A Travellerspoint blog

Cruising the Kenai Fjords

Day 6 - Each day keeps getting better

70 degrees and calm waters out cruising the fjords in Seward... What an amazing day. We had an early start with breakfast at the local bakery. Then on to board the ship.

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We picked out our table, got our sailing directions and instructions and then we headed out to the bow of the ship to get our front row seats.

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Should I just list the things we saw?
Six glaciers, otters, Dall porpoises, harbor whales, transient orca whales, puffins, harbor seals and stellar sea lions, a vast array of birds, including the common murres, tuxedo birds, gulls and of course the eagle.
I will include as many pics as I can sensibly download. You will all have to come over and see the rest of them when we return.

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We had a light lunch on the boat of chicken wraps, chips and granola bars. Here are a couple of fun facts. When chunks of ice fall off of an iceberg it is called calving. It makes a terrific sound. Puffin dive to a depth of 300 feet. Whales travel in families. I thought the glaciers were most spectacular.

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After 6.5 hours on the water, we returned to port. We decided to get some more info on the sea by going to the Sealife Discovery museum. It was fun to see some of the Sealife up close that we had observed earlier in their natural habitats.

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We also took a few shots of the starting point of the iditorad.
We then drove on Nash Rd around the far side of the Kenai peninsula. This side houses the Alaskan Penitentiary, but we didn't actually visit there.

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Supper was at the Windsong Restaurant. Ev got her sweet potato fries and we all left stuffed to the brim.

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Early retirement tonight after a fun-filled day. Who knows what tomorrow holds? But we are heading to Girdwood and a new lodge. Praying that tomorrow brings good news for my sister Karen and Tim. Also hope our dogs are doing well. Thanks to all who are helping take care of the pups and our homes.

Until tomorrow, I will leave you with some of God's beautiful creation. Pictures don't do it justice!

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Posted by brendagerber07 21:03 Comments (5)

Anchorage to Seward...what a gorgeous drive

This is what Alaska is suppose to look like!

What a day...what a beautiful day. We had 70 degrees and Sunny. Yes, I said Sunny! We stayed at the Comfort Inn last night and had breakfast there. With the weather being so beautiful, Wynn and I decided to bike ride in Anchorage on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. We rented bikes and rode for about 90 minutes while Bob and Ev played tourist and got a few really good souvenirs.

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Oh...that last picture was just hopeful. That moose was seen on the trail, but not by us. 😟
Then we all met back together and began our drive down Rt 1 and then down Rt 9 into Seward. The scenery was unbelievable. We kept on the look out for shining seas, trains, wildlife and glaciers. We saw some of each. I wish I could upload all the slides, but you would be on all night. Highlights included seeing sheep up high in the mountains, young beluga whales surfacing and teasing us to keep watching. They are the little white blobs in the water. We saw two glaciers today...can't remember the first one's name, but the last one was Exit Glacier in Resurrection Bay. More on that glacier later. Here are a few pics splattering what we saw on the trip down.

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Who is that coming out of the men's bathroom? As everywhere, the bathrooms along the way are not always reliable or clean!
We arrived in Seward with just enough time to check into our hotel. The Wingsong Hotel is cut back into the woods and is really charming. Once again we have one large room. No air conditioning here, but we have the window open with a nice box fan. The smell of the woods and the noise of the fan will bring some good sleep tonight.

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After getting all our luggage into the room, we quickly got back into the rental and made our way to Seavey's dogsled adventure. The father of this family business and his sons were iditorad participants and champions. Although we had no snow, we did ride in the training vehicle. Our dogs were mostly young and this tour was a way to train them. Some of the dogs on this team were previous champions. The gal driving our sled was a participant in the junior iditorad. What a cool young lady. She really knew her stuff. This was another highlight of my trip.

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After our ride, we went back to meet the puppies...awwww

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Our iditorad excursion ended with seeing the trophy and sled of the winners. Bob thought he might be able to win the next one.

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We kept on adding more fun to this beautiful day. We went into the Kenai Peninsula and went to see the Exit Glacier. We had to hike back in .9 miles of uneven terrain to see this. It was amazing to see how the glacier has receded over the last years. It still sparkled in the sun and was worth the trip back. I earned my ears on that hike.

