Today we are super excited to feature this guest post from Kristi Trimmer who is a full-time traveler, beer & wine blogger, runner, tech geek, and garden lover. Kristi is originally from Phoenix, Arizona and after traveling to the last frontier (and falling in love with the never-ending beauty of this vast land), is currently in the middle of trying to survive her first ever winter in Alaska. Although the minimal daylight hours and chilly temps can get to most people, we are pretty sure that Kristi’s job spent interviewing craft breweries and wineries is keeping her mighty warm at night. ;-) Read on to learn more about Kristi’s journey to Fox Island, a lush, mountainous isle in Resurrection Bay located just a short boat ride from the quaint fishing town of Seward, Alaska.
There is one place when I close my eyes that I imagine I am back at… Fox Island, Alaska. An island with very few people, an amazing lodge, a room that had the best bed I have slept on in years, and a porcupine that I wanted to hug. Yep, I’m still dreaming of Fox Island, Alaska.
A part of Fox Island is owned by CIRI Alaska Tourism, which is located in Resurrection Bay, 12 miles south of Seward. You have to take a boat to get there and there are no phones, no internet, and no people. Well, a few people, but not many. There are only eight cabins – so the whole place has a very friendly, intimate feel to it.
Every day the Kenai Fjords Wildlife and Glacier Tour boat stops at Fox Island for lunch after departing from Seward. But you don’t get to go to the Lodge. The Lodge is special. After I took the boat ride to the island I was met by Cathy Martell, the General Manager of Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. I might have fallen in love. Not with her! But with Fox Island. I found a place that I never wanted to leave. I sat down, put my feet up and warmed up by the fireplace and looked out at this wonderful place.
I was only there for the night, but I wanted to stay forever. It was a bittersweet time – I am at one of the most beautiful, most romantic, places I had ever been, but I was there solo as the man I was dating had to cancel last minute. I was in the midst of couples celebrating romantic getaways to a remote island. That’s not awkward at all.
There were 3 couples and me staying at Fox Island. It was the last weekend before the island closed for the season and there was excitement in the air that I just can’t quite explain. When we arrived at the Wilderness Lodge we had a seated lunch looking out at the crystal blue-green waters of Resurrection Bay. They were all tables for two, not communal dining. That’s ok, I am used to eating alone.
Then about 10 minutes into the silence, the guy at the table next to me spoke up and asked where everyone was from. So glad he broke the ice! I met Day and Jacob from Texas and Steve and Fiona from England. What was awesome was that Day and Jacob invited me to eat with them – I gladly accepted!
We were all then shown to our log cabins and given some time to freshen up before the afternoon’s activities of a nature walk, a Chef’s cooking demo and then a seated 5-course dinner at the Lodge. Heaven, I tell you!
Nature + Cooking + Amazing Views = Heaven
My cabin the woods – I would live here year-round if I could!
I needed a few minutes alone to get my mind right. To not stress out over being there alone and to enjoy each moment that had been gifted to me. When I walked into my room, I felt more at home in that moment than I had in years. It was the perfect tiny house!!
What you don’t see is that there was also a cozy couch and coffee table with a perfect view looking out over the island’s lake. Right in front of this oh-so-comfy bed, I did 10 minutes of yoga to clear my head, stretch my body, and to meditate looking out over that pristine, calm lake. I climbed up onto that bed and never wanted to leave. I almost ditched the day to spend it all right there – *that* comfortable!!
I loved that right outside my door was a footprint made with rocks found on the island. And that tree stump was home to a few mushrooms, raspberries, and Salmon berries – and yep, I ate a few. Yum!
I headed back out and met the other couples for a nature hike on the beachside of the island. We found out which berries we could eat and which we definitely would want to steer clear of. There were also dozens of different types of wild mushrooms everywhere and I was SO enthralled by them all. I so want to do some mushroom hunting this year!
I had signed up for the cooking class with Island Chef Matt at the Wilderness Lodge. He was making salmon skewers with a mango balsamic reduction. He was aware of my soy allergy and was up for the challenge! He changed up the recipe to something he had never made before and it was utterly delicious! I never would have thought of making salmon skewers as an appetizer – but boy, were they easy and fast to make, and amazingly good too!
It really was a great way to end this most amazing Alaskan Summer!
