Staying south, a second go at Seward, AK

Having been unable to kayak as planned, we decided to go to Seward again the following week. We bought a bunch of dry bags, neoprene socks, fire starting materials, and packed our warmest, fastest-drying clothes. Alex has kayaked a fair amount. Anne has sea kayaked a small amount, primarily the time when she and her friends thought they were going to die in 5ft waves at the Apostle Islands in Northern Wisconsin.

Well… kayaking was still not meant to be on this round in Seward. “The company that shall get no marketing on this blog” is not insured to allow their kayak rentals to go where we had wanted to go, but you can pay top dollar for a guide to take you there, or a helicopter. They also informed us that we would need to take their class before renting kayaks, which would entail capsizing the boat and getting into the arctic water.

We opted to renegotiate this plan for a later date. By renegotiate, we mean never do business with that company again…

IMG_20170615_114539Yet again, we had no trouble making really great alternative plans in Seward. On the first day, we took a wildlife viewing charter out into Resurrection Bay, to exactly the spots where we had wanted to kayak. The views were incredible.

Certain things are just meant to be…if we had gone with our original plan we would have missed this guy

Camping in Kenai Fjords National Park

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There’s a discreetly marked free campsite just outside the entrance to the Exit Glacier hikes. Each site was off on its own little rock path, and the campground flanked the river that drains from Exit Glacier. We slept on ground where the glacier stood in about 1889.

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We’ve got a spray for the bears and a spray for the bugs, and just off the campground…

Mount Marathon ~

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The day after our leisurely charter boat ride, we decided to do something a little more active. We had seen Mt. Marathon from the road, and we heard that there is a race every 4th of July in Seward where people run–yes, run–up and down this thing. The line you can see in the rock/dirt at the top of the mountain in this photo is the “down” route for the racers.

There are 2 routes up the mountain: the hiker’s trail and the racer’s trail. We stopped at the Seward Visitor’s Center on our way there.tumblr_inline_orrm0rsy5s1uik13p_1280

The staff member there told us they don’t recommend the racer’s trail, because it’s steep and people end up “sliding down snow and rocks to get down.” Seeing as we had already had to slide down some snow at Flattop Mountain and the Harding Icefield trail, we were not deterred.

20170616_191101   We heard that the record for running up and down this thing is 41 minutes. So it couldn’t be that bad, right? We took the racer’s route up.  This is how it started…

It rapidly turned into this…

20170616_174547And then this. It took us a little more than the 41 minute record. We added, oh, about 4 hours to that, roundtrip. Several racers who were training for the upcoming race who lapped us and just flew down the mountain.

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