This past September, 2 other couples, Steve and I went to Alaska! Let me just say right off the bat —OMG — Alaska should be a must on everyone’s bucket list.
We flew directly to Anchorage and then took an early morning train to Seward in the Kenai Peninsula. The train had large, glass windows, including the roof, making it better to see the sights as we moved through the peninsula on our way to Seward.
We had been monitoring the weather before we got there and it had been raining daily for the previous 3 weeks. We arrived in Seward late morning and the weather was no different; it was raining. We gathered our bags and walked about ¾ of a mile to our rental home for the week. Below are some pictures from the magnificent view from our ARBNB.
Much to our surprise and enjoyment, we woke up the first morning in Seward and it wasn’t raining! In fact, the remaining time we were in Alaska, while we were out enjoying the nature, it never rained again. The sun was out with temps in the mid-50s, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
I thought I’d give you a treat with some nature porn from our recent trip.
Day 1 in Seward, Alaska
We hiked to Exit Glacier, one of the few glaciers you can actually hike to, which descends off the large Harding icefield. Along the path to the foot of the glacier are year markers where the glacier has receded from.
In this video you can see how far the glacier has receded from 2005, not that long ago.
Day 2 Adventure
Our second day started with the obligatory day boat ride for wildlife and nature sightings. We made some new friends on the boat who had professional grade cameras, unlike our phone cameras, who then sent us wonderful nature pictures from the day. We saw bald eagles, sea otters that kept ducking under the water and popping up elsewhere as if playing whack a mole, fast swimming porpoises leading our boat through the water, a circus of puffins, and seals as well as up close to Bear and Holgate glaciers.
Day 3 adventure
We went kayaking and a short hike in Resurrection Bay, at Lowell Beach and Tonsina Point, a couple miles south of Seward. We met our guide, ironically a young woman from Libertyville, IL, at the Seward kayaking adventures office. She then drove us to Lowell Beach, where the morning mist and fog gave the area a mystical and magical aura. As our guide set up each couple in tandem canoes, we realized each couple’s jackets were color coordinated, making for a good laugh. The water was clear as glass as we kayaked in the peaceful surroundings to Tonsina Creek where we hiked a bit, had some tea and snacks and saw salmon swimming upstream. Unfortunately it was late in the season so many of the salmon were dying. Dying salmon are known as zombie fish for their color change to white.
Day 4 adventure in Seward, Alaska
We hiked Lost Lake trail, a challenging 4 mile hike up/down a mountain w/multiple streams/waterfalls to cross. We hiked to the sounds of complete silence and bear bells (attached to our backpacks to ward off the bears) through breathtaking scenery reminding me at times of an Asian vista.
We then returned back to Anchorage via the train for 1 last day in Alaska. We all did our own thing in anchorage. I went to the Botanic Garden – a peaceful respite from the city where I still had to keep an eye out for bears as the fence surrounding the garden only kept out the moose. I did not see a bear – however, being on alert kept me very present in the moment. Some of the others went for a bike ride and 1 couple walked around town. That evening we grilled a wonderful meal of black cod, king salmon, fingerling potatoes, asparagus and bok choy. This fish, so fresh, was the best we’ve ever had.
In summary, Alaska was everything you could imagine: stunning, breathtaking scenery everywhere; mountain vistas popping out of the water made by the melting glaciers; peaceful, relaxing; beautiful wildlife; and untouched landscapes as we rode the train to and from Anchorage to Seward. The trip was made all that more special sharing it with friends.