Journals, Photos and Videos

A Pleasant Surprise

For my first cab ride, which was today, I shuttled a couple from the Kenai River Princess Lodge to Seward for an 8:30 AM Kenai Fjord tour. We made the trip in an older Lincoln Town Car which has an additional row of seats - a real limo. Hey kids, remember our limo? We sure had some adventures in it!

It is a very pleasant, beautiful 50 mile drive and costs $110 one way. The couple mentioned they were from a California town just outside of Reno so we had a lot to talk about and arrived in Seward for the 7:30 check-in. On my way back to Wildman’s I stopped at a local Seward diner for an egg and reindeer (Rudolph I think) sausage breakfast. It had a great atmosphere with colorful local clientele.

Maureen finished work Sunday pm in time to join me that evening when I headed back to pick the couple up for a return trip to the KRPL. We got there in time to meet them at the ramp 5:30 and offered to let them unload all their photo bags, extra coats, etc and depart at 7PM. This gave them a chance to do some tourist activities and have dinner while we too, sat down for a pleasant meal overlooking the dock.

Sitting in the harbor was a 5 deck tourist ship that towered above the area. It is actually a strange sight compared to the boats that dock in the harbor. Geoffrey worked in a famous establishment called the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, AK one summer and told us about the cruise ships that docked there each week ( When the tourists disembark and tour the town, the population increases 10-fold or more!

We met the folks back at the car and then headed back to Cooper Landing. The people said they really enjoyed the ride both ways, the suggestions and the fact we gave them extra time to do a bit of shopping in Seward........ and I received the first tip of my life! Next I will be pan handling in Anchorage.

We got back just in time to greet some visitors. Nic, Jolie and Hope Strohmeyer stopped by Wildman’s and stayed in their VW Vanagon in the campsight next to ours for the evening. They are old friends of Greg and Gwenan (and Gwenan’s maid-of-honor at their wedding) from their Summit County days and have maintained their friendship visiting each other whenever they are able. Hope and Maureen took a side trip down to the store.....on Saturday mornings the store cleans and sanitizes the Softee Ice Cream machine so, Jerry (the Wildman) said I could come on a Fri night and bring some Hope got to bring back a bit of vanilla, chocolate and swirl softee and we all had special Softee treat. By the way, this picture was taken around 9:30 at night

Nic and Jolie are with the BLM and transferred to Anchorage last year and are loving it. Please check out their blog to get a taste of Alaska life for the Strohmeyer’s.

They were headed for Homer with a stop at Clam Gulch to do some clamming. It was their first attempt and they were armed with their clam gun, boots, license and map. Oh, a clam gun looks like a post hole digger....when the tide is out you look for little air bubbles in the mud and place the “gun” over it and dig down to get the clam that is hopefully captured in it. Actually, we have only read about it so they are going to stop on the way back and give us a full report!

The day we went to Homer (5-12-09) we noticed some heavy smoke but did not give it too much thought. We later saw on the news that there was a wildfire in the Homer area that was increasing rapidly in size. This turned into quite a wildfire threatening Homer and took 4 or so days to contain. Nic had come down to Homer as foreman of the helicopter ground crew and to work this wildfire that actually was east of Homer. Once the fire was contained, Nic had a chance to see a bit of Homer and knew that he had to bring his family down to see the southern Kenai Peninsula. Wildman’s is half way between Anchorage and Homer and a perfect stop on a Friday night after work.

Saturday morning Maureen was up and at the store by 6:30 to preform the opening duties with Cheryle (Wildwoman!). Shortly after 7am when we opened a bubbly, smiling Hope came to say good-bye to “Nana Maureen” before they headed off on the last 2 hours of their journey to Homer. We had a great visit and will see them on the return trip for the clam report and will gladly visit them when we return to Anchorage.