The t-shirts would say, “Where the heck is Ninilchik.” We would say, Ninilchik is a tiny town approximately half way between Homer and Kenai, and a must see stop. There is not much there. Almost everyone and their brother run salmon and halibut charters, and there is a unique General Store with everything for the traveler, from hot fudge sundaes to stuffed ptarmigans. But the best was Deep Creek State Park. For $10/night we parked with our noses right on the beach of Cook Inlet with an incredible view of three, 10,000 foot plus, snowcapped, volcanic mountains across the water. The weather was perfect and the gentle sound of the shore break rhythmically rocked us to sleep.
In addition to relaxing and beach combing, there were a variety of things of things to do. The law states that the fisherman must dispose of their fish remains in moving water. That means that the birds, including many bald eagles, can come down and feast on them. We took a jeep ride up the beach to two beautiful waterfalls and spotted at least nine eagles. Our nice lunch was only slightly marred by having to winch “Barbie” out of a hole in the small river running from the waterfall to the beach.
We had planned to take one of the halibut charters out of Ninilchik. They launched the boats right next to our camp. People would climb in the boat and then a giant tractor would roll the trailer right into the water. Unfortunately, we did not make advanced reservations, so we were out of luck. However, we watched our neighbors, a very nice couple from Fairbanks filet their catch of the day, and we were thrilled when she put some in a bag and presented it to us. There was enough for two wonderful meals for all of us, and we were very appreciative of their generosity.