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We finished the evening by eating pizza at Apollo's in downtown Seward. It was excellent pizza and of course Bob and I got our black cherry creme soda. By the way, I picked up a bottle of coke and it had my name on it...hadn't seen that before. And talking about stuff we haven't seen before, take a look at this truck...thought of you, Tim!

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So goodnight from the Wingsong Lodge. Early morning tomorrow as we get ready to ride a day boat tour around the Kenai Fyords. Suppose to be another sunny day...here's hoping.

Posted by brendagerber07 23:27 Comments (2)

Travel Days are Needed on vacations

Day 4- heading to Anchorage

Greetings from Anchorage. We have had another fun-filled day. One more delicious breakfast eaten at the Grandma's Feather Bed Inn. We enjoyed the workers there as well. Our transport to the airport completed our stay in Juneau.

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It was quite bumpy when we first went up into the clouds but instead of the little plane I put in the picture above, we were in a full sized plane. We saw some beautiful views from the plane as we headed into Anchorage.
I will try to insert some of those pics.mthe internet here is extremely slow and it keeps booting me off before my pics upload 😒

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We are staying at a comfort inn for just one night. We are renting a car for the next few days and driving to our next three cities. Tomorrow we will start by driving to Seward. But for tonight, we decided to walk a bit on the Tony Knowles Coastal trail before going to a really pricey restaurant in the city. The Simon and Seaforts restaurant served a plethora of tastes that could please any and all. My steak was most delicious! The following pics are from the trail and the restaurant.

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We actually called this our anniversary meal. 35 years of marriage for both of us couples. Wowzers!

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And what is this? Brenda trying calamari....
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No...psych!

After dinner we decided to go and hunt out a place to view the sunset. Here we are by our rental vehicle. (Thought of you, Karen and Tim)
We saw the start of a stunning sunset. Of course it started to rain while we were out at Elderberry Park taking pictures. But that gave us a beautiful rainbow too. It was fun to stand out with all the others who had come to see the sunset.

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The sun didn't set til 9:50 tonight. We are now snuggled into our hotel for the night. Hope to do some biking before heading to Seward. Love to all back home. Missing our kids and grandkids and our puppy too! See ya tomorrow with some more adventures!

Posted by brendagerber07 00:05 Comments (4)

Disappointment followed by Discovery

Day 3 -Juneau again

Wake up call this morning was a 7:15 breakfast at the Feather Bed. We once again had a hot breakfast full of yummy food! We made it to the airport in plenty of time for our morning flight to Skagway. We were going to fly on Alaskan Seaplanes.

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We were told that we were on a weather hold and no planes were leaving. The weather forecast was not looking good. After hanging around for about an hour, we made the decision to cancel. It was supremely disappointing. I feel your pain, Mel when you had to miss your dogsledding adventure. Bob and I had this excursion on the top of our lists. Me, because I wanted to fly the little plane, take the steam engine, see the spectacular views on the trestle bridges and go into the Yukon. Bob actually has a model engine from the White Pass railroad and wanted to ride on the real deal. So it was a big let down not to be able to go!

At least we got our money refunded for the plane and train ride since it was due to Mother Nature. We quickly rented one of the few remaining cars and decided to drive up the Glacier Highway. We actually ended up taking it to the end of the road. Did you know that you can only get to Juneau by plane or boat. Pretty funky as it is the capital of Alaska. Well planes and ferries were stranded for the day. Here are a few pictures we took along the highway.

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We went to St Therese's chapel along the way. Along with the chapel itself, it also had the Stations of the Cross along the outside and a special memorial in honor of those victims of abortion. Peaceful and beautiful there...

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There was some beautiful foliage along the way.

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Then we spent some time hiking a path through the rainforest that led back to Herbert Glacier. There was a nice path cut out but no actual map on the board outside the entrance. It had been torn down. That should have been our first clue. There were only a couple of cars in the small parking lot. That should have been our second clue. We walked back in for about 2.5 miles and didn't see but only a couple of people. We did come upon two sightings of the Herbert River. The glacier was actually 4.8 miles back in. No way we would have made it that far. Boo Hiss...we had to turn around without seeing the glacier.

