Current weather

  • Scattered clouds
  • 54°
    Scattered clouds

Area folks take advantage of Kenai Peninsula's great outdoors

Posted: Monday, June 16, 2003

Living on the Kenai Peninsula means one need not go far to escape to the great outdoors.

This fact was evident last week at the Bing's Landing campground in Sterling where a group of women and children from Kenai and Sterling were enjoying a five-day adventure just to get out and go camping.

Even though the weather wasn't the greatest -- occasional light rain dampened several days that week -- Carolyn McGee of Kenai and Jessica Fitch and Wilma Tipler, a pair of sisters from Sterling, were enjoying their time spent together around their campsite with McGee's children, Kevin McGee, 13, and Sarah Whitaker, 9.

"I've been camping for 20 years," Tipler said.

"Dad had 11 kids, and he packed 'em up and off we'd go camping," she said.

"We did seasonal camping in Massachusetts," said Carolyn McGee.

The group of friends has been camping together for four years.

Tipler, who moved to the central peninsula from Kodiak, noted that camping there is different.

"On Kodiak, you've got bear to worry about," she said.

And although Alaska's bruins are no strangers to the Kenai River, the group of campers was cautious without being overly concerned -- well, except for Kevin.

"We heard some guys saw a bear just down that way," he said, pointing up river from Bing's Landing.

"They said it was a big brown bear. They saw it going into the woods."

In fact, during the same week, a Soldotna police sergeant received reports of an 800- to 850-pound brown bear being sighted south of the Sterling Highway near Tustu-mena Street and the Forest Lane area.

Despite Kevin's unseasoned age, he was up to a little ribbing about being skittish since hearing the bear reports.

"You should have seen him take off when that moose came by last night," said Fitch of a cow moose that checked out the campers from an overlooking knoll one evening during their stay.

And, despite being skittish, Kevin was one of three folks who slept in a tent rather than in the group's optional truck camper that sleeps up to 12.

That adventure in itself contributed to the many camping yarns the group entertained themselves with while hoping the weather might improve.

"Don't dump those grounds," Fitch said quickly as another of the group was leaning toward the campfire for another cup of what some call "cowboy coffee," which is cooked rather than brewed, putting coffee grounds directly into an open pan of water over the open fire.

"Just put a little cold water in it and the grounds sink to the bottom," she said.

Sure enough, they do, though it would hardly matter on a chilly, rainy morning when just the smell of coffee warms one's soul.

Of course the youngsters, who have yet to discover the inner joys of the adult beverage, instantly lit up when the conversation turned to s'mores. Though they didn't have any on this particular camp outing, Sarah happily noted she found the marshmallows, an absolute necessity in any camp.

Other favorite foods for this group of campers include hamburgers and hot dogs, corn on the cob, baked potatoes and fish -- "when we catch them."

"Kevin's biggest thing is fishing," said Carolyn.

Although his luck at keeping fish on the hook wasn't particularly good this trip, the group did enjoy a couple Dolly Vardens grilled over the campfire.

To improve the children's chances of catching fish, the party was moving off to Johnson Lake Campground in Kasilof next for an additional four or five days outdoors.

"It's fun," Tipler said.

In addition to enjoying one another's company, "we meet people from all over," she said.

HEAD:Happy campers

HEAD:Area folks take advantage of Kenai Peninsula's great outdoors

BYLINE1:By PHIL HERMANEK

BYLINE2:Peninsula Clarion

Living on the Kenai Peninsula means one need not go far to escape to the great outdoors.

This fact was evident last week at the Bing's Landing campground in Sterling where a group of women and children from Kenai and Sterling were enjoying a five-day adventure just to get out and go camping.

Even though the weather wasn't the greatest -- occasional light rain dampened several days that week -- Carolyn McGee of Kenai and Jessica Fitch and Wilma Tipler, a pair of sisters from Sterling, were enjoying their time spent together around their campsite with McGee's children, Kevin McGee, 13, and Sarah Whitaker, 9.

"I've been camping for 20 years," Tipler said.

"Dad had 11 kids, and he packed 'em up and off we'd go camping," she said.

"We did seasonal camping in Massachusetts," said Carolyn McGee.

The group of friends has been camping together for four years.

Tipler, who moved to the central peninsula from Kodiak, noted that camping there is different.

"On Kodiak, you've got bear to worry about," she said.

And although Alaska's bruins are no strangers to the Kenai River, the group of campers was cautious without being overly concerned -- well, except for Kevin.

"We heard some guys saw a bear just down that way," he said, pointing up river from Bing's Landing.

"They said it was a big brown bear. They saw it going into the woods."

In fact, during the same week, a Soldotna police sergeant received reports of an 800- to 850-pound brown bear being sighted south of the Sterling Highway near Tustu-mena Street and the Forest Lane area.

Despite Kevin's unseasoned age, he was up to a little ribbing about being skittish since hearing the bear reports.

"You should have seen him take off when that moose came by last night," said Fitch of a cow moose that checked out the campers from an overlooking knoll one evening during their stay.

And, despite being skittish, Kevin was one of three folks who slept in a tent rather than in the group's optional truck camper that sleeps up to 12.

That adventure in itself contributed to the many camping yarns the group entertained themselves with while hoping the weather might improve.

"Don't dump those grounds," Fitch said quickly as another of the group was leaning toward the campfire for another cup of what some call "cowboy coffee," which is cooked rather than brewed, putting coffee grounds directly into an open pan of water over the open fire.

"Just put a little cold water in it and the grounds sink to the bottom," she said.

Sure enough, they do, though it would hardly matter on a chilly, rainy morning when just the smell of coffee warms one's soul.

Of course the youngsters, who have yet to discover the inner joys of the adult beverage, instantly lit up when the conversation turned to s'mores. Though they didn't have any on this particular camp outing, Sarah happily noted she found the marshmallows, an absolute necessity in any camp.

Other favorite foods for this group of campers include hamburgers and hot dogs, corn on the cob, baked potatoes and fish -- "when we catch them."

"Kevin's biggest thing is fishing," said Carolyn.

Although his luck at keeping fish on the hook wasn't particularly good this trip, the group did enjoy a couple Dolly Vardens grilled over the campfire.

To improve the children's chances of catching fish, the party was moving off to Johnson Lake Campground in Kasilof next for an additional four or five days outdoors.

"It's fun," Tipler said.

In addition to enjoying one another's company, "we meet people from all over," she said.



CONTACT US

  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

MORRIS ALASKA NEWS