July 25, 2012
It’s time to pull up stakes in Soldatna, next stop Hope, AK. Hope is small town at the end of another road off the main highway back to Anchorage.
The weather gods are smiling upon us again so we stop at a park along the Russian river for lunch and for a hike. We can’t park near the trailhead with the trailers, which causes us to head down a river trail we think connects to the trail we want but only leads to fishing access. We end up backtracking the half mile or so back to the parking lot and walk down the road to the real trailhead.
The trail we are on is about three miles and leads to a wooden viewing platform overlooking the river at a series of small cascading waterfalls. Once we get there we realize that we took this exact trail 8 years ago on our previous visit. That time it was raining.
We spend quite a while watching the salmon try and force themselves up the falls. It’s unbelievable how hard they need to swim and jump to make it up even one falls. It’s a long row to hoe.
There was a salmon jumping here just a second ago, I swear.
Here’s proof there are salmon in the water. This guy is very pink; he may be at the end of his journey. Almost all the other salmon are silver at this point.
We were just about to head back when Brian noticed the salmon were getting some new visitors. I don’t think they were invited. There was big momma, who was the best fisherman we’ve yet to see, and her two cubs. One of the cubs tried to fish, unsuccessfully, the other was more timid. Both were quick to take advantage of momma’s catch however.