4th of July in Kenai
It has been nearly two months since Dutch left
Bear and I flew out of
Our new house in Kenai sits on a tall bluff above the
Despite a late night on Thursday, Dutch and I managed to get to the Fourth of July parade in downtown Kenai by 11 AM on Friday morning. We found a good parking spot and then were amazed to see huge crowds of people trudging up from further away carrying all manner of portable chairs. By the time the parade started there was a gallery of chairs two and three deep lining the parade route.
The parade started with just about every fire truck the city owns, all with lights and sirens going. It was pretty loud there for a while. We were close to the start of the route, and fortunately they turned the sirens off after a few blocks. It served to get people’s attention that the parade was under way.
The civic and charitable organizations were well represented, there were a few floats, people throwing candy, lots of flags and folks dressed in red-white-and-blue. The VFW drove a real-looking (probably is) train engine on tires with a coal car behind it. A Dixieland jazz band performed from a large flatbed being hauled along. There were antique cars and tractors dressed in bunting, a dance school performing as they walked, a guy on one of those old-fashioned bicycles with a six-foot-tall front wheel, a very tall stilt walker, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle division (potato-potato-potato), rollerbladers in formation wearing Uncle Sam hats, and local candidates for public office shaking hands and passing out vote-for-me flyers. The crowd loved it all.
My big hope was for a marching band, the thing I most miss in
Kenai’s parade didn’t have a full marching band, but they did have a “drumline”, the percussion section of the high school band. There were more than a dozen drummers and cymbalists (?) marching in uniform, creating very intricate percussive rhythms that were great to listen to. Just made you want to dance right there on the street. And easily heard for several blocks.
After the parade was over, we discovered why so many people walked in with their chairs. So many roads were blocked off for the parade and the festival afterwards that we had a hard time getting out.
In my two brief visits to Kenai, my most dominant visual image is of moose. It seems like they are everywhere. A day rarely goes by that Dutch doesn’t see several. Usually it is cows with one or two calves grazing beside the roads. They are obviously unmolested, as they seem to have little fear. But they are in some danger from the cars whizzing by at 60 mph paying no attention; I saw one sign that said “151 moose road-killed this year.” I don’t know if that means since January of 2008 or some longer time, but it seems like a
Bald eagles follow closely behind moose in terms of wildlife prevalence. They seem to be all up and down the river. From our deck on the bluff we see one flying over or sitting in trees at the river’s edge every few minutes. Sunday morning we awoke to one sitting in a tree at the edge of the yard. He (she?) perched there for about two hours as we drank coffee and watched. At first I was concerned that the big bird had been injured, as s/he sat for the longest time with the left talon stretched in front of the branch and all weight borne on the right leg. Through the binoculars I could see the left talon clinch and unclench repeatedly. Eventually the bird shifted weight to the left leg and went through the same routine with the right talon, so I guess it was just a stretching exercise. When I came back later the eagle had flown.
The weekend was filled with chores as well as fun. Some combat shopping for household goods for Dutch. Establishing a Bear-restraint system in the yard for the big dog. Ditto the back of Dutch’s brand new truck, after repairing the chewed seat belt where the big dog expressed his displeasure at being left in the cab when we went out for breakfast. His life nearly came to a premature end on that one. And, on the fun side, going to a minor league baseball game to cheer for the Peninsula Oilers, the local team.
Of course the three short days went by in a flash and all too soon it was time to come home. In the effort to extend the visit as long as possible, I made the rash decision to catch the early plane on Monday morning and go straight to work from the airport. That meant being on the 5:10 commuter flight out of Kenai, which meant getting up at quarter till 4, and no time for coffee before racing to the airport. Painful.
In my sleep-deprived state as I was checking my bags in, I found the airline’s sign taped to the counter somewhat humorous. The murderous treatment of English in signage is one of my pet peeves. The sign said:
One carry-on bag allowed, weight not to exceed more than 20 pounds.
Am I just weird, or what?
83 days until October 1st; one more visit planned before then. Photos, as usual, by The Tundra PA; sorry I have no shots of the parade. For once I forgot my camera.
Labels: Life in Kenai