Roaming Through Retirement




Seward--Fjords, Glaciers and More!

The city of Seward is on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula and the gateway to the Kenai Fjord National Park.  The park sports the Harding Ice Field, which has been there since the Ice Ages.  It is 4,000 feet deep, and one of the largest in North America, encompassing over seven hundred square miles, including over thirty-five glaciers. We are holding a junk of ice that calved off one of them. Seward was named for William Seward, Secretary of State under President Lincoln, who negotiated the purchase of Alaska in 1867 for $7.2 million and eventually it became a state in 1959.

Seward 2022
Seward 2022
The ferry from Valdez arrived in Whittier about noon and as it did in Valdez, it was raining. Portage Glacier, just three miles from Whittier, was the first of many glaciers we got to see on Kenai. Whittier is only accessible by car on a ferry or through this  tunnel by car going the opposite direction. The tunnel is called the Anton Anderson Memorial  Tunnel, it is the longest (2.5 miles) tunnel in North America.  It has one lane and is used for both cars and trains.

Seward 2022
Seward 2022
As we existed the tunnel, we followed this road to Seward with beautiful mountains on both side. Of the three dozen glaciers, only five are considered tidewater glaciers, meaning the base of the glacier extends into the ocean. 
Seward 2022
Seward 2022
We toured the Alaska SeaLife Center, which came about as a direct result of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill-- $12.5 million came from the oil spill settlement fund. With thousands of marine birds, mammals and fish that were destroyed, this center was built to treat injured wildlife and expand Alaska's marine research. 
Seward 2022
Seward 2022
The facility has a two-story arboretum to watch sea lions, sea birds and fish on top or through glass. We took this double decker tour boat on a daylong cruise of the Kenai Fjord National Park.
Seward 2022
Seward 2022
Hundreds of private and commercial fishing and tour boats lined the Seward Harbor.  Our campground sat along the shores of Resurrection Bay in Seward. We took this photo from the tour boat.
Seward 2022
Seward 2022
The views of wide and narrow passages were stunning.  The clear icy blue water was impressive along with caves dotting the shoreline.
Seward 2022
Seward 2022
This puffin was perched along this cliff.  Stellar sea lions taking their afternoon nap.
Seward 2022
Seward 2022
We are coming up upon the Aialik Glacier, one of  five tidewater glaciers in the national park and unlike Columbia Glacier, it is only retreating about 1,000 feet each year. At this point, we were about one mile from the face of the glacier. It is about one mile wide and 3-1/2 mile long.  The boat at the end of the video is as large as the one we were on, which gives a great perspective of how large this glacier is.  

Seward 2022
Seward 2022
The fjords and bays along the route back to Seward were breathtaking. We were both surprised and amazed at this Northwest Pacific Humpback Whale spouting and showing off its tail. The captain said it was about 45 foot long.

Seward 2022
Seward 2022
Our tour included a stop on Fox Island, a secluded island on Resurrection Bay where we were served grilled salmon, mashed potatoes and corn. As we returned, we were told about a 5K race from downtown Seward to the top of this mountain. Winners make it back in under an hour.  The trail is visible on the mountain.  
Seward 2022
Seward 2022
Our last stop outside of Seward was Exit Glacier, which is the only glacier accessible by road.  The glacier sits above this river bed. Some 50 years ago the glacier covered this entire area.
Seward 2022
Seward 2022
We could barely see them, but hikers are about halfway up the glacier. The estimated size of Exit Glacier is about 14 square miles.  We stopped along the way to get our picture taken with Exit Glacier in the background.
Seward 2022
Seward 2022
This sign marks where the face of the glacier was in 2005.  People are standing on the trail to the right, where the glacier was in 2010. When we ask Larry's brother Jacob "what are you doing?" he replies "sitting here looking the window out." This was our view out our window!  From here we went to Homer which is on the southwest side of Kenai.


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