By Susanna LaRock
Cooper Landing Correspondent
Photo courtesy of Rebecca James
Cow moose and two calves enjoy Kenai Lake at Holben's Cove.
It Moose Be Summer Time
The Sterling Highway is busy with traffic, the combat fishermen are trying their luck at the Russian River, and the tourists are keeping the local businesses busy. But the greatest sign that it is summer time is the moose with their calves. Rebecca James reported a cow with twin calves playing in Holben's Cove, on Kenai Lake, every morning. Alma and Roy Fowler have had a cow and a calf playing on their side of Kenai Lake every day as well. While you're enjoying your travels on the Kenai Peninsula, please slow down, enjoy the scenery, and watch for moose.
Summer Happenings at Cooper Landing Community Library
The Summer Reading Program is in full swing at the library. All age children are welcome to join in on Friday mornings at 10:30 a.m. RAVEN Americorps member, Susanna LaRock, will be reading stories for preschool children and providing opportunities for school aged children to read aloud as well. There will be prizes for children who spend some time reading or listening to their parents read this summer.
The Cooper Landing Community Library is planning a major project this year. Katie Thomas, Library Director, is applying for a Rasmuson Foundation Grant. The $12,000 project will include replacing all the windows with more energy efficient vinyl framed windows, replacing the aging Monitor stove with a Toyo, and enhancing the Children's Section with new books, audio books, and DVDs. The Library match for the grant will be $2,400-$3,000. They are asking for support from the community to reach this goal. Any donations, large or small will help. You can make a donation at Cooper Landing Community Library during regular hours, or mail a donation to P.O. Box 517 Cooper Landing, AK 99572.
Go Wildman Go!
Local legend, Jerry “Wildman” James is gearing up and getting ready to be one of the 1,000 in the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. This 7,000 mile ride from Key West, Florida to Homer, Alaska is more than a race, it is an adventure! Participants start in Key West on June 20 and ride 1,000 miles to the first checkpoint in Mississippi where they will receive a map for the next leg of the race. The organizers, a group of Veterans, have kept the route a secret as part of the challenge. Riders will be expected to sleep outside with their Harleys and rough it for the whole 7,000 miles. Each participant has paid a $1,000 entry fee, and the person who makes it to the Homer checkpoint first will win $500,000 in Alaskan Gold. The Organizers of the challenge will also be donating proceeds to various charities, such as Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, and many more.
The Wildman has a faithful support crew made up of his wife Cheryle James, his daughter Rebecca James, and his granddaughter Shelbe Holben. They will be following the same route, sharing the driving reasonability in their own vehicle, and supporting the Wildman throughout this challenge. Rebecca will be blogging the experience from the road, so if you would like to follow the Wildman, go to http://followthewildman.blogspot.com/. The race will end with a huge Fourth of July celebration in Homer to welcome all of the brave riders who finish this one of a kind Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. Good luck Team Wildman, we'll all be rooting for you!
A Party with a Purpose
When local fishing guide and Harley Davidson enthusiast, Gary McFadden, was involved in a motorcycle accident, Natalia Naulenbacher and George Heim wasted no time organizing a fundraiser to help him out. Gary was enjoying some spring riding, when he suddenly had to swerve to miss a moose. He was hospitalized with back injuries and severe bruising which caused blood clots. Since this accident happened right before fishing started, it threatened to put Gary out of commission for his guiding season.
With the help of many community members, Natalia Nualenbacher and George Heim, owner of Alaska River Adventures, put together a party to remember. On June 12 at 5:00 p.m. many community members gathered at the Community Hall for an all you can eat spaghetti feed, with food donated by Sacket's Last Stand, Arden Ranken, Alaska Wildland Adventures, and Rebekha Yoder. There was beer donated by St. Elias Brewery, Moses Tooth, Alaska River Adventures, and more.
Many local musicians provided live music for the evening. Everything from fishing trips to stays in local lodges to time and services were donated for an auction. Even Cooper Landing Emergency Services, who were having a fundraiser of their own that weekend, donated half of their proceeds from their tent sale and halibut feed to Gary McFadden. Gary made a brief appearance at the party, and enjoyed some spaghetti with friends and family. It was a special evening, with all of the community pulling together to help a special community member in need.
Kingfisher Roadhouse Offers Food, Fun, and Live Music
Jennifer Mathews, a singer/guitar player from New Mexico, will be making a stop on her tour of Alaska at Kingfisher Roadhouse, June 26. Kingfisher will also be hosting an Open Mic Night June 30 and continuing it throughout the summer every other Wednesday night. Have a great meal, listen to some live music, and join in the fun.