Here are a few pictures of the Herbert River and also some foliage along the way. The large leaf plant pictured is the Devil's Club. You can see the prickers all over the stem and leaves, especially the underside of the leaf. Very painful and sure to cause an infection as it likes to bury itself under your skin. It was everywhere along this path.

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And here are a couple of pictures of the glacier we should have seen if we had kept going and wanted to hike 10 miles, taken off Google...

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So after making it back to the car we made it to the end of the road.

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Then our time was about to change. We spotted some boats all around on the cove and knew they had spotted a whale. Although the pics aren't very clear. You can see a partial breach and a whale tail if you look closely. Look for the spray of water as they spout.

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Then a little further up the road we spotted out of nowhere a mother bear and her two little Cubs crossing the road right in front of us. We weren't quick enough to catch the mother before she jumped the guardrail, but here are the shots Bob got of the Cubs.

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Then lastly we stopped at Eagle's Lake and no, we did not see an eagle, but we did see all kinds of birds (mostly seagulls and crows) and fish that flipped a fin out of the water. They kind of looked like little sharks but I know they were not.

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It was a pretty place to be. We finished up by coming back to the Grandma's Feather Bed Hotel. We plan to eat supper here tonight. Then the job of packing up again and getting ready to head north to Anchorage in the morning. Hopefully flights can take off in the big commercial side of the airlines and we will not have any more cancellations. I have to admit, I enjoyed seeing the whales and bears, but I still have a bit of disappointment left cause I really wanted to ride in that little plane and then go one the beautiful steam engine ride with the devastatingly beautiful views. Go here to see the video of the train ride we missed. http://wpyr.com/sights-sounds/videos/
Until tomorrow...

Posted by brendagerber07 18:45 Comments (2)

Our first glacier up close and personal

Day 2- Juneau

After a great night's sleep at Grandma's Feather Bed Hotel, we enjoyed a hot breakfast in their dining area. Wynn had a Western Omelet and I had my beloved sausage gravy and biscuits. What a great start to the day. We took a taxi to the Mendenthall Glacier park. It is a National Forest.
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We decided to hike in the park down by the stream where the salmon were swimming upstream to lay their eggs. We were told that bear sitings were most common here...but alas, we did not see any bear. We did see the salmon and then got lucky to see a big porcupine.
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Then we hiked to the visitor's center where Bob found a book, a hiking pin and a stamp for his Nat,l Park and Forest book. We decided to hike to the Nugget Falls, just to the right of the Glacier. It was a little drizzly out and we sported our sexy rain hats and new rain coats for most of the day. The falls was beautiful. At first the fog and mist had made the glacier and surrounding mountains hard to see. But by the time we hiked down and starting taking pictures, the mist started to lift and we got some really nice shots.

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Once again, we had to call a taxi to take us to our next adventure. In hindsight, it would have been much more economical to rent a car for the day. Things looked like they would be a lot closer and we would be able to walk more...but this was not possible. So we had some unexpected expense for taxi fares. Our next site was to visit the Glacier Botanical Gardens and Rainforest Adventure. We saw all kinds of beautiful flowers. Made my gardens at home look pretty weak. They had some very unusual upside down tree trunks that they use as hanging flower planters. These trunks come from trees that have been downed by wind and avalanches. This Garden runs right along the edge of the Tongass National Forest. This is the second largest rainforest in the world, next to the Amazon. We had a knowledgable kid as our guide. Look at some of the sites we,saw. The view from the top was gorgeous.
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I especially loved the collection of hanging umbrellas they had in their greenhouse.

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We ended our day in town, walking the line of shops along the Main Street. We ate at the Red Dog Saloon; pulled pork and coleslaw while live entertainment was provided by an old crooner.
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Now we are back at the Featherbed and tired from a wonderful day. I think a bath in the jet spa tub is in order. (No pictures included!) Tomorrow breakfast is at 6:30 so probably an early night tonight. We will be doing the White Pass RR through the Yukon tomorrow from Skagway, riding a little plane into Skagway. Sounds like another wonderful day of new memories. Thanks for going along for the ride.

Posted by brendagerber07 19:42 Comments (4)

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