I moved to the Kenai Peninsula in January 2013. Originally from Prince William County, Virginia, I came to the Kenai to work for Kenai Peninsula College as the Associate Director for Residence Life of the new residence hall. After a 14 year career across five different institutions of higher learning, I have found my home on the Kenai and KPC and this blog explains why.
The Kenai Peninsula, often dubbed Alaska’s Playground, is a remarkably beautiful place. Located in the South-central region of Alaska just south of Anchorage, the Kenai is surrounded on one side by Prince William Sound and on the other by the Cook Inlet and Kenai River. As such the Kenai enjoys non-typical Alaska temperatures that ranges from -10 F to 30 F in the winte rand gets into the 60’s during the summer. There are usually a few days during the winter that drops as low as -20 F but there are not many of them and they don’t typically last long. In short, the temperatures on the Kenai tend to be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than most other places in Alaska.
Being surrounded by water, the Kenai does get a good amount of rain and snow, which brings out lush greens highlighted by the vast purple and pink wildflowers in the summer and generates winter wonderland pictures during the other months. Another contrast between the seasons is the amount of sunlight. In the winter, there is about 6 hours of daylight while in the summer there is only about 4 to 6 hours of darkness. The long summer days provide ample opportunity to view the landscape which includes several active volcanoes, many glaciers and a multitude of lakes, many of which are spring fed.
Regardless of the amount of light or the temperatures, the Kenai offers an unique wildlife experience. Like most places in Alaska, humans and wildlife live together on the Kenai. It is not uncommon for me to look out the window to see a moose grazing on the grass or chewing the bark off trees or a lynx running across the yard. There are also brown bears and black bears that often only leave their foot prints as proof they were in the area. Otters, puffins, whales and other wildlife can been seen along the coast and in the summer, the salmon arrive in mass to swim up the rivers to spawn the next generation of salmon.
As an Alaskan “noob,” I enjoyed every moment of the sights I have seen, the wildlife I encountered and the people I met. I have seen and done so much but yet, I feel as though I have only scratched the surface of what the Kenai has to offer. As I shake off my “noob” status in the upcoming year, I hope to share the insight I have gained , the things I have experienced and my future adventures on the Kenai for those who are interested in getting a peak into what life is like on the Kenai.