2012  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
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   SEWARD SCENES, PART 2

FRIDAY, JULY 6

 
"While the sea and the forests may draw you here, it's the town of Seward that 
beckons you to stay. Science, art, history, culture, and cuisine --
it's all right here, awaiting your discovery."
 
~ from the Seward Chamber of Commerce visitor magazine
 
 

I could see a little bit of blue sky when I got up at 7 AM but that didnít last long. We got some sprinkles off and on all day. Visibility was better than yesterday, however. The clouds were higher and we could see the tops of the surrounding peaks most of the time.

I still don't have the lovely blue-sky photos of Seward that I want to be able to show here. These will have to do until the sun comes out again. 


Part of the small boat harbor, looking toward the shops on the boardwalk

Clouds and rain aren't gonna keep us inside while we're in Alaska. There's too much to see!

We got out on our bikes at 9:30 and explored the town and harbor on Resurrection Bay all morning. Jim went about 13 miles and got back before I did. I rode about 12 miles but stopped numerous times to read signs and take pictures. We rode all over the place and had a great time -- even on an overcast day.

All the photos in this entry are from today's ride south through town, then north along the harbor. I'll present them sort of in chronological order as I rode in an elongated and meandering CCW loop.

THE LAGOON

As we entered town on the bike path along the Seward Highway we rode along the boardwalk that showcases a lovely blue lagoon between the base of Mt. Marathon and the small boat harbor:

 

There are interpretive signs and an idyllic view of the mountains west of town and some of the nicest homes in Seward:

 

Despite all the remaining snow in the mountains and cool summer weather, lots of wildflowers are blooming now.

These are Japanese iris by the lagoon:

 

A SAMPLING OF HOUSES IN SEWARD

You can find a wide variety of houses in Seward, from large multilevel hillside McMansions overlooking the bay to small summer cottages.

In addition to the houses in the photos above, here are a few others along or near Second Avenue that caught my eye today:

 

Many of the houses have lovely flowers blooming in the yards. I especially liked these:

Believe it or not, I spotted the little white rabbit in the yard below before I fully realized how unusual the fencing is:

 

If I do another bike ride through town I'll take photos of some more houses and present them later.

Picturesque St. Peter's Episcopal Church is nearby, sitting on a hill a few blocks from the Alaska SeaLife Center: 

The church was founded in 1904, less than a year after the town of Seward was established. This small sanctuary was finished in 1906 and remains in use today.

THE MT. MARATHON SEARCH CONTINUES

Early in our ride today Jim and I both rode our bikes up Madison Street past the hospital** to the trailheads for Mt. Marathon to read the information posted there about the different trails and their difficulty. I want to hike one or two of the less difficult trails while we're here if there isn't too much snow on them.

**Considering the difficulty of some of the trails and what happened there two days ago, the location of the hospital is both ironic and handy.


Jim rides up the hill toward one of the trailheads for Mt. Marathon.

Unfortunately, all of the trails on the mountain are closed to the general public while rescuers continue to search for the runner from Anchorage, Michael LeMaitre, whoís been missing from the footrace since July 4:

 

I talked about that in the last entry. Yesterday at least 30 people were out hunting for him. Today there were more.

Helicopters were flying all day today, conducting aerial surveillance, using heat-seeking equipment, and taking about 50 volunteers and three dog teams to various locations on the slopes to hunt for LeMaitre. Visibility was a little better today, which helped.

Various agencies are coordinating their efforts Ė the  Seward police and fire departments, state troopers and other folks from the Alaska Public Safety Dept., the National Guard, the National Park Service (even though it isnít part of Kenai Fjords NP), and the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group.

Here are some articles from AnchorageDailyNews.com (dated July 5) and AlaskaDispatch.com  (dated July 5 and July 6) about the continuing search. The third link has the most information, if you have time to read only one of them.


One of the signs at the trailhead

Although we don't know this man I'm really drawn to this saga. I can identify with him.

LeMaitre is about three years older than we are, he's a fairly experienced mountain hiker/runner, he was pushing his limits in search of adventure -- and now he's missing.


View of glacier on Bear Mountain above Lowell Canyon

That could so easily be one of us, especially me. I'm prone to keep going around the next bend or over the next hill out of curiosity, even if conditions warrant turning around sooner. I've been lucky so far. Someday I may push that envelope too far and be in the same predicament -- whatever it is -- in which LeMaitre now finds himself.

It's also very interesting to hear and read about the search in such rough, unforgiving terrain. It's helpful to know about the dangers, such as snow tunnels, thick undergrowth, and bears, before I head up on one of the trails alone with Cody-pup:

And it's heartwarming to know so many people care about this guy and are trying hard to find him. I would hope for a diligent search if I ever turned up missing in the wilderness somewhere.

ALASKA SEA LIFE CENTER

After we rode back down to Second Avenue Jim went on ahead so he could ride faster. I stopped to take even more photos during the rest of my ride. I'm fascinated by the mountains in every direction, shimmering Resurrection Bay, the variety of municipal camping areas and parks along the water, and the colorful small boat harbor.

I rode down Second Avenue and turned left on Railway Ave. to the Alaska SeaLife Center, which we drove by yesterday in the truck. SeaLife is a large, attractive public aquarium and marine wildlife rescue center located on the bay at the south end of Seward, the farthest point on the loop I rode today.

We plan to take a tour of the facility before we leave town. Today I just took photos of the exterior of the building and the inviting plaza area near the entrance:

 

 

 

 

 


Ummm . . . fragrant lilacs!

This sculpture, "Current Home," by William Brad Hughes was dedicated to the SeaLife Center and its visitors on World Oceans Day, June 8, 2011:

These and other large photos of marine animals grace the north side of the building along Railway Avenue:

This former railroad depot is near the SeaLife Center:

Now you know how "Railway Avenue" got its name!

Bayside photos continued on the next page . . .

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the ultra Lab

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© 2012 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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