Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Seward, Alaska, July 19-20, 2011

Woke up to another beautiful day in Homer. We took our time getting packed up and on the road. As I was getting prepared to “back” Jim out of our site I noticed that we were still plugged into the power. Man…one little thing can upset out procedure! Jim came out and unplugged us and packed away the power cords then we were ready to go. Had to go to the dump on the way out…no full hookups at the site. We also tried to top up the fresh water tank but had a little trouble so we didn’t bother. We will have full hookups in Seward. We took the motorhome to fill up with fuel..hooked up the tow car..then hit the road. WOW is it a beautiful day!!!
We had to double back up the Sterling Highway to get to the junction with Seward Highway. We went back through Soldotna. Saw no wildlife on the road the entire way. The only sad thing was that a US Senator from North Dakota was killed in a car accident at MM 104 a couple of days before. He had been in Alaska for a fishing trip to Homer. Don’t know if we passed him on our way there. So sad.
No problems traveling to Seward. The mountains were beautiful and the sky is so clear. Temperature is mild too…a little windy but that’s not a problem right now.
We found our campground, Stoney Creek RV Park, easily. We set up camp and headed to town. Stopped by the Visitor’s Center to pick up maps and brochures. First stop was the Alaska SeaLife Center. It has large fish tanks full of all kinds of local fish…halibut and salmon, of course. They also have enormous tanks with seals, sea lions and birds. We’ve never seen a bird exhibit like this one. Puffins, red-legged kittiwakes and others I can’t remember. We were there when the trainer was doing tricks with the sea lion…funny! We looked all through the exhibits and left to explore the town. We drove through the small town and found all the city rv campgrounds. Right on Resurrection Bay…but no hookups. We parked the car and went into a restaurant on the docks for a beer. While we were sitting there a young man came and sat beside us. Jim asked him if he ran one of the fishing boats…he had been talking to the bartender so we thought he was. In fact, he does captain one of the private fishing charters. Jim asked him a few questions about fishing and also if he was from Alaska originally. Turns out he was from Mississippi and graduated from LSU!! Of course, we had to sit there awhile and talk to him. He was very nice and told us a little bit about his family back home and what he does and how he became a boat captain. It was a good evening.
When we left the restaurant we walked down to the docks where all the boats were coming in with fishermen. Fish…mainly halibut…was everywhere. There is a long processing table with lots of stations. I stopped to watch a young woman cleaning a halibut and cutting fillets. She was pretty handy with the big sharp knife.
We headed back to the motorhome and ate our leftovers…red beans and rice. It was very good!
The next morning we drove to the Exit Glacier. There is a trailhead right near the glacier and they have guides lead people on hikes to the edge of the glacier. We were there just in time to take the guided hike. I knew we were in trouble when people came up all covered in netting and the guide was spraying herself with bug spray. We went on and started the hike but whenever the guide stopped to tell us something I was covered in flies! They were all over me. Everyone knows I’m a bug magnet!! I tried to keep going but finally gave up. I got the car keys from Jim and went back to the car…Jim went on with the guide and the group. I got to the car and decided I wasn’t going to miss the hike so I took off my black jacket (bugs like dark clothes) and put on a baseball cap and sprayed myself silly with bug spray. Loaded up my backpack with water and the spray and also a knit cap just in case. Off I went…I just kept walking briskly..never stopping to let the bugs get me. That was the key…keep walking. I was hoping to catch up with Jim and the group but I never saw them. I got to the edge of the glacier and the group was nowhere to be found. I took some pics and decided to head back. I was afraid Jim would worry if he couldn’t find me anywhere when he got back. Anyway, I headed back down the trail. Not long down the trail I looked ahead and saw a group with the guide and there was Jim. They were just getting to the edge…they must have gone a different way. I never passed them on the trail I took. I sat down and waited for them to see me. Jim was so surprised I was there. “Where did I come from?” I can’t believe I beat him up after going back and spending time getting ready to begin my hike. I was really moving up that trail! I went back to the edge with Jim and someone took our photo. We went back down as fast as we could move but the bugs finally found us. It was a race to get back in the open air as quickly as possible. It was all good really and I’m happy I decided to brave it! Bugs and me don’t get along at all!!
After the hike we drove up Nash Road to see the view of Seward across the Resurrection Bay. It was very beautiful and Seward looked so small against the mountains. When we got back into town we found a place for lunch then headed to the Library and watched a film about the 1964 earthquake. Scary!! The film had conversations with survivors and also film footage and photos of the devastation. Part of Seward just dropped into the Bay. The tales about the tsunami afterwards were unbelievable. One man said after the quake there was no water in the bay and then they heard the wave…a 30-40 foot wall of water heading right to the town. Amazing!
We visited the Seward Museum after that. It was in a little building with lots of displays. All the displays had written explanations and stories about the people and the lives they led in Seward. It was a tough life. Really personal museum.
When we left the museum we drove out to Lowell Point. It was a dirt road along the edge of the bay with a wall of rock and trees on the other side. No place to be during another earthquake. The road led to Lowell Point where we found Miller’s Landing…a campground with fishing charters. Beautiful views … we could even see Seward at the head of the bay.
Time to find a place for a little drink before we head back to the motorhome. We tried a different place tonight. Not as much fun but just as quaint and beautiful located right on the docks. We’ve enjoyed Seward. The weather has been perfect.

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