16 Majestic Moments From 2016 On The Kenai

photo-credit-courtney-stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

The time has come and gone and we’ve officially said goodbye to 2016 on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. From season to season we were absolutely spoiled last year with the most epic displays of raw nature, adorable wildlife, magical mountains and glistening glacier views. We enjoyed every second of our peaceful ‘off season’ months and welcomed visitors from all around the world with arms wide open during the summer months. Here is a collection of some of our most memorable moments from the year as shared through the eyes and camera lenses of our loyal, loving fans and followers. With that being said, we are ready to make 2017 better than ever and can’t wait to share the journey with all of you, every step of the way. Wishing all of our friends out there a safe and Happy New Year!

PC: Renee Gilbert Photography

PC: Renee Gilbert Photography

1 – We started January off with this incredible photo of a sow and her cub enjoying some private time on the beach at Naknek Lake in Katmai National Park. It’s impossible not to fall in love with that adorable baby face staring right at you!

PC: Ian Stotesbury

PC: Ian Stotesbury

2 – February brought us so much more than just sweet nothings during Valentines Day. This phenomenal aerial view overlooking Cooper Landing left us utterly breathless. That turquoise blue color was enough certainly eye-candy to get us through the rest of the winter.

PC: Patrick Thun

PC: Patrick Thun

3 – When late February rolled around and we got a glimpse of this adorable photo of two young girls eating breakfast while a moose peeked inside, our hearts about exploded. This is pure joy and happiness in a single photo.

PC: Jeremiah Frye

PC: Jeremiah Frye

4 – When March finally rolled around after a long winter, everyone fell in love with this iconic sign. To us, this represents a one-way ticket to the very best place to be in all of the Last Frontier!

PC: Prentis T. (Tom) Keener, Jr.

PC: Prentis T. (Tom) Keener, Jr.

5 – Late March spoiled us with this enchanting nighttime view overlooking the Homer Spit. We are so enchanted by the way that the lights reflect into the shores of Kachemak Bay and the way that the mountains jolt up into the air thousands of feet above sea level.

PC: Carl Knutson

PC: Carl Knutson

6 – A foggy April evening in Homer turned into a very alluring photo shoot when the clouds covered the low ceiling with bits of the sun sporadically peaking through.

PC: Lynn Anderson

PC: Lynn Anderson

7 – One of the most magical moments in May came when a full moon was spotted at sunrise overtop of a fishing vessel in Kachemak Bay out of Homer, Alaska. Again with that spectacular reflection!

PC: Joshua Stills

PC: Joshua Stills

8 – June is always a special month on The Kenai because it marks the official start of summer. This photo of a few happy outdoorsmen floating the upper Kenai River definitely gave us fishing fever!

PC: Double Haul Fly Fishing

PC: Double Haul Fly Fishing

9 – When the fireweed was in full bloom in July, we were at a complete loss for words. I mean c’mon now! This is one of the most incredible sights in the entire world. The mountains in the background add a lovely dimension to the overall setting as well.

PC: Laurel Bill Author

PC: Laurel Bill Author

10 – This August photo of two moose smooching shared by Summit Lake Lodge in Moose Pass made us almost explode with happiness. These wild creatures are simply stunning when observed in their natural element.

PC: Summit Lake Lodge

PC: Summit Lake Lodge

11 – When September rolled around, this rare photo of the Alaska Railroad, a boat pulling a fishing boat and a black bear lounging in a tree had us screaming with amazement. This just might be the most ‘only in Alaska’ moment of the year. Incredible!

PC: Channel 2 Weather Team by Satrina Lord

PC: Channel 2 Weather Team by Satrina Lord

12 – Not only did October spoil us with stunning views of fall foliage, but this picture-perfect shot of a bull moose jumping across a chain length fence to join the other neighborhood moose was completely jaw-dropping. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

PC: Phil Pringle

PC: Phil Pringle

13 – Summertime might be when the rest of the world prefers to visit Alaska’s Playground, but we think the winter months are our best kept secret. This winter wonderland shot overlooking the Kenai River at the Russian River Confluence in Cooper Landing is our proof of that.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

14 – The cutest (and most ‘liked’) picture from November came when these two absolutely adorable reindeer baby reindeer came trotting across our computer screen. It is impossible to deny that this picture is the cutest thing you’ve seen all winter!

