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We spent last week camped at Odlin Park on Lopez Island in the San Juan archipelago. The weather was mostly lovely with just one windy day and we were able to be on the water a fair amount. Sky got to try dock diving and Luna poked around the wrack line for smelly stuff, occasionally going in the water. We set crab traps, lost two of them on the windy day, and Ken fished (unsuccessfully) for salmon. We shared good food with good friends at our beachfront picnic table. The day we left, wildfire smoke from Oregon and California filled the air and we were ok with the end of the camping trip.

From Juneau we flew to Anchorage and drove to Homer. Homer is located on Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula. It’s a beautiful drive, first passing along the Turnagin Arm of Cook Inlet and then through the mountains. The snow-covered mountains in Alaska seemed never-ending. It rained a good part of the way but now and then the clouds would part and there would another incredible vista of glaciers and volcanoes.

The Kenai River was impressive and had lots of little towns along it but they were mostly deserted since fishing season had not started. Once we got to Homer, we were treated to more mountain views across Kachemak Bay. The best weather days of our stay were the day we arrived and the day we left! Otherwise, it was intermittently rainy and/or windy. One day it was very rainy and windy and a planned boat trip was cancelled. Because of the weather, I never seemed to have a camera when I needed it so there are few photos of the birds that we saw while attending the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.

Someone told us there are 10,000 sea otters in Kachemak Bay and they have consumed just about all of the sea urchins. This is good for the kelp beds. We took a boat trip across the bay where we were told 10,000 Black-legged Kittiwakes (a type of gull) and 5,000 Common Murres nest on Gull Island. Tufted Puffins nest there too but they hadn’t arrived in big numbers yet. We also kayaked there.



And then it was time to go home.

The next day was a little more laid back. Don and Mary flew a kite while Molly tried to catch it. We all went for a walk on the south end of the island and enjoyed long views and watched birds and seals. Back at camp our friend Kim arrived with her boat and we had a lovely afternoon paddle before dinner.

We spent last week at Lost Lake in the Okanogan Highlands in eastern Okanogan County. If you’ve followed this blog for long, you know we go there just about every year. What is it about this place that we find so inviting? Let’s see: old growth western larch forest, Common Loons, wildflowers, historic CCC structures, peace and quiet, wildflowers, perfect small lake for paddling and relaxing, brook trout in that lake, good birding and much, much more.

Weather was kind of chilly and we enjoyed our campfires each night. Fishing was off from other years but Ken was able to bring in enough for two meals. A friend joined us for a couple of days. We did some serious birding and she got to paddle Ken’s fishing kayak. The dogs were happy and busy and they slept like rocks each night. I think we all slept well with the frogs in the background. We woke to singing Swainson’s Thrushes and Ruby-crowned Kinglets each morning.

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