Because Michael wasn't going to be home for Mother's Day, we celebrated early with one of my favorite things. A family road trip! And even better, a family BIKE trip!! I had gotten a brand new bike, and was eager to try it out.
So we put all the bikes in the back of the truck, stopped to get some lunches to pack along, and headed out.
We stopped about half way there to eat a quick lunch at a picnic spot, then kept on going. We knew just where we wanted to be, and it was a couple hour drive to get there.
When the tourists arrive in Alaska, there are a few places that local residents avoid, and Russian River campground is one of them. Its one of the most popular places in the entire world for red salmon fishing. Campsites are reserved at least a year in advance. Tourists arrive in droves, and its combat fishing all along this river. They come with their huge motorhomes, with built in extra freezers to take home all the salmon they can catch. Its crazy. And busy. And Alaskans just don't venture near very often.
But, before the tourists arrive, in early May, and before its even OPEN at all (shhhhhh) we sneak in and find it absolutely blissful.
The campground was totally empty, but clear of snow, and it was a beautiful, perfect day. The scenery around us was glorious, because as you bike you are dwarfed by the mountains on each side. At the end of the campground there is a long set of stairs, leading down to the Russian River, and the boardwalk that runs along it.
Some of the pictures, like the one above, are taken with my blackberry (especially if I was riding and shooting!)
After biking all over the campground, we carried our bikes down the loooong set of stairs and then we rode along the boardwalk next to the river. I really can't describe how free and wonderful it feels to ride along, with the sounds of the river and the sights around each corner. There was a tiny bit of snow on the bank, but the air was warm and we were in our t-shirts.
Can you look closely and spot the victim of a nap attack?
My awesome new bike..love this thing.
We reached the end of the boardwalk, which is the mouth of the river, and we parked our bikes and just enjoyed relaxing together. The girls played and waded, while Michael and I sat in the sunshine on the bank and talked together. The girls gave me a Mother's Day gift they had snuck in the backpack, and it was a necklace set they had seen me looking at in the store one day.
Crazy Penelope, wading in some REALLY COLD water!
Later in the afternoon, we carried our bikes back up the stairs, and rode back to the truck, parked on the other side of the gates. We headed to Seward, a VERY favorite spot of mine. In fact, we go there every Mother's Day...as a tradition. I had always wanted to bike along the path that runs around the Ressurection Bay, so we parked and unloaded the bikes and took off. We rode all around Seward, and finally stopped and had a late dinner of fish, chowder, and chips. Seward is an absolutely amazing town, with stunning scenery. It sits in the shadow of enormous mountains that rise straight up out of town, and is flanked on the other side by the pristine bay and quaint harbor. I love it so much.
How handsome (hot!) is he?? He was tasting some of springs new grass..hee hee.
Chena riding along the path near the bay
I can't think of a more perfect (early!) Mother's Day. We headed home, stopping for icecream cones and arriving back quite late. I can't wait for our next trip. We have quite a few planned for this summer!