July 10 – Seward, Alaska

Every time I drive a highway it seems to get better and better – what a place! DSC_0010We continued on the Seward Highway and it was just gorgeous – mountains – snow – trees – curves – great pavement – and now development. Yes there are some houses and businesses along the way.

Short drive (87 miles) and arrived in Seward with no reservations. We were headed for the City of Seward campground – again every city should have one no matter how big. This one is huge – over 600 campsites. And it has automatic credit card pay so no labor costs and it is first come first serve.

We got here about 11 AM and was difficult to find an open site along the bay with electric and water. We started asking people when they were leaving and finally one couple said it would be in about an hour and so we staked our claim – get the pun Stu – he is our mining consultant son-in-law.

Set up and we look right into Resurrection Bay out our huge front window. Here for 5 days. The bay has been carved out by glaciers many years ago.

Did see cruise ships go in and out of the bay a few times while we were here.DSC_0082

Barges also went by –

Seward is named after President Lincoln’s Secretary of State who purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. That deal was called Seward’s Folly at the time – not today because Alaska is so great and a wonderful place to visit.

After lunch we took a walk and visited Kenai Fjords NP Visitor’s center. Did the movie and got my stamp and magnet. Brenda did get her Jr. Ranger book.DSC_0018

Also had Wi-Fi there. The park was established in 1980 to protect the Harding Icefield that produces 38 glaciers that flow from the icefield.

Walked around town and window shopped.

Saw a fish charter return with their catch for the day.DSC_0031

Tuesday the sun was shining and it’s time for an adventure.

We first did the “mural” scavenger hunt – town has the most murals of any Alaskan city – 22 to be exact.

Then we went to Exit Glacier – part of the Kenai NP. We did the ranger talk and hiked to the edge of the glacier. Learned about the NP and the flora and animals – don’t depend on the bear bell to scare away bears – in fact they fascinate the bears.

Brenda completed her Jr. Ranger book and got her badge.

Exhausted from the hike there was the Seward Brewing Company – good place with lots of people and good beer.

Our coach sits on the edge of the trail and in front of the bay – lots and lots of people walk by and we get a variety of people laughing and wondering about our sign.

Wednesday again promising to be a nice sunny day – which people are saying that the nice sunny days are unusual and we should make the best of it.  Also see sea otters.

Took off for a bike ride – did 6 miles exploring the city –

need to venture out on the highway. Did stop at a kayak charter shop and they did have space for two this afternoon. Made the reservation and at 11:15 AM we were there ready to go. This was Brenda’s first time kayaking.

They hauled us out down the road about 5 miles to Lowell Point and we launched from there – we were with another family of 4 and our guide – Sid. Young kid who has been a guide for about 3 years. He gave us the how-to and safety guidelines and we were off in Resurrection Bay – it’s a 1000 feet deep in this area so don’t tip over.

We paddled out about an hour and half and finally landed on shore (way out) to snack and take a hike. Sid was informative and knew about the nature and history of the area and kept us informed.  One of our passengers picked up a dead jellyfish.

We spotted 3 bald eagles and some Stellar Jays that were trying to get our snacks.IMG_3436

We then kayaked back to shore – good 4 hour round trip. Brenda did great and was able to keep paddling – we were in a double kayak. She’s asking when we are buying our own kayak.

Later did dinner at Thorn’s (local establishment) and had a “bucket of butts” that is halibut and it was delicious along with their seafood chowder (halibut, clams, shrimp, salmon and crab.

Thursday is our day off so no pictures. We did smoke a pork butt while sitting around looking at the Bay and the mountains – life is tough – but someone has to do it! And I will tell you that was the best butt – melt in the mouth.

Started to rain this evening and didn’t quit all night – even had thunder which I understand is unusual.

Friday still raining. Dogs would only stay out long enough to do their business and then back inside.

We did take a trip to the Alaska Sealife Center. It is in Seward and one of the places that rehabilitates hurt sea animals. There was a 5 month old walrus there who was abandoned by its mother.

Nice displays of a variety of sea life including Harbor Seals, Puffins, an Octopus and Stellar Sea lions.

Special Effects camera in the museum – rich in stream

DSC_0059Then we headed for the library that has a museum of Seward and local history. They were having a movie on the Iditarod Historic Trail and we watched that – very informative on the beginning of the trail (gold rush) and the continuation of the trail now.

They had a special local history buff come after the movie and explain the myths of the Iditarod Trail – no the trail did not start because of the Iditarod race that happens each year. It was used to get mail and supplies to Nome. Always learning.

Mile zero of the trail started in Seward but the race no longer starts there but has moved north so that the race is 1049 miles – 49th State.

We did not get to hike Mt. Marathon (3022 foot high) – 4th of July people race to the top and back down for best time.

Saturday we are bound for Homer with a stop at Soldotna.

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