Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Seward, Alaska

From Wiki:  Kenai Fjords National Park was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres on the Kenai Peninsula in southcentral Alaska, near the town of Seward. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field.  The park lies just to the west of Seward, a popular port for cruise ships. Exit Glacier is reachable by road and is a popular tour destination.
We pulled into the park on Resurrection Bay (Seward City RV park) on Tuesday, Aug 6 and it was overcast, but not raining, yet.  On Wednesday, a group of us drove up to the National Park, and took a tour (hike) with a NPS Ranger.
Above, arial view of Seward, lookin north.  Mile 0 of the historic Iditarod Trail is at Seward. In the early 1900s the trail was blazed in order to transport people and goods to and from the port of Seward to interior Alaska.
Above is the RV park overlooking Resurrection Bay and the distant mountains& glaciers.  Below, is Exit Glacier, over my left shoulder and behind me, in the above pic, and within the Kenai NP.  Below is Exit Glacier from about two miles away.
From Wiki:  Exit Glacier is a glacier derived from the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Mountains of Alaska.  It received its name because it served as the exit for the first recorded crossing of the Harding Icefield in 1968.
It rained most of the hike up to the glacier, but just a drizzle really.  But it was enough to keep your head covered.  The Park Ranger, a local from Seward, who just graduated from college, was very nice and good speaker.  She explained several facts about the local wildlife and how they survived the harsh environment of the area.
She explains here what the deep gouges mean and who made them.  A Brown Bear (aka Grizzly) and it was marking it's territory.  OK by me Mr Brown Bear; it's all yours, no problem!
Above, a black & brown bear claw.
Above, she shows us a gnawed Willow twig made by the Snow Hare.
It was a mile walk up the mountain to the base of the glacier.  Whew!  And it's still drizzling!
 OK, time to stop, listen to a lesson on the different rocks of the glacier/mountain, and how they rub against each other under the glacier to form the milky colored water so prevalent in the glacial runoff water.  They actually call it rock flour.
Above, can you tell our ranger-guide is a local?  We're all in layers and rain jackets, and she is in short sleeves.  Hmmm! 
And now for a few pics of the glacier.
This is the very end of the glacier.  Note the huge rut the glacier makes as it grinds it's way back up the mountain in recession.
Above, me & Nancy...
OK Jay, no foolin' around now...the girls were being very careful on the wet rocky walkway and steps.  After all, it was two "klutzes" helping each other...:-)
Even on a sunny dry day, this walk, a mile up and a mile back, would have been tricky.  So, we really did have to watch our steps carefully.  We did manage to make it back down the mountain and back to visitor center.  We found a few more of our fellow RV'ers who had just completed their walk.
Meanwhile, back at the RV city park shelter, the wagon masters were firing up the large BBQ pit for the slow roasting of the pork tenderloins.  They cooked several hours over a low heat, and seasoned just right.  We were treated to the roasts and all the RV'ers brought a dish or desert for the other fixins.  It was a fun time (cold) and yummy eats.
Did I mention the weather?  It was windy and cold, about 50 I'd say.  Burr!  But we a little protected in the shelter, which had three glass walls, so it could have been worse.
Above, our Canadian friends & fellow Caravan'ers, Dave (aka "Pooky") from Ontario.
It was Curtiss' birthday, so Evelyn (wife) bought him a cake at COSTCO the day before in Anchorage, so we all celebrated his special day after dinner.
Well, if the weather had been a little more favorable while we were here, I may have had more to share, but one can't always have fair weather.  So, that's a wrap for this blog.  This was written and published from Anchorage, on Monday, Aug 8.  Next blog will be about our visit to Homer, and the highlite fishing (Halibut) trip.  Till then, RVing Beach Bums going night-night in Golden Nugget RV Park.