One of the many things I love about where we live is that high-quality, kid-friendly adventures are waiting right out the front door.
On Sunday, the kids and I headed across Kachemak Bay to Halibut Cove with a group of family friend for a hike into Gwich’in Glacier. On the short run, we spotted several sea otters with very new little pups and a couple orcas.
Our friend Mike dropped our whole crew on the beach. Once he anchored the boat and kayaked in, we set out on the super kid-friendly, out-and-back hike with a dazzling prize at the end. The conditions were perfect and there was shockingly no complaining from any of the littles in our crew. All in all, a delightful afternoon.
After the hike, we loaded back into the bow of the boat and headed into Halibut Cove Lagoon. The tide was high so we made it into the lagoon without incident.
Again we were dropped on the beach and we unloaded our piles of gear. It is difficult to travel light with five kids and a baby, but totally worth every minute spent packing and schlepping.
Because the pathways were slightly icy, it was easy to tote the gear in the sled. And once everything had made it’s way to the cabin, the kids had fun sliding down the ramp in the sled – until someone got a splinter!
It was my turn to cook dinner, so I heated a large pot of moose meatball soup on the stove, and we all enjoyed a late dinner and an incredible 8:30 PM sunset.
The next morning brought another gorgeous view and more otters with their pups and some playful porpoises.
After coffee and a hearty breakfast, the kids headed down to play on the beach and Jen, Selma and I took advantage of the quiet time to craft.
Of course with all that crafting and beach play, everyone worked up an appetite and we feasted on lox and bagels before heading out for our afternoon adventure.
The tide was high, so we decided to take the boat over to a nearby beach to dig clams and relax. It was a beautiful day and it was fun watching an eagle catch a fish for lunch and the mama otters as we jetted along.
The kids were thrilled with clamming for steamers, which is much more doable for them than razor clamming. They rushed over to dig when they saw a squirter, then practiced distinguishing between mudders and keepers. To help them count the total, they grouped their catch in sets of 10. Their excitement was contagious.
Eventually we realized that the tide had gone out a mite farther than we thought, and that we may be beached a little longer than planned.
Selma snoozed in the sun while we watched a curious ermine still camouflaged for winter scurry around the beach.
Although no one was in a hurry, Selma eventually became restless and Jen and I decided to see if we could appease her by hiking back to the cabin… The hike provided a huge array of colored sea stars, a few treacherous rock mountains, one boot nearly lost to the mud monsters (at least it wasn’t the baby!), and lots of fallen trees.
We inspected the fire at the West Lagoon Cabin (our best guess being that someone’s sleeping pad had caught a spark (or more) from the woodstove) and eventually moosied back to our cabin.
After another great meal including fantastic fondue, the boys headed out king salmon fishing with Mike while Selma and I stayed behind to tidy up the camp and enjoy another incredible sunset, more porpoises, and a curious, chubby Stellar Jay that preferred peanuts to the other foods offered to him by Claira and Eleanor.
A few late night card games, some tasty treats, and a whole bunch of giggling later, we were all ready for another good night’s sleep and to pack up in the morning.
Camping allows us to get away from the everyday grind and be rejuvenated by that which is so much greater than us, and this trip was no exception! Looking forward to our next opportunity to get outside.
Freezable Moose (or Beef) Meatballs
4 beaten eggs
1 ½ c. cornmeal breadcrumbs or quinoa
½ c. Parmesan cheese
¾ c. chopped onion
1 c. shredded carrots
½ c. chopped mushroom
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
2 t. chopped basil
2 t. chopped Italian parsley
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
3 lbs. ground moose or beef
1 lb. ground pork
Mix everything except the ground meats together in a large bowl, then crumble them overtop the mixture and mix well.
Use an ice cream scooper if you have one to help make round balls. Place them in muffin tins or in a baking dish. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes, turning often.
Allow to cool, then put in a Ziploc bag to freeze.
Perfect for appetizers, chili, soup, etc.! To reheat, either bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or put right into soup/chili frozen.
Depending on the size of the meatballs, this will make approximately 150.