Seward. I know you are thinking – OK, another post showing beautiful views and talking about great human-interest stories. Not so fast! Besides, I think that is racial profiling, or blogger profiling, or something.
And I am not so shameless as to start off by pandering some random wildlife photos. You know I am above that.
Nor would I demean myself by taking advantage of some miraculous endeavors like the Iditarod, the Mount Marathon or the AlaskaMan Triathlon to advance my readership.
No, I am better than that. [Insert shameless puppy picture here].
We made it down to Seward after our lunch episode involving a runaway boat (Chapter 8) if you recall. Seward is magical. OK, what in Alaska is not magical? We haven’t found that place yet, and we have been in the state for over a month.
Amongst other factoids, Seward is Mile 0 for the Iditarod, the roughly 1,000 mile long dog sled race held every year that follows the old mail route (originally called the Seward to Nome Mail Trail) and runs up and over to Nome.
The town of Seward is very cool.
Sitting on Resurrection Bay and surrounded in every direction with gorgeous mountains, this is like a scene from – I don’t know what.
We have been camped at a bayside city campground called Marathon, named because it looks over Mount Marathon behind us (the bay in front of us).
On the 4th of July, there is the Mount Marathon Race, which is a 5K road race up and down the mountain. This is no run for the unprepared – it has an elevation gain of over 3,000 feet (3,022). Some really fast runners I am told do it in under 45 minutes. I can’t imagine how. This is purportedly the second oldest road race in America, having started officially in 1915.
Apparently this area attracts some active outside interests. On this weekend there was the AlaskaMan Extreme Triathlon, an endurance event. If you are talking about a triathlon you don’t need the word extreme to describe it. In this case, though, it is extreme. There is a 2.5 mile swim in 50-55 degree ocean waters (tides, chop, fish poop, you know, all that stuff), a 113 mile bike ride, and a 27.5 mile run back along Resurrection Bay, ascending/descending Mount Aleyska (twice) – all as part of the event. I am going for a triathlon this weekend myself, although it involves food, beer and sleep; going for my personal best, though. Wish me luck!
I believe 95% of the people who visit Seward come here to fish. So we felt compelled to fish! I felt like it was a scene out of Family Guy. I think I have previously set my bona fides as far as fishing goes…
We chartered the Andrea Gale, a boat to take us out to Fish Stench Cove to drop a line. We just about caught our limit (6 fish per person – state law) of Silver Salmon, although clearly I had the biggest catch of the day.
This is also home to the Kenai Fjord National Park and the Exit Glacier. The views of the glaciers are stunning, although we did not spend a lot of time at the park.
Seward Harbor also seems to be home to some eagles, and you can see them all around Resurrection Bay.
Based on a local recommendation, we hiked out to Tonsini Point on a very easy hike that took us along Resurrection Bay. How beautiful!
And I did paddle out into Resurrection Bay in my kayak. Now, Resurrection Bay is home to some Orca whales. While it would have been interesting to see an Orca breach, it takes on new perspective when you are six inches off the water in a 17-foot sea kayak, and an Orca displaces what, a lot.
All for now – stay tuned!