Saturday, July 12, 2008

Whittier then Kenai Penninsula

This morning (7/8/08) we headed further south on the road to Whittier and are in another national park for the next two nights. Plan on doing some hiking while here… more bears??? We’ll keep your posted.
Wednesday 7/9/08 Drove toward Whittier AK, a small fishing village. To get there you have to drive through a 2.5 mile tunnel that was originally built for train travel. Karen, you wouldn’t like this.

The tracks are somehow closed up for car travel, but trains still use it too. As a matter of fact, there are several lanes of traffic waiting to go through, two car lanes, a pickup lane, an RV lane, a bus lane and another lane for commercial trucks. Going to Whittier the traffic goes through on the 30. So at 8:30 they let the train go through first then the other lanes as indicated by a traffic light on each lane. It was a quaint town

With lots of boats including a tour ship

Coming back there were a lot more cars lined up at 10:00. Again, the trains traveled through first then they did the buses (there were a lot of them from the cruise ship) then the cars. Hope all of the traffic made it through in their 15 minutes, because there sure was a lot.
That afternoon we did a 2 mile hike around the Portage Glacier area. The glaciers here are higher in the mountains and visible from just about everywhere in the campground. I’m still amazed by all the wildflowers. On our hike there were field of fireweed surrounded by mountains.

I never thought that Alaska had flowers everywhere. We spent a second night at the Williwaw campground in the Chugach National Forest then headed for Seward.
MM found a really beautiful camp in a camping book we got for Christmas from our son and dil. This one was the Primrose Campground again in the Chugach National Forest.

There are only 8 campsites here and when we got here only one was taken and there was only one that could accommodate our length – it was open. Headed for Seward next and got off track while looking around. Went down a road named Bear Creek Road, and you guessed it. A Grizzly Mom and Cub

There were lots of people standing around taking pictures and videos. One of the video clips we got was of the mama leaving some bear scat hehe. Amazing, how we ended up in that spot for no reason other than wandering. We could have stayed there longer, cause the bears did, but back on track to Seward.
We headed straight to the Kenai Fjord Tours. Signed up for a six hour dinner tour that started at 3 p.m. The town of Seward is very neat and friendly. Only stopped one mural, but it was interesting.

The town’s main business here is also fishing and tourism. There were many anchors and bouys dotting the landscape.
Three o’clock came around fast and we boarded the Aialik Voyager. The Captain looked for and found lots of wildlife for us. He was very entertaining and reminded me of my cousin Tom. We saw lots, got photos of many, and videos of some. Here’s a Steller Sea Lion.

There were lots of Tufted Puffin

The Humpback Whales were plentiful and put on great shows for us.

We also saw what they called Dahl Porpoises. They were fast and we have some video. Too bad I don’t know how to put video on here, but then again, maybe it’s just interesting to us hehe.
The Harbor Seal were plentiful

We stopped for a while at the Aialik Glacier.

It is about a mile wide at the waters edge and constantly in motion. While it moves you can hear it popping and like gun shots, then suddenly you’ll see the glacier “calve” or break away. The crew got some ice and offered to take pictures.

You can see how “layered” we are. I look huge, but I have on a fleece jacket under this new jacket. While walking in town earlier we were looking for something a little warmer and each bought these jackets. They were so warm and allowed us to stand outside on the boat moving at 25 knots for most of the 6 hours. The Captain says we travelled 125 miles. We were only inside long enough to eat dinner then back outside to marvel at the beauty. Dinner consisted of the salmon that we brought onboard at a brief stop at Fox Island.

Most people had the salmon, a few had chicken or vegetarian fare. There was salmon, salad, rice and the sweetest corn on the cob you’ll ever taste. The crew also baked some chocolate chip cookies for later on the cruise. Yum!
This is a trip that I would highly recommend to anyone planning a trip to Alaska.
Friday July 11 – Primrose campground was so nice that we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave. We had a true “camping day” today and just sat by the river and read books then did some hiking in the afternoon. It was nice to take a break from a moving vehicle.


WIS said...

I can't wait until you upload the rest of the photos - I'm glad you took the wildlife cruise - the scenery and wildlife is amazing.

B Boys Mom said...

Oh the whale shots are awesome. So I had a blond moment you wrote my son and dil. I'm like who is dil? Then the light came on. Just wanted you know I haven't changed.

Harmony said...

I can't wait to see the video of the 'scatting' bear. Hahahahahaha... We have the book already - Everyone Poops!

Lucy said...

Ohh my you have seen a lot of wildlife. Me and my family are right now driving in a RV through Oregon/ Washington. I love the feel 'driving where teh road takes us.
Love, Lucy