21 July 2015

"A 3-Day Smorgasbord"

20 Jul 2015--On Friday it was cold and rainy, on Saturday it was just cold and somewhat cloudy, and Sunday finally got nice...by Alaska standards that is!  haha

So on Friday we headed to Seward's little history museum followed by the Alaska Sea Life Center. There wasn't much of interest in the museum, but it did clear up for me a bit about what exactly the Iditarod Trail was.  Just about everything that moved from Seward all the way to Nome moved on this trail, mostly by sled dog till the trains came,  but I don't think any of us knew anything about it all till they started the The Iditarod sled dog race in 1973.  So "Mile 0" is here in Seward, while the race goes from Anchorage to Nome.




This is a bed warmer that used to be used after putting hot coals in the drawer and then sliding it under your covers.



I am always fascinated by some of the early explorers, especially the women, who were trailblazers. To think that she was prospecting for gold, by herself, in 1900-1901 just blows my mind.  She is pictured here on her "Water Front Pass", a pass issued to every citizen in Seward in order to have access to the docks during WWII.



2 thoughts on this gold digging.  1.) You couldn't put a gun to my head and get me to go down in that hole and be the person digging--haha.  2.)  Notice they mention the term "pay dirt"...I guess that's where we get the saying today, huh?



So they had a few more items in the museum that I didn't post here, but those were the most interesting, so we are moving on to the Sea Life Center now.  haha

Seeing as we seen so much wildlife in their natural habitat, we were a bit hesitant to go here, but after touring the Center we were glad we did.  All Aboard!!!



Check out the size of these King Crab legs and this live Prawn in relationship to the size of my hand.



And here was a creepy little fun fact about rats...GROSS!!!!  But the Eider Sea Duck with the colorful face is beautiful, isn't it?

 

We have seen the Horned Puffin (1st pic) on the ocean tours we have taken, but this was the 1st we were aware of seeing the Tufted Puffin (pics 2 & 3).  Getting to see them up so close, a couple feet away at most, was really cool.



We have seen lots and lots about the salmon, and we knew they got really red as they got closer to spawning, but we didn't know anything about the hooking of their snouts.



There were lots of other displays and sea life, but the only other thing worth mentioning was this prehistoric species none of us have ever heard of.  Look at how his teeth were like a rotor blade.



On Saturday, which started out quite cold and overcast, we drove out to the farthest point of the town called Lowell Point.  We had heard it was pretty out there, but whether it was the weather or just the surroundings, we thought even on a nice day you couldn't spend more than 10 minutes there before you would be bored.  haha

 

So we headed back into town to walk the 1 mile trail along the ocean, starting at the "Mile 0" marker. Throughout the walk they have markers or displays explaining little tidbits of the area, so it sort of breaks up the steady march forward.  At this point Ellen is probably pretty grateful for any break she can get.  haha  And we were lucky that the clouds broke...gorgeous afternoon!

 



Lots of people come here to fish, probably the biggest tourism drawer for the whole area.  Look at the water...isn't it gorgeous?!  It reminds me more of the water in Bermuda, and I have been surprised by how blue it is in some places.  I just didn't anticipate here in Alaska.

 

Check out Ellen here...you would think she was a pro hiker!  haha  And the scenery around both Ellen and Cathy is just beautiful!



Along the trail we passed this restaurant...you could sit outside the bus, but inside they had booth seating! God Bless America!!!  haha



Ellen just said that she told Michael on the phone she thinks it is impossible to live in Alaska and not be happy, at least in the summer time.  How could you be surrounded by such beauty and be anything other than joyful!!!???

   

So Sunday, our final full day in Seward, we headed back out to Exit Glacier, this time to do the "Edge of the Glacier" trail versus the Harding Ice Field trail we did the other day.  This was a 2.5 mile round trip hike, as opposed to the almost 5 mile hike we did the other day, so it didn't take much to talk Ellen into it.  haha  And the weather was beautiful at the start, so that helped, too.

In the 3rd pic here I am showing our friend Hallie 2 different rocks so she can tell me which size rock she wants us to bring to her.  Hallie collects rocks from different places, so we try to get one for her when we go someplace interesting.

 

In this 1st pic, Cathy and Ellen are touching a chunk of ice that has fallen off the glacier.  And isn't the 3rd pic cool?  Cathy took it with our phone and we all loved it!



Ellen and I had sweatshirts with us, and the closer we got to the glacier the happier we were that we brought them.



On the other hand, although this is a magnificent picture of Cathy and her surroundings in the 2nd pic.

 

The Harding Ice Field at the top of this glacier is actually 50 miles long and 30 miles wide, and it feeds 40 glaciers in this area.  What you can see in these pics is only 2% of the whole Ice Field!



Listen to the wind at the glacier in this video.  I am talking loudly in it, but you can barely hear me.


video

You know this is Ellen faking a climb in the 1st pic, because she is back on the road and laughing in the 2nd pic.  haha  The fact that she can even joke indicates how easy this hike was.  Ellen says maybe a 4 on a scale of 1-10...Cathy and I would weigh in with a "1".  haha



Away from the glacier and its gale force winds, the weather returns to beautiful...Cathy is in the 3rd pic here, can you see her?  I wish everyone reading this could be here with us...you don't know what you are missing!!!

   

So today we are in Wasilla...home to Sarah Palin...enough said!!!   haha

4 comments:

  1. I don't know what Paula is talking about, the walk downtown was a piece of cake!!!! I don't know how anyone can be depressed in the summer, just so beautiful!!!!

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  2. You all look like you are having the time of your life. The pictures are beautiful!!!

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  3. My favorite part of all of these blogs is the commentary in the videos lol. I think that animal planet or discover channel should contact you about doing a voice over on their shows haha. I'm glad that you are all having a blast! I'm not going to lie, I can't wait till you come home mom but you deserve this!! love you all!!

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  4. I have tried so many times to comment on your blog I give up. I did want to comment that being where Sarah is you must be really close to
    Russia! !!! Again loved the pictures.

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