Alaska Rig

Alaska Rig

Friday, July 21, 2017

How About a Little Seward Time?

Day 72 - July 12  I find myself with the realization that our reservation at Millers Landing start tomorrow and not today.  So we decide to head to the city park and try for one of the few bay front electric sites and SCORE!  We got one!  And it is next to our new friends Mike and Ro from Florida that we saw at Eklutna, then visited with last night at Trail Lake.  Fun!  Well, we needed to do the laundry and grocery thing. Had some not so good Chinese food. But - the park is great to people watch in!  It's actually pretty.  We have a sea otter for entertainment.  All in all, another great day!
View from our campsite

Day 73 - July 13  Being centrally located at the city park allows you to walk easily everywhere.  We walked to the Kenai Fjords National Park - got the passport stamped.  Then feeling hungry, went to the Bakery at the Harbor for a tasty brunch!  Very generous portions.  The harbor is very picturesque.  Came back and changed to shorts - it is 75 unbelievable degrees!  Drove out to Exit Glacier for a hike. They have a great Nature Center here.  The Glacier View trail is very easy.  Went on up the Edge of the Glacier trail.  Wow has this thing receded since we were last here in 2004.  Wish I had that picture digitized of me standing by it.  What makes this park unique is that you can see where the glaciers have been, retreated and clearly see where the timeline of the forest growth is.  It is constantly changing!

We enjoyed dinner with all the Gregureks today, who had gone on a fishing charter (except Donna and grandkids).  And then finally....our first thunderstorm since we left Texas May 1!
Seward Harbor

It's a sea otter if you look closely.

We drove on a road opposite Seward. Just look at all those RV's at the city park in Seward!

One of the first views of Exit Glacier.

Exit Glacier

I have a picture of me in a scrapbook from 2004 and I am dwarfed by the glacier. It has receded.
Music in the park.
Everyone needs to tour the SeaLife Center here.

Love the colors of glaciers!

Day 74 - July 14  Woohoo!  Our first fishing charter!  And man - is it some nasty weather!  But we are prepared.  We don our rain boots and rain coats.  Early start.  Boat leaves at 7:30 at Millers Landing.  There's a total of 5 of us fishing, plus the captain and the first mate.  We had a great time! We fished silver salmon. Ron caught his limit of 6, I caught 4.  We then head for halibut. The water is really rough.  I am the only one that catches one.  Wasn't that big.  It is a LOT OF WORK pulling it in though. Fun! Then we got a lot of rock fish.  We head back into the bay looking for more salmon. There are lots of other boats in the area, escaping the weather.  But so cool!  Two hump back whales are feeding right by us.  So beautiful to watch them.  What a "souvenir" that was!  I didn't drink but a few sips of water today as I was a little leery of the bathroom situation on the boat - LOL!  Came in, took the fish to the processor and wow was that an eye opener for the shipping costs back home!  We then went to dinner at "Thorn's" and had a bucket of butts (halibut that is).  Very good. We are really exhausted though.
There's our boat!

Love catching salmon. They really fight!

Some halibut bait. Kinda colorful don't you think?

The humpback whales.

Our catch of the day! Rockfish, salmon and the one halibut.

Next up - Kodiak Island!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Chugach State Park - Part Two - Hope and beyond

Day 69 - July 9 finds us on a Sunday, not in a formal church building, but the wonderful outdoors our Creator made for us to enjoy. It was a great hike down a creek, then back for Sunday brunch. Our Sunday drive took us to the historic town of Hope. We stopped at a few scenic sites along the way. Pretty views of Sixmile Creek. At a pullover spot on the Hope cut off road, we met a young couple - Justin and Kim. They reminded us of our kids. Fun to visit with and reminded us of how we were when we were that age - ready to travel! Hope is a really neat place. Very picturesque. Was a gold rush in 1896. Didn't last long. But Hope City persisted and it's one of the best preserved gold rush communities in south central Alaska. Enjoyed some good bluegrass music at the Sea View Café and Bar. They have the best museum here - Hope and Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum.

Another view of Turnagain Arm from the Hope side. At the crow flies, Hope and Anchorage are 20 miles. As the highway goes, it's 90 miles.

Really good music

Flowers everywhere!

Spooky body in the truck
Came back to camp. So pretty outside so took another hike. You can catch the "Trail of Blue Ice" here and it is awesome.  It's a combination of pavement, boardwalk or really good gravel. We even walked over two well built pedestrian bridges. The Forestry Service here has done an outstanding job!
View from our campground

Another view

Creek behind our site

One of the pedestrian bridges

One of the boardwalks

Another very well built bridge.

Purple flowers

Day 70 - July 10   Well, our plan today was to take the Portage Glacier Tour at 10:00.  Just so happens they took their boat out of service yesterday, so no tours today nor the rest of the week. Oh well, just so happens that Plan B was pretty awesome.  Down the road was the trail head for Byron Glacier, a 2 mile round trip hike to the base of the glacier.  It winds along beside Byron Creek.  So, so pretty!  Things always work out for the best as we most likely avoided a crowded boat of "tour-ons" (tourist moron ha!). Forgive me for saying that, but just seems to be a lot of folks that left their brains at home when they started their vacations.

Getting closer to the glacier!

At 1:00 we had a train reservation for the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop. It was great! The train was so comfortable!  Our ride was only 20 minutes. We got off and it's about a 3 to 3 1/2 mile round trip hike to Spencer Lake and the foot of the Spencer Glacier.  Awe inspiring beauty for sure!  This is a great excursion if you want a little train ride, a great hike, glacier beauty - not to mention seeing a moose and black bear!

Standing at Spencer Lake with the glacier in the background.

I don't know about kayaking by an iceberg. Pretty but those things can roll.

Bridge over the Placer River

Spencer Glacier

Placer River

Our train

Back at camp, my Fitbit says we did over 8 miles. It's never right so probably add another mile. We have a good tired! Ended our day relaxing and listening to the waterfalls all around us.

Day 71 - July 11   We moved camp today on down the road to Trail Lake NFS campground. We found a site close to the banks of Kenai Lake. There is so much wind today that the lake has whitecaps. No canoe opportunities here. We went and explored a little at Moose Pass. Stopped for a bag of ice at the little store and there are our new friends we met at Hope - Justin and Kim - eating ice cream. Caught up and wished them well. Again! Back at camp we met neighbors who were camped near us at Eklutna. Small world. We're memorable with our big black truck and blue canoe strapped to it.  Really like this area!
Water wheel at Moose Pass

Moose Pass

Trail River

Trail River

Kenai Lake

Kenai Lake

Trail River

Up next.....Seward and a little fishing!