PC: The Meta Picture

PC: The Meta Picture

15 – We couldn’t get enough of this adorable spring bear cub after he got all muddy playing with his two siblings in the tidal flats of Cook Inlet. Is your heart melting? Ours is too!

PC: Lisa Aikenhead

PC: Lisa Aikenhead

16 – Last but FAR from least is this majestic photo from our neighbors in the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan. Sunsets like this are truly a force to be reckoned with.

PC: Carlos Rojas

PC: Carlos Rojas

Wishing all of your friends, fans and followers a safe and happy 2017! Be sure to put a visit to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground at the tippy top of your bucket list this year. We know you won’t regret it!

These 5 Videos Of Baby Moose In Alaska Will Make Your Heart Explode

Seeing wildlife (from a distance) in the wild is one of the most remarkable things to witness in life. The innocence of seeing these adorable babies has the ability to soften the hearts of even the toughest humans out there. After watching these five videos of baby moose in Alaska, don’t be surprised if your eyes become welled up with water, your jaw is continuously dropped from the cuteness factor and your mouth utters the words “awww” and “oh my gosh how cuteeee” over and over again. Enjoy! 🙂

Flickr - debbie_sonberg

Flickr – debbie_sonberg

These precious baby moose playing in a yard sprinkler in a residential neighborhood in Alaska is proof that our hearts can explode several times in one single minute. OH MY GOSH! ❤

You might have remembered the baby moose that was born recently in the Lowe’s parking lot in Alaska. Talk about an “Only in Alaska” moment. So special.

This baby moose wobbling around and learning how to walk in Homer on the Kenai Peninsula is way too cute for words. So lovable, huggable and kissable!

From just over a month ago in Alaska is this fantastic video (with great music) of a baby moose playing in someone’s yard as mama watches on. It’s happy, innocent and filled with so much joy.

And last but not least there is this truly miraculous video of a mama moose lying down on a yard in Alaska and giving birth to twins. It shows the actual birth (which is slightly graphic to some) but it’s one of the most beautiful displays of nature that you will probably ever witness. Watch as the newborn moose stumble and wobble to get up and use their legs for the first time ever.

That’s all for now! ❤ Do you have any video footage of wildlife on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground that you’ve taken? If so, be sure to share it with us in the comments below because we would LOVE to see it!

From Florida to Alaska: Training to be a Sea Kayak Guide


By: Daniel P. Meuninck (meuninck@gmail.com)

From Florida to Alaska: Training to be a Sea Kayak Guide

I was used to living around mountains. Splash Mountain is my personal favorite. Big Thunder Mountain is considered a classic. And of course, Space Mountain is most people’s favorite to summit. I even went on an expedition up Everest a number of times. No big deal. But to say the landscape of my former residence of Orlando, Florida is vastly different from the views over Resurrection Bay would be more than an understatement. I mean shoot, the largest “hill” on a recent marathon I ran was the exit ramp at Disney World. Compare that marathon to the 5k race up Mount Marathon in Seward and I’m not sure which would be the bigger challenge.

From Florida to Alaska

But here I am. From Florida to Alaska for a summer adventure as a sea kayak guide at Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking. I like challenges and enjoy challenging myself and this job definitely provides both. Many of my friends said they were envious of me for getting paid to have a vacation. And while yes, I love what I am doing, this is definitely not a vacation. Not to say it isn’t fun, but to say wilderness guides are just on a pleasure cruise does a disservice to everything they do, train for, and provide for the guests they interact with on a daily basis. Personally, I came in with some training. All guides at Sunny Cove need to have their Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification. While the remoteness of our trips is a huge draw for people, it also means you are far from help if something goes amiss and the WFR is a prerequisite for any aspiring guides. As an alum of the National Outdoor Leadership School’s (NOLS) Alaska Outdoor Educator course, I also knew what to expect in regards to the climate of the temperate rain forest that surrounds, but that doesn’t necessarily make the cold rainy days any easier.

