7/31/2007

July 31, 2007 – Exit Glacier

Today we saw another glacier up close – Exit Glacier. We took the guided tour (3 miles) and learned about the area and glaciers.

Some pictures:




Notice the people in this picture:

Exit Glacier is 3 miles long and about 300 feet deep. Some of the crevasses are over 100’ deep. This glacier as well as all the glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park is feed by the Harding Icefield. This Icefield is 50 miles long, 20-30 miles wide and possible 3000’ thick (they are not sure).

There was a hike to the icefield but it was labeled as strenuous (straight up the mountain for 3.7 miles – nope not for us!!).

Notice the blue:

The reason the glacier is blue is because the ice absorbs all the colors of the spectrum and only the short wavelengths (bluish) are reflected back.

This was really amazing to see.

And this afternoon, we are at the Yukon Bar enjoying a beer and I am uploading the blog. If I owe anyone an email, please send me a reminder. Wi-Fi access is few and far between right now (can you tell I am in withdrawal - :-))

Just a bit more info – we now have some darkness – the sun sets at 10:30 and rises at 5:30.

Tomorrow we will be going towards Homer...stay tuned.

July 30, 2007 – Resurrection Bag and Alaskan Sea Life Center

The fog that rolled in last night stayed with us this morning. So we just enjoyed the view with our coffee – Life doesn’t get any better than this.

We did take a drive around the upper part of the bay (to the end of each road). Some pictures – notice the fog.


We then went to the Alaska Sea Life Center. There was lots of information on the sea life in the Bering Sea and the inlets. They also had aquariums of all different types of fish plus seal lions and a bird area where we saw many of the sea birds diving into the aquarium. And they are also a research and rescue organization. They had a lot of web cams throughout the bay to observe animals in their natural habitat. It was a neat way to spend the afternoon.

Puffins:

The day did clear up a bit – here is a view from our front window – isn’t this incredible! (And that is glaciers across the bay.)


This evening we just sat outside and enjoyed the view:

Me (deciding if we should have a campfire?? – it was too cold!)

Andy (the harbor master – making sure all the ships are in!!)

(Yes, folks – that is winter coats on 7/30/07)!!

July 29, 2007 – Resurrection Bag and Kenai Fjords National Park

Another wonderful day!

We were able to move closer to the shoreline this morning. The front of our MH looks right over the bay. A picture of where we are.


We did the 9 hour charter today to the Kenai Fjords National Park – all I can say is wow!!

We saw Orcas,


And seals,


And puffins,

And lots of other birds and otters that I could not get good pictures.


The ship took us to Aialik Glacier where we saw the glacier calving. The sound was like loud thunder as the ice cracked. This glacier is a mile wide and 300’ high. (Also notice the blue color of the glacier.)








Words cannot express the scenery we saw today so I will show you pictures:









The thick fog rolled in as we were headed back to shore.


There were a few times today as Andy and I sat watching the animals and the scenery and saying how incredibly blessed we are. We have seen movies and pictures but to be part of it – there are no words – it is just a humbling experience.

July 28, 2007 – Travel to Seward

Such beauty!!!

Our travels today took us on the Seward Highway. This highway parallels Turnagain Arm and then crossed the Kenai Mountains.

Pictures of both:


The tide was going out and we saw more of the mud flats – Scary!! I could see how people die in them.

We arrived at Seward and are staying in the city campground. Resurrection Bay is about 100 feet from the front of the motor home and the views are incredible. (We hope to get a space tomorrow that is about 25 feet from the bay.) The bay and the mountains are on one side of us and the mountains are on the other – Wow. I could live in this town.



We strolled thru the new part of town with all the boats and shops and charters and then to the historic part of town. We had a few beers in the Yukon Bar (local place – really neat) and then dinner at Thorns Showcase Lounge where we had an interesting conversation with Kate – a 3rd generation Sewardan. What fun!!

Another wonderful day!


