Adventures from Kenai to Seward

Seward Travel Blog

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After a very good night’s sleep in the store parking lot, we headed off to Kenai.  A historic walking tour, including a jaunt down to the beach, in beautiful weather was lots of fun.  The people were friendly, the historic part of town was quaint, and we really enjoyed seeing Kenai.


Then we returned down the Kenai Spur Road to Soldotna (the Sterling Highway) and then on to Seward on the Seward Highway.  Isn’t it interesting that all the highways in Alaska are known by their name?  That’s only possible because there are so few of them.


Three miles before the town of Seward is the Kenai Fjords National Park.  We took the 8-mile (or so) spur road off the highway to get to the main attraction:  Exit Glacier!  This is one of the very few glaciers to which you can walk.  Also, there is no fee to enter this park.  We hiked up to the toe of the glacier and then up to it’s side, about 2.5 miles total. 


What a fabulous site to be on the side of this enormous glacier!  The wind coming off it was very chilly.  You could hear a waterfall under the surface of the glacier, but could only see a little water moving.   Date signs along the road into the park show how far the glacier has receded over the years.


While we were hiking back down from the glacier, we were behind an Elderhostel group, who were enjoying taking their time.  I asked a lady near the back if it might be possible to hike through and she assured me I could.  Then she loudly yelled, “Coming through!”  Everyone stepped to the right and turned around.  I was embarrassed!  As we scurried past, I assured them that I was not the one who’d yelled and they were good-natured about it. 


Perhaps that’s the way to pass while on a hike?  Another hiking dilemma:  who has the right-of-way:  Those coming up the hill or those coming back down, since they’ve been farther?  I’ve heard both ways.  Do you greet people on the trail or pretend they’re invisible?  Do you talk while hiking to avoid the bears or be quiet to enjoy the silence?  I missed hiking etiquette 101 and it seems to be situational from what I can tell.


Onward!  We went the 3 miles on to Seward and directly to the Sea Life Conservation Center where for $56 we were able to see a sea lion, an otter, some shorebirds, pet starfish in a touch-tank, and see interactive displays about sea life.  Lia thought it was our best stop yet.


Then we wandered the streets of Seward by foot and RV, deciding that it is a busy, small town, full of energy and not someplace we really wanted to stay for the evening.  Also, in spite of approximately a million RV sites along the river, most of them were full. 


So we returned to the spur road for the National Park to some dispersed camping sites that we’d seen before.  Sure enough- our favorite spot was open and we are backed into the wilderness.  This site has a sign that says it is managed by the Dept. of Wildlife and that you can camp for free for 8 nights, then must be gone 72 hours before setting up camp again.  There are several such gravel short driveway-like sites along this spur road to the park.  You can, by the way, camp at any rest area or pullout in Alaska, provided there are no signs to the contrary.  We do have cell phone service, and this feels quite safe.


Tomorrow we head north in an attempt to see Valdez before we head down to Haines.  We realized today that we really didn’t get to spend as much time in Alaska as we wished.  After all, we really arrived in Alaska on 7/22 and so we just need to come back soon.  J  I would love to come the first of June through the end of August, if not longer.  We’re enjoying our overview trip in the meantime!

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photo by: shadowflower