~Wednesday, July 27, 2022~
Day 37 of Alaska Trip
Another amazing day……calm bay waters, clear mountains all the way to the top without one cloud blocking our view, and good temperatures…low to mid-60’s. It seems everyone is relishing in the great weather with lots of fishing boats headed out to more open waters, as well lots of cyclists and walkers enjoying the waterfront walkway behind us.
While I was on a phone call with my mom (miss her so much in Cali), Jeff met our neighbors from Anchorage, Alaska. Originally from Wyoming, they’ve lived in Alaska for over 30 years and absolutely love it. They are BIG outdoor enthusiasts, like 90% of the people are in Alaska; and I mean young and old alike. Everything is geared to the outdoors here where we’d put Alaska at #1, Colorado at #2 and Utah #3 for a population that eats up summer and winter outdoor activities. But Alaska is truly the last remaining territory where true outdoor exploration and adventure is still possible. Anyway, back to the couple…..Jeff was able to get a few hike recommendations for Seward. But because we’re leaving tomorrow, we’ve noted them for another time. We WILL be back! One of the hikes was the 8-mile Harding Icefield Trail which leaves from Exit Glacier. A strenuous trail that climbs 1,000 feet for every mile sounds like a great challenge. Bear spray is essential since the vegetation along the trail is dense and passes through thickets of salmonberries, a favorite food of black bears.
Because it was our last day in Seward, we wanted to make sure to have a further look into this classic town. With mountains, ocean, fishing, glaciers, plenty of hiking and kayaking, the activities are endless. And did you know that Seward is also known for the start of the historic Iditarod Trail from Seward to Nome (not to be confused with the START of the famous race trail, though the race trail follows much of the primary route of the historic trail). The race trail actually begins in Anchorage.
The trail may have become a forgotten one if it wasn’t for the great feats by 20 drivers and teams delivering a life-saving serum to Nome during the diphtheria outbreak in the winter of 1925. One of the Iditarod trail pioneers and renowned dog mushers was Jujiro Wada. Set on a tiny bluff along the walking path,
there is a sculpture of the late explorer who helped promote Seward, in the early 1900’s, as the gateway to transport mail and supplies that had arrived by steamship in Seward’s ice-free port to communities in the interior during the gold rush era. So it was only fitting we get a photo with one of us at Mile Marker 0 for the 1910 Seward to Nome Route (938 miles).
We didn’t know the waterfront walking path along Resurrection Bay would be such an educational experience, since it’s already a 10 in our book in terms of the gorgeous mountain views. Seward’s Resurrection Bay dates back to 1903, when the steamer “Santa Ana '' arrived at the terminus of the proposed railroad (Alaska Central Railway Co.), that would connect to the interior of Alaska. John Ballaine chose the site and named the town Seward. As the leader and visionary, Ballaine stated as he came into Resurrection Bay on a calm clear day:
“If there is such a place as Heaven, I cannot imagine anyone admitted through its pearly gates with sentiments more joyous than I experienced that shining forenoon as we glided easily in those majestic scenes up to the timber covered site I had chosen for the future terminal city….the future gateway into and out of Alaska’s great interior.”
Making our way to the marina we immediately discovered if you’re into fishing, this is THE place to charter a boat.
We had timed it well to take a look around as all the boats were coming in from their successful trips, bringing in an abundance of halibut and salmon (though Fish and Game does control their limits). For the recreational fishermen who charter boats, they make sure to get their photo ops in front of their prize
before they’re brought over to the processing area for them to bring home. It was pretty cool to watch the energy and excitement of everyone’s fishing accomplishment and the bond they all made of being on the boat together. Can’t wait to give this a try in Homer.
With the staggering amount of fish coming in, it was sure making us hungry. We talked about going out to dinner to experience more of Alaska’s fresh catch. But since Seward has had a spike in COVID cases this week, we thought it best to put that off until we get to Homer.