The last week of August has traditionally been a super busy late summer camping week in Alaska, leading up the the grand finale over Labor Day Weekend. Traditionally …
The summer of 2020 seems to be petering out early, fizzling out with little fanfare, fewer and fewer RVs on the roads and none of the awesome end of summer blow-outs like the Palmer State Fair, open grass music festivals and craft fairs.
I refuse to give in to the change in season just yet! There are several days left in August, and I’m making the most of each and every one! Camp on, weekend Warriors, go forth “some-timers” like me, let’s rock this summer, full-timers!
Whether you camp on the beach in a van, climb mountains and camp in a tent, roll across your state in a class B, C or A motorhome, pull a trailer or 5th wheel – GO CAMP! Summer is not over.
On Thursday, August 27th, I found myself in a lovely, wooded campsite high on a hillside above the salmon infested Russian River on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska.
Perched atop a steep ravine, I had a great view of the mountains across this river valley, although sadly, not a view of the river itself.
The Russian River National Campground has a total of over 80 campsites, spread across four large camping loops covering quite an extensive area.
The entrance to the campground is down along the Russian River, not far from the conflux of it and the Kenai River, where there have been numerous bear sightings as the bear compete with fishermen for the much prized salmon. From the name, you’d think it was a river-side campground. But from there, the narrow, paved road curves and winds steadily up the mountainside.
I passed several campground loop signs before finally climbing to my assigned “Silver Salmon” loop. I only saw one other camper as I passed by the entrance of Coho Loop. The place was eerily empty except for those few sites right on the river.
The park Ranger was a nice young man who had put well-appreciated effort into choosing a nice site for me, one with a really pretty view. He was very enthusiastic about it. I’m not sure, though, why he didn’t just tell me to go pick a spot and enjoy – I seemed to be totally alone on my mountainside with a multitude of empty spots surrounding me.
I will add; although I appreciated my private, quiet and isolated campsite … I found taking Rhonda for an evening walk was a tad intimidating. I just know there are bears in them there woods!
If we had run afoul of a bruin, I’m pretty sure there was no one close enough to hear me screaming (or even Ronni barking), and I had one bar of cell service. Yikes.
We went to bed early – there would be no late night potty breaks for Rhonda this night. 🐻
The morning view being pretty much the same nice but unchanging woods, Ronni and I saw little reason to tarry. We were on the road by 9:00 am, in search of a more interesting landscape.
It only took an hour or so of driving south to find what I was seeking. Ah … the Kenai River. Time for coffee. ☕️