While it was nice to have a lazy day yesterday, it was great to get back on the road today. After a quick stop for groceries and diesel I was on the Seward Highway headed south. Today was another day of roadtrip tradeoffs. There were a number of places I wanted to stop along the way, and I did stop and take a bunch of photos, but I skipped Aleyeska and the mountain tram (I’ve been there before) and I skipped Portage Glacier, which was a little bit of a bummer.
The drive itself is on a winding, mostly two lane highway. Thankfully the pavement was in good condition (vs the road from Chicken) and the scenery was stunning. Everywhere you looked there were huge peaks rising out of the ocean. Prince William Sound is surrounded by huge peaks on three sides. It’s breathtaking seeing these monsters rising from sea level to their snow capped peaks.
But the goal was to get to Seward as soon after noon as I could. The main reason being that the campground where I want to stay doesn’t take reservations and it’s right on the waterfront, so it fills up fast. Well it ended up being closer to two, and when I pulled into the campground I was shocked at how many RVs were here. Sure, some are here for multiple nights, but even still. The RV park area is HUGE. And 4 rows deep. I found a spot in the second row and I thought I was lucky. I parked the bus and decided to take Pepper for a walk. As I was walking a woman stopped and said that the spot next to her had just opened up if I wanted it! Yes! I ran back to the bus and Pepper was NOT happy with the speed increase, but how many times do you get the chance to camp right on the water?!? I quicly moved the bus and claimed the new spot with the ocean front view.
After that I decided to walk around town, find the guide office where my tour is tomorrow (more on that in a minute) and see if there were any whale watching tours going out later tonight. Unfortunately, the only tour was at 5pm and it was a dinner cruise. No thanks. They suggested instead that I go check out the Sea Life Center where they rehabilitate injured seals, sea lions, and sea otters. Awesome! That will be perfect. So I headed out to the Alaska Sea Life Center, which is near historic downtown Seward (vs the area by the docs where all the tour operators set-up).
Walking through the historic part of town I stumbled into Seward Brewing for a beer. Hey, it was almost happy hour. And we’ll consider it “research”. I ordered the “El Jefeweizen”, their take on a traditional Hefeweizen, but with roasted Anaheim chilies. The chilies give it that warm brown color and a slightly smoky spicy flavor. It was tasty. After the beer I walked across the street to the Alaska Sea Life Center. Admission is $28, but supports their wildlife rescue program. I have to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of seeing animals in cages, but these animals had been injured and were being rehabilitated. A large number of their rehabilitated animals are released back into the wild. Which is a cool thing to support. They have exhibits on the life cycle of Salmon, habitat for seals and sea lions, etc. It was pretty interesting.
After the Sea Life Center I headed back to the bus to relax a bit. It’s 65 degrees and sunny here today and I want to enjoy it with a beer on the beach. Tonight I’m grilling halibut that I bought in Seward (supposedly fresh caught). I love Halibut. Grilling it with a little olive oil, pepper, and then I’ll squeeze some fresh lime juice over it. Yum. I’m making cucumber salad to go with it.
In other news the city of seward has super-fast, free wifi. That’s awesome.
Tomorrow I’m headed out on an adventure I’ve been waiting for since planning the trip began. Paddleboarding in a lagoon with icebergs. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this. I’ll post photos and videos in the coming days. After Paddleboarding I'm headed to pick up Kay at the Anchorage airport. I'm so excited! My first bus passenger!