Alaska Day 3 - Anchorage to Seward via Alyeska and Hope
Alyeska Travel Blog› entry 706 of 1090 › view all entries
Today is our first real travel day. Now our big fat Chevrolet Malibu may show what she is capable of! We were heading southbound to the city of Seward. The road that leads there is called the Seward Highway Route 1 and later Route 9). This beautiful 204-km (127-mile) long road leads on the toes of the surrounding mountains around the Turnagain Arm a fjord like extension of the Cook Inlet. In Anchorage the Seward Highway is a multi lane expressway, but right outside the city the road turns into a two lane road. Furtunately not busy so it is a pleasant drive.
Immediately outside the city we stopped at Potter Marsh, a wetland created by the damming, in 1915, of several streams for the Anchorage-Seward railroad.
Unfortunately the weather turned to the weather I feared, it became grey, cloudy, an unpleasantly strong wind started blowing and several small showers poured over the car. When we arrived at Girdwood, an all year round ski community, which is, althoug 60 km away from Anchorage, still part of Anchorage community. We planned our today's main attraction here. A short hike to the hand-tram. The hand-tram is a small tramway high above a wildly streaming brook. The open air tram "cabin" can hold two persons and must be operated (pulled) with human muscle power by the passengers of the tram. Really cool! Look at this link which gives a very good 360-degree-scrollable impression of the view from the tram: click here).
Our next stop was at the other side of the Turnagain Arm, the hamlet of Hope. This very small village with a population of about 100 persons lies almost at sea level by the Turnagain Arm. It dates back to 1896 and has a mining history. There is not much left of its busier past. The main street is the most eventful place. It is a dirt road with two cafes, a gift shop, and a camp site. Yet the place is however rather picturesque.
To our delight the weather improvement continued an by the time we entered Seward, one of the rainiest places in Alaska, the sky showed major blue spots! Just like I wanted it!
More pictures below!