So what does it take to be a sea kayak guide?

A passion for the outdoors? Absolutely! But so much more. Guides are interpreters of everything a guest sees along their journey. One may paddle near shore and see a simple rock sticking out of the water. But I see the effect of tectonic plates smashing together forming a drowning mountain being sunk in a bay carved out by massive glaciers that have retreated over time and that’s just the cliff notes version of the story. A guide is trained to invite their guests into that story. Guides are educators; and not just of simple paddling technique, but of local history, geology, and ecosystems. Sure, a large part of training is to make sure guests are safe on the water which includes reading weather patterns and tides and teaching the essentials of paddling a kayak, but the real meat of training a sea kayak guide is helping that guide become an expert story teller on the water. It can be easy to take people from point A to point B, but where is the joy in that when there are a million stories all around just waiting to be told to compliment the journey.

Mental fortitude is also a must! As great as this job can be, there are days where the rain doesn’t end and the warm weather seems as far away as the Florida sunshine. But throughout my training, I have learned to navigate these challenges. A three day kayak camping expedition led our training crew to witness a number of bald eagles, sea otters, harbor seals, and Stellar sea lions culminating with a pod of orcas and a breaching humpback whale. Those days definitely make it easier to deal with the elements. And while the formal part of training may have concluded, my learning continues as a sea kayak guide never truly leaves training. There is always something new to learn. For me that could include bomb proofing my roll or delving into the history of the native culture. Either way, I am excited to start telling my story and the story of all that surrounds me in this beautiful place called Alaska.

Written by Daniel P. Meuninck (meuninck@gmail.com) of Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.
Learn more about Sunny cove by visiting their website: www.sunnycove.com and Facebook: www.facebook.com/kayakalaska

Featured Town on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground

Cooper Landing, Alaska – Gem of The Kenai

The Cooper Landing area is rich in native and pioneer history. Joseph Cooper and his crew traveled up the Kenai River from Cook Inlet in 1884 then later in 1896. Kenai Lake was at that time called Lake Long with the miner’s camp called Lake City.

This was renamed Cooper Creek Landing around 1914 and then changed again to what is now known as Cooper Landing. Cooper Landing, The Gem of the Kenai Peninsula, an Emerald in summer, and a Diamond in the Winter. Conveniently located in the middle of the Kenai Peninsula, nestled in the majestic Kenai Mountains along the beautiful turquoise waters of Kenai Lake and the upper Kenai River. These waters are uniquely tinted blue-green by suspended ultra-fine glacial silt.

Adventures & Activities Dining & Shopping Fishing
Area Services Transportation Service & Rentals Planning & Booking Agents
Bed & Breakfast Bear Viewing RV Parks & Campgrounds
Resorts Lodges & Cabins Hotels & Motels Shopping & Gift Shops
Attractions & Sightseeing Visitor Services

Featured Town on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground

Anchor Point, Alaska – North America’s Most Westerly Highway Point

“North America’s Most Westerly Highway Point” stretches along the Sterling Highway, atop the bluffs overlooking Cook Inlet, and winds down through the pristine Anchor River Valley. Anchor River offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities beginning with King Salmon in the spring, continuing with Dolly Varden and Silver Salmon in the summer and cumulating with Steelhead in the fall until freeze up.

Not interested in fishing? May we suggest beachcombing, a favorite activity of residents and visitors alike. Visit our neighboring community of Nikolaevsk, a Russian village inland a few miles; enjoy our art studio and gift shops, or take in a motor cross race. Be sure to come by our Visitor Information Center and mini-museum.

Adventures & Activities Dining & Shopping Fishing
Area Services Transportation Service & Rentals Planning & Booking Agents
Bed & Breakfast Bear Viewing RV Parks & Campgrounds
Resorts Lodges & Cabins Hotels & Motels Shopping & Gift Shops
Attractions & Sightseeing Visitor Services