After I had some tasty fresh-caught Salmon in my belly, I headed out with Day and Jacob on a paddle boat to explore the island’s interior from the lake. After awhile, Day and I put our feet up and Jacob did all the work – sorry about that! We laughed and laughed out on the water – they were so much fun! While we were out on the paddleboat, Steve and Fiona had taken a kayak trip around the lake and came back with stories of seeing Stellar Sea Lions just feet away from them – they were on Cloud 9!
View from the lakeside… so serene!
After we cleaned up, it was dinner time! Executive Chef for Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge and Seward Windsong Lodge is Jerry Phaisavath. Chef Jerry and Chef Matt did not disappoint with their menus for each meal. The star of the show at dinner were the fresh scallops and seafood risotto. That was hands down, the best scallops of my life! I also want to somehow get that seafood risotto recipe because it put mine to shame. I was so impressed with all of the food so far – nothing was left out in making sure the guests had an amazing experience. From the snack table of fresh fruit and cheeses, to each course at every meal being made with full flavor profiles and good, not pretentious food. They even had great wines and Alaskan beer to pair with each course. Seriously, 5-star experience all around.
After dinner, we were out enjoying the view when we spotted orcas far off in the distance. We thought if we walked around the island that we might have a better view of the breaching whales. So we walked around the south end of the island saw so many jellyfish on the shore and black slate rocks that glistened in the early evening sun.
Lion’s Mane Jellyfish taking in the view.
Once we rounded the southern tip we saw a pod of Orcas – we were all in awe! The sun was setting over the mountains and we decided to take some pics. First time I had used them timer function on my Canon T3i!
Fox Island Shenanigans with new friends!
Jacob took this pic of me which I just love!
When we came back from that walk, everyone else was talking, but I was lost in thought. My ankle was acting up, and my limp was back making me walk so very slow. I was thinking about my life, my time in Alaska, and how this land continues to amaze and change me. How this island touched a part of my soul. I was in love. I was in love with Fox Island. And then I had an affair.
We walked up to the Lodge and were told that the bonfire with smores had just started down the beach. I was going to go and drop my camera off in my room and put on my bigger L.L. Bean coat as the cooler temps were already affecting my Arizona blood.
But then he came into my life. The porcupine. At first we thought there was a big black dog on the beach. Nope. That was not a big fluffy dog, but a big not-so-fluffy porcupine! Of course I tried to get close enough to get a picture of him. He was not amused and sadly, scared of us. He darted back through the woods and up a tree. Who knew porcupines could climb trees?!?
There were very few animals on this island and we had just found one of a handful! He was so dang super cute! Yep, wanted to give him a hug, but instead took his pic. Yep, I had a love affair on Fox Island with a Mr. Porcupine.
I went back to my cabin, grabbed my Theo Dark Chocolate and headed to the bonfire. I stayed for one smore and then decided to call it a night at 10:30pm. It was dark out and I was pretty tired. The boat was coming for us early in the morning and I wanted to be well rested.
At about 6:00am, hot tea and a light breakfast showed up on my deck. The service here is incredibly stellar! I made some tea, did my yoga, and breathed in the peace I found in this cabin on Fox Island.
I headed to a full breakfast with the other guests as it was the last time we would all be together. Day and Jacob were going on the day whale watching cruise with me and Steve and Fiona were on the shorter one departing in a couple hours. Hugs all around as we said goodbye to our new friends.
Chef Matt made me a special lunch to take on the cruise that was soy-free. He had been SO amazing with my food allergy. He really made me feel like I had nothing to worry about and that it wasn’t the pain-in-the-ass that I know it is. And that, my friends, is how every person with food allergies wants to feel.
Thank you Fox Island staff for making my trip to be so amazing – your smiles, your expert advice, and for just being so real, not stuffy or fake – you made your guests feel like family, Thank you!
I dream about Fox Island a lot. A lot. When I am stressed out, I close my eyes and remember the sunset off the island, the crystal blue waters of the ocean, the serene calmness of the lake, and the way my heart and soul found peace. I might have been there alone, but I was not lonely. New friends were made, I had a love affair with porcupine, and I smiled again. I’m still dreaming about Fox Island…
Read Kristi’s disclosure at the bottom of this blog HERE. To read more about her Alaska experiences, please visit her website at http://kristitrimmer.com/.