and Luka were into throwing rocks at the caught fish. I know they were just imitating the way of life up there but it was hard to watch.
The fresh salmon was prepared one of the three ways. As sushi. As fried fish.
Or as deep fried fish.
That’s one silver salmon and one pink.
There are those two youngest ones again. Enamored by this whole process.
One our final night here, we were joined by Kerri & Tim and by our new vanagon friend Karin.
Karin and I hopped on over to the bar to watch a little of the open mic night.
We are feeling a little sad that our time in Alaska is already half way done. Wish we could stay in this eternal sunshine forever. I know I keep saying this but we had no idea how much we would end up loving it here. We feel so lucky to get to enough of the state in this slow pace of travel, soaking it all in.
Thanks for reading,