Alaska 2014

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Comments added AFTER coming back to San Jose are in [square brackets].

 

Report 29. Day 29. Mon, June 2. Anchorage to Seward. Our first travel with all four of us.

OK, first entry of the day. It's 745 am and overcast. It rained last night, the first night of the Jerry and Shirley era. I can hear a bird singing, like a cross between a vireo and a robin. Across the street from our RV park is a children's park, with a portable toilet. On the toilet is printed "Rent a Can".

We load up in the truck, and drive down to where we saw goats yesterday. Here are some photos from that leg of the trip.The first picture is an actual building consisting of two parts - a regular house, but attached to it is a giant balloon structure which has the Arctic ice shelf painted on it. We love all the giant clouds hanging around the mountain tops.

We stop in front of the triple waterfall for some photos.

We finally get a reservation for tomorrow with Major Marine's Glacier Tour. The girl asks my email address on the phone and I say Robert Dot Lutman at gmail.com. She says "Let me read it back to you." Then she says, "Robert Rocks Lutman at gmail.com. I say no, no, it's Robert dot Lutman. She gets it, then says I probably rock anyway. She's very perceptive, wouldn't you say?

We continue on down the road to Seward, and we see lots of people in the surf with buckets and stuff. We pull over and ask what they're doing, and they say they are netting or picking up smelt. Sharon says she has heard that a local name for them is hooligan.

At 11 am, we are now stopped on the road, looking to our left at about a dozen people, who are also smelt fishing, we assume. Looks like a family affair. {They dipnet
the fish and fry them up we suppose.
}

About noon, we stop by a lake and Sharon gets on a Pine Grosbeak, perched at the tip top of a pine tree, singing away. This is the only way we've ever seen this bird. Continuing on, we pass a store that says "Peaks And Teaks", with a CLOSED sign nailed over the bottom. Too early for them apparently. Not enough business.

A sign welcomes us to the Kenai Peninsula. This is the location of the forest fire, and we are anxious to see what damage it has caused.

We pass the Spruce Moose Chalets as we approach Moose Pass.

We find our turnoff from the Seward Highway, turn left, go over a railroad track, and wind our way into the RV park. It's wide open and in the woods. We check in, and are told to drive all over the site and pick the site we want. This is after I told him we wanted a site with a tree (at Sharon's request, so she can hang our bird feeders). Here are some shots from our RV park.

In one corner of the area we find our perfect spot. With Jerry and Sharon's help, I back in snugly, and we set up. Sharon puts her feeders up, and I take some photos of our site and the view. Gorgeous. {It's always fun to see if I get any birds, squirrels, etc.} Much more in nature than the Anchorage RV park.

We have lunch, make fun of each other playing Words with Friends. Sharon keeps trying words she never heard of, and gets some pretty good scores that way.

A bird is calling, and Sharon and I go out, trying to lure it with our guesses as to the species. The call has a kind of buzzing, insect-y sound.

Sharon has read about a local weir across a stream somewhere near here. We are going to find it on our way out, and then we're going to visit the Exit Glacier. What a great name. {The description in the Milepost said there was a "resident pair of dippers there which excited us to go.}

After sort of plodding around in the truck, we go back to a spot in a stream where a few young people were working with the water, it seems. We park, and right out the door are a baby American Dipper and a parent. Sharon had also read that this family of dippers plied up and down the stream. What great luck. {Or great reporting in the Milepost. Love that book}

There are some grad students doing a research project on the salmon here.

We jump into the truck and head over to Exit Glacier. Sharon reads that somewhere here they have summer dog sled demonstrations, and the name of one of the companies is IDIDARIDE. Get it? Iditarod. Ididaride?

We arrive at the parking lot of Exit Glacier. We hike up "to the glacier," which it turns out means about 30 feet short of the glacier, which terminates in a deep sort of crevasse. The wind blowing off the glacier is icy cold, and we shiver for the photos, then head back out. We have all the extra clothing on we brought, but as we get further and further from the glacier, the extra clothing comes off.

It's so close you can reach out and... well, point to it. We can only get to within about a hundred yards of it.

We hear what might be some kind of vireo.

Sharon has the idea of collecting some glacial runoff. She has brought a greet plastic drinking bottle, and Jerry volunteers to kneel down in the water and fill it up, which he does. {Son, Matt, asked for "glacier water" from Alaska so here is the first specimen.}

We go into town, find our company's building for tomorrow's boat trip, and I inquire about the parking. A girl says across the street for $10 a day, or further on, in gravel for $5. We look around THIS day and find a handicap spot, then Shirley and I go into an ice creamery for a couple of cones. Sharon wasn't interested and Jerry, as a rule, doesn't eat ice cream.

The mountain views here are spectacular. {Are you tired yet of mountain pictures? Every day we say we have enough and won't take anymore mountain picutres or moutains with clouds or mountains with blue sky, but then we see a beautiful scene and take another picture.}

We finish off our desserts and head on home. Sharon fixes us turkey soup, and warms some delicious leftover cornbread. Then we get down to business, and launch into our Rummikub game.

After a while, we all start running out of energy, and are thinking of the long day we'll have tomorrow. Everybody hits the hay except me. I update lots of trip report material, transcribing the day's audio recordings, then a little after 11 pm, I join everybody else in that great slumberland in Alaska.

Cheers,
Bob and Sharon


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