Après Salmonfest, we needed a chill day. Nonstop music and activity, rock-star hours – we were tired! After the last day of the festival, we decided to drive a whole 20 minutes south from Ninilchik to Anchor Point. This town boasts a campground at the beach and, significantly, the beach is the westernmost point in North America that you can drive to via highway. Cool!
Sounds like a nice chill day, eh? Yeah, right…
The campground was indeed at the beach. Our site was a 2-minute walk from a bluff overlooking Cook Inlet, and two huge mountains- Mount Iliamna and Mount Redoubt – were staring back at us as we looked across. We needed more than just the cell phone to capture the majesty of these 10,000-foot, active volcanoes… In the 2 minutes it took to walk back to camp for the camera, we spotted a bald eagle high on a perch above the campground and a moose chomping at the willows by the road near our site.
On the walk back to the beach (it took more than 2 minutes, this time…), we got lots of critter pix and continued on to a perfectly situated bench on the bluff to gawk at and photograph the volcanoes. Whoa!!! What happened to the tide!?!?!?
Cook Inlet, known for its huge tide changes, was at our toes! We watched part terrified, part awed as a 20+ foot tide rose to the beach. Think about that – more than 3 feet an hour or 10 inches every 15 minutes… I had to sit there for awhile and contemplate tides.
I got caught up in a rather large group of seagulls doing a line dance, maybe the Hokey Pokey. Not knowing how to use the video function on Doug’s camera, it sadly didn’t get recorded. Let me help you reimagine it. All of the seagulls are lined up pointing south, their right legs facing the surf, heads bobbing and pecking at whatever the last wave tumbled onto the shore. With every incoming wave they all take one step left, up the shore and in unison – to avoid getting wiped out by the wave, each one coming in higher than the last with the rising tide – and continue eating. Repeat.
You gotta love Alaska!
For anyone who’s interested, more Anchor Point pix…