- Frank DeArmas
Where Mountains, Water, and Ice all come together.
Picture of Seward Harbor
Up until this point in our journeys together, chances were you had not been to some of these places. Some of you had, and it was cool to share your memories with us. But now we are at the point where those of you who have been to Alaska by cruise know exactly what it is we are feeling and seeing, because you have as well. I hope by us sharing our own experiences, it brings back your own sense of wonder as you looked at this land for the first time.
For those of you who have not had the chance yet, I hope these words and photos may inspire you to one day set your path to explore this great wilderness, our last frontier.
Seward is a port city that mixes the worlds of Mountain, Sea, and Ice within a tapestry that flows and incites the imagination. As I gazed for the first time upon her, I remember feeling how very small I was. The vastness of the landscape, the crispness of the ocean, and the grandeur of the Ice that have been forming and flowing for centuries, only served to remind me how brief my time on this earth is. Long after I’m gone, the mountains, seas, and the glaciers will continue to be.
There’s a lot to get to here, so let’s get started.
Sea Life Center and Puffin experience
Tufted Puffin Rhinoseros Auklet Puffin
Photo of our encounter with the Puffins
The first day in Seward we were in for a treat. Teresa and Bob had let us know that we would visit this wonderful place to see the sea life that was around us. But more importantly, was that we would have a chance to learn about and be close to puffins.
They are so cute
We had to be very careful, to the point of disinfecting our shoes before we could be in the same room with the puffins, as they are trying to protect them from a version of the avian flu that has been spreading through the population.
These birds are remarkable as they spend most of their lives at sea. From April to August they live in colonies, then from August to spring they live on the open ocean. In fact, once a chick leaves the colony for the first time, they spend the first 2 or 3 years out in the open ocean.
I quickly fell for these adorable birds.
Kenai Fjords Glacier and wildlife tour
Orca's on the hunt
You would think that at some point you would just take this scenery and landscape for granted, but you really don’t. Every time I see it, and even now looking back on the pictures, I can’t help but think how truly wonderful this planet we live on is.
As the title implies, we took a ship out of Seward to go visit the Kenai Fjords Glacier and the sites and sounds did not disappoint. Not only did we get a chance to come really close to the glaciers themselves (you could hear them cracking), but we got to see otters, whales, and puffins in the wild. Another magical day for all of us, followed up by dinner in port.
One of the interesting things about Seward is that there is a Glacier called Exit Glacier that you can actually walk to. We parked our Jeep and started to walk up the steep hill that lead to the Glacier itself. The trail was beautiful and the Glacier's colors looked like an acrylic painting of blues and whites weaving its way slowly to the sea.
One theme we kept hearing was how these Glaciers that have been making their way for centuries are starting to recede due to climate change, I can only hope my grandkids get to look upon them and just be as impressed as I was.
Jan's Fun Facts - Seward
Who let the Dogs out!
Jan of the North!!
In our Fairbanks Blog we introduced you to some sled dogs. Well as Jan will tell you below in her fun facts, we got to be up close and personal.
Seward is known for being the beginning of the historic Iditarod trail carrying supplies from Seward to Nome in the winter months back in the early 20th century. Although they don't go through Seward anymore, it is now one of the biggest dog sled races in Alaska. The annual race runs in early March and goes from Anchorage to Nome. The distance is 938 miles and can take up to 15 days with temperatures that can reach sub-zero and wild chills to reach -100 F. The Mushers have a team of 12 to 14 dogs and at least 5 must be on the towline at the finish line.
Mitch Seavey set the fastest record of 8 days, 3 hours, and 40 minutes in 2017 while becoming the oldest winner. Seavey's Iditarod dog sled tours is where we went for our sled ride. They do the tours to keep their dogs in shape for the race. The whole family is involved in the family business. Their motto is "Take care of your dogs, and they'll take care of you". It was amazing to see how excited the dogs got before they took off. You could tell they really loved what they where doing. If you’re interested in learning more about the Iditarod race, you can go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iditarod_Trail_Sled_Dog_Race. If you're interested in learning more about the Seavey family, you can go to ididaride.com After learning about this amazing race, I'll be checking it out come March.
Seward had so much to offer and we enjoyed our stay, as you can see. Next stop for us was Palmer. My fun fact for Palmer is not such a fun fact. When 42 people travel together for 62 days, if someone gets covid the chances of someone else getting it is 40%. Yes, 40% of us caught covid. It is now my turn and all I can say is COVID SUCKS!
Our next blog will feature Valdez Ak, which I have to tell you was one of the most beautiful places we visited As always we hope you enjoyed the blog and until next time, we will see you on the road!
Please let us know what you think or any suggestions by emailing us.