Miles Traveled: 159
Routes Traveled:
Alaska: AK-3 (Parks Highway); AK-1 (Seward Highway)

July 27, 2007 – Travel to Eagle River

The package I was waiting for was not delivered yesterday to Wasilla. I was told it would be in Anchorage today at the UPS terminal at the airport. The campground where we were staying was like a large parking lot and both Andy and I were getting tired of looking at gravel. So, today we moved to Eagle River Campground that is part of the Chugach Mountain Range State Park. It is closer to Anchorage and absolutely beautiful!! (I will say again – I just love the state and national park campgrounds.)

Once we got settled, we went to the terminal and picked up the package. We stopped by Point Woronzof which has a nice view of the Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm. Here is a picture. This area gets large tides – notice the driftwood and rocks on the beach. We even saw a carburetor and pieces of a car on the shore. We started to take a walk toward the water but saw how muddy it was and then realized this was the mud flats. There are warnings all thru this area to stay off of them since they are like quicksand in places. After getting close, I believe it – it is like clay and mucky!

Once I got all the information mailed back, we settled back at camp with a nice supper over the campfire. We finished the evening by a nice walk along the river trail. Eagle River is glacial river – in other words, it is feed by melting glaciers. Some pictures:



Notice the rushing water. Most of the rivers we have seen here are like that. There are many places that have whitewater rafting tours and also many places that have warnings to stay off the river. The water was VERY COLD and for the rafting tours we did see, the people were in wet suits. But we hear the fishing is great!

A word about Anchorage: The city was laid out very nice and there is much to do there but it is a city. Alaska has about 600,000 residents and over half live in the greater Anchorage area. We may stay there some time but not right now.


Miles Traveled: 35
Routes Traveled:
Alaska: AK-3 (Parks Highway)

7/26/2007

July 26, 2007 - Wasilla

We are still getting caught up with everything - inside and out.

I did get to update the blog from 7/18-26/07 and added a what's new block (upper right), so please enjoy.

Tomorrow we head towards Anchorage - I need to pick up a UPS package. We are not sure if we are staying there or moving on...

Hope all is well with all of you.

July 25, 2007 – The Mountain and Travel to Wasilla

The mountain was out in all its glory today. Isn’t this incredible!!




Mount McKinley is North America’s highest mountain at 20,320 feet. Permanent snowfields cover more than 75 percent of the mountain and feed the glaciers that surround its base. The mountain’s granite and slate core is overlain by ice that is hundreds of feet thick in places – WOW!

I was so glad that we were able to see it fully – what an impressive sight.

We traveled to Wasilla and are camping at the Alaska Trails RV and Camper Park. We will be here for a few days – RV maintenance (oil change, etc.) as well as laundry, getting in supplies, etc. And I am near a Wi-Fi hotspot so I hope to get caught up with mail, blog, bills, etc.

Miles Traveled: 66
Routes Traveled:
Alaska: AK-3 (Parks Highway)

July 24, 2007 – The Elusive Mountain and Talkeetna

This morning brought us blue skies and sunshine. We left Denali and crossed the Alaskan Range (and kept looking for the “high one”.)

I was able to get one decent picture of the mountain:


The Alaskan Range and Mt. McKinley/Denali makes its own weather and the clouds surrounded the range all day. But they are still spectacular and majestic. We are so blessed!



On our travels today, we also saw another moose on the side of the road:

We arrived in Talkeetna and are staying at the Talkeetna River Campground. I can see the river from my front window and it is running fast. Right now they are between salmon runs so it is quiet on the riverfront.

Talkeetna is a cute little town. Northern Exposure was loosely based on this town. Today it is a point where climbers for Denali start as well as many flight seeing trips (plus it is a little touristy).

We walked thru the town and the shops and ate at the West Rib Pub and CafĂ© – had a musk ox burger (not too bad).

I will leave you with a few pictures:


Miles Traveled: 156
Routes Traveled:
Alaska: AK-3 (Parks Highway)