Seward is a popular port for Alaskan cruise ships to dock, and it is the headquarters of Kenai Fjords National Park. A fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep cliffs or shores, created by glacial erosion. Kenai Fjords National Park encompasses the Harding Icefield, one of the largest icefields in the US. The Harding Icefield feeds about 38 glaciers, many of which lead to fjords which drain into the Gulf of Alaska, in the North Pacific Ocean.
We intended to rent Kayaks and paddle around in Resurrection Bay, and camp on one of the islands in the bay. Upon our arrival in Seward, we searched for a bar to watch the Predators vs. Penguins NHL finals game. We won’t discuss the outcome of that, but it turned out that Thorn’s Showcase Lounge was the only place that both served food and had TV’s suitable for watching sports. When we walked in, we felt like it was still 1960 in there.
They claim to have one of the world’s largest collections of ceramic decanters in the world. They also have 2-seater swivel leather seats. We had the halibut fish fry and were not disappointed.
Our first night in Seward, we camped overnight at “the campground that will not be marketed.” Turns out, when you combine night shift hours with kids running around yelling and screaming until 1am, you sleep until noon. Whoops. We missed the water taxi we had planned on taking. Word to the wise: kids don’t seem to like to go to bed when they’re camping in Alaska in the summer, where it’s light out 24 hours a day.
Plan B: Exit Glacier
Fortunately for us, there are plenty of alternatives to kayaking in Seward. We decided to go to Kenai Fjords National Park and hike to Exit Glacier. We took the Harding Icefield Trail. Part of it was closed off for avalanche danger, and we had to hike up a bit of snow. But the views were more than worth it. Plus, Alex and I found the air to be quite comfortable; in fact, we were sweating and stripping layers throughout the hike. Seemed a strange place to be sweating, right next to a glacier.
Here’s a fun British animation about how glaciers (or “glassiers,” as they pronounce it) move the earth.
Anne has a way of finding the most amazing vegetation, things most hikers would not even notice, but she finds them every time we go on a hike.