Happy Independence Day! We are celebrating the holiday in Seward, Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, known for hosting July 4th fireworks earlier than at any other place in the USA: At 12:01 a.m.!
By noontime on Saturday we arrived at Stony Creek RV Park, which bills itself as "Seward's only luxury RV Park." HUH? Someone needs Webster's Dictionary to learn the meaning of luxury. Anyway...
After settling in, we rode the motorcycles over to Kenai Fjords National Park, home to the Harding Ice Fields, for some hiking and viewing of Exit Glacier. The 3 miles we traversed along the Glacier View and Edge of the Glacier Trails demonstrated how significantly Exit Glacier has receded in the last 100 years.
View of Exit Glacier from Edge of the Glacier Trail
Then Dad got a bit too ambitious and talked us into taking the Harding Ice Fields Trail, an 8.2 mile round trip hike that Mom learned later was rated 25 out of 28 for level of difficulty, with elevation gains of 3,000 feet! WHAT? Is Dad trying to knock us off? At 6 p.m., by the 1.25 mile mark, with a 1,000 foot elevation increase in just the first third of the hike, Mom started quoting Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry character, “a man’s got to know his limitations.” But Dad pushed us on farther still, until we came upon three men from India, one of whom was sitting on the ground with his boot off. He apparently had stumbled and sprained his ankle. There were not many folks on the trail at this point, and someone had to report his injury and get him help. Dad decided that this was our sign--it was time to turn around. THANK GOODNESS!
View from Harding Ice Fields Trail
View from Harding Ice Fields Trail
We got back on the bikes on Sunday morning and headed into downtown Seward. We walked along the docks, visited some shops, and had a great seafood lunch at Ray’s on the Waterfront Restaurant. With its many city-operated waterfront campgrounds, Seward is a popular camping destination for both tourists and local Alaskans. This is especially true for the July 4th holiday, when the population of Seward swells from 2,500 to more than 25,000! Holiday festivities include a race up Mount Marathon, a parade, and of course, fireworks!
We enjoyed the company of friends Kelly and Bill (who are work-camping here in Seward), Steve and Linda (who assisted us with scouting campground sites at Denali National Park), and 18 other RVillagers who travelled North to Alaska this summer season. Steve and Linda hosted the event since their rig was parked right in front of Resurrection Bay. Talk about a room with a view! From their windshield they see beautiful snow-capped mountains enveloped by puffy clouds, ships of all kinds and sizes sailing along the crisp waters, sea otters surfing and frolicking in the waves. It’s “paradise from the dashboard light”! Of course, the trade-off is that you are surrounded by hundreds of other folks on all sides in an area that is like party central. But that’s a trade-off most are all willing to make this holiday weekend.
Cruise Ship in Harbor
A couple of otters frolicking in the water
Staying to see those fireworks at 12:01 a.m. kept me up way past bedtime, so I slept in today. But this afternoon, we got back on the bikes to do a little more touring. We visited Vagt Lake, took a 2 mile hike, and got a fantastic photo of the Alaska Train. We also spotted two moose cows, and captured some pics for a change! (I took video of both the otters and moose--waiting for Dad to help me load to my youtube channel)!
View from Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area
Two moose in one pic--priceless!
This one looked right at me!
Vagt Lake was like a mirror!
How cool to capture this photo!
Today we met another M.O.C. (Montana Owners Club) couple—unfortunately not under good circumstances. Seems their truck pulling their sparkling new 2016 Montana broke down just a few miles away. Their Good Sam Emergency Service plan could not find a tow service for them. Don’t know how they got in touch with Stoney Creek Campground, but the campground manager asked if Big Boomer could tow them in. Sure, Big Boomer to the rescue! It is just a “pass it forward” for all the camaraderie and assistance my family has received from the RVing community through the years.
Tomorrow we head to Kenai. Talk to you soon!