Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July 1, 2012 - Seward AK - Campground

Our campground proved to be a blessing.  It was quiet, on Resurrection Bay, and not crowded.  We met a couple from New Hampshire, on a Gold Wing.  All they had, fit on the bike and to say they were traveling light is an understatement.  We ate, built a fire and shared it with the New Hampshire couple.  We swapped stories and they left after 45 minutes.  It is always nice to talk to others traveling, particularly on a motorcycle. 
It drizzled lightly in the night, and only a few drops remained when we awoke.  The second night of me using the sleep blinders Don bought was wonderful.  It really makes a difference. 

Two Whales Making Their Way Up Resurrection Bay Towards Seward
In the morning, the New Hampshire couple told us there were eagles down on the beach, which was at the far end of the campground.  We walked down and not only saw two eagles flying back and forth to their nest, not 100 feet from us, we also followed two whales for 20 minutes or so making their way up the bay.  We enjoyed seeing that.
Eagle Nest At Edge of Campground - Seward, AK
We suited up and took off.  We considered going to Homer, but played it by ear.  We were looking for critters and were told that the road to Homer would be good. 

We made our way to Slodotna, about 80 miles from Homer and stopped for lunch.  We saw not one critter, not even a bird.  I spoke to a man after we ate lunch and asked him about the critters.  He said if I didn’t see any going into Soldotna, I most likely wouldn’t see any up further.  He said there was an elk refuge up the road and we would be guaranteed to see some critters.  He also said it was more like a zoo.  We passed on stopping there.  We headed back the way we came and STILL didn’t see any critters.

We rode over to Exit Glacier.  It is the only glacier that can be observed from land.  The area is covered with glaciers, and a tour boat is the way to see the rest of them.  An interesting thing about Exit Glacier, is that since it is accessible from land, the retreat of the glacier has been tracked since 1850.  As we proceeded up the road, we saw brown signs that were simply labeled "1850". "1896", "1904", and so on.  After several miles, we reached the visitors center.  It was then we read what those signs meant.  They were the end of the glacier on those years.  Remember, we rode several MILES before we got the visitors center, and even then the glacier was several miles from us.

Entrance To Kenai Fjords NP At Exit Glacier

View of Exit Glacier From Visitors Center
View of Exit Glacier a Mile or Two From Visitors Center

We did find out that the “wave” came up the bay about 2 hours ahead of us the previous day.  Apparently several times a year, a wave comes up the bay, and it is high enough to support surfing.  The New Hampshire couple told us they were lucky enough to see it.  They stopped because of the high number of people along the road.  He said it was maybe four feet high and there were five surfers riding it up the end of the bay, maybe 4 miles away.  I asked the man I spoke to in Soldotna, about the wave.  He said he had only seen it three times in 15 years.  Believe it or not, on our way back, we saw the “wave”, although it may have been only 1-1/2 feet high.  People were scrambling to the edge of the road to see it.  We didn’t stop and kept going.  We found out later it is called the boretide.  It is not unusual to see it.  However, we were told it at times can be as high as ten feet or more, depending on all the conditions being right. 

We decided to motel it in Anchorage, before departing for Tok and the grueling three days of the Alaskan Highway back to the lower 48.  We are going to a restaurant and relax.  We will depart early since it will most likely be a long, but not high-mileage day.

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