Denali AKA Mt. McKinley


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". . . Seward -- a picturesque town nestled on the shores of Resurrection Bay, where   
mountains rise majestically from crystal blue waters. Honored three times as an
'All-American City,' Seward is now over 100 years old, and reflects the spirit of the
Alaskan pioneer. Art lover, food aficionado, fishing expert, or someone in awe
of nature's wonders, you will find something magnificent in Seward."
~ 2015 Seward, AK Visitors' Guide, p. 4
As soon as we got set up in our campsite at the Seward Military Resort we hopped in the truck and began re-familiarizing ourselves with the town. It is similar enough to Valdez that we often get confused about which seaport town has what stores, bike paths, trails, and attractions.

Both Valdez and Seward have busy harbors with scenic mountain backdrops. We love to bike and stroll above the water and look at all the colorful boats either docked in the water or coming and going through the bay, from kayaks to sailboats to commercial fishing boats to large cruise ships from around the world:

All the ramps, docks, and boats float up and down with the tide.





Two large cruise ships at the north end of the bay

This looks more fun to us than riding on a big cruise ship.

Even if you aren't going on a fishing trip or day cruise, it's fun to explore the harbor area and watch everything that's happening. You can enjoy a variety of shops, restaurants, visitor displays, and the Kenai Fjords National Park Visitor Center.

Above and below:  You can access many of the shops from both 
the boardwalk on the bayside and on the street side.


Street side entrance to three tour/charter company buildings and a gift shop

Dockside action includes watching sport fishermen weigh and clean their day's catch, listening to their stories, and seeing seagulls feast on whatever pieces of fish they can snag.

One day we watched this group weighing their catch:


This seagull looks like a statue but is real.

During our stay in Seward we rode our bikes to the harbor area several times. That was easier for us than taking the truck because it's hard to find free parking near the downtown stores, restaurants, and harbor area. All the places that are convenient either cost a bunch of $$$ or have a 15-minute time limit. Parking was much easier in Valdez.

The photos above were all taken from the small boat harbor throughout this week.


Here are a few more photos at or near high tide that I took from the bike path a little farther south along the shore line:





A seagull flies over pilings from an old pier that washed away.

The bike path winds along the shore and through the city campgrounds
between the Sea Life Center and the boat harbors.


On our first day we drove to several different trailheads so I could check current conditions of some trails I didn't hike in 2012. For various reasons I didn't end up hiking any new trails this year but repeated two of my favorites from the first time we were here. More about those in separate entries.

These photos show some of the scenery we enjoyed from the bike path in town, on Nash Road  across the bay, and on Exit Glacier Road a couple miles north of Seward:

These houses above a little lake between the road/bike path and mountains west of town
have the ultimate view across Seward and Resurrection Bay to the mountains on the east.

Above and below:  looking across Resurrection Bay from Nash Road to Seward and Mt. Marathon


View of lower part of Mt. Marathon from downtown Steward; arrows mark some of the
well-worn trails used in the popular Mt. Marathon foot race held annually on July 4th.

Exit Glacier Road along the Resurrection River, which flows from Exit Glacier

View of Exit Glacier from the road several miles away

I did three hikes near Exit Glacier this week -- one on the trails at the foot of the glacier and two up the right (north) side of the glacier to the Harding Icefield. I'll have lots of photos and comments about those awesome hikes in the next three entries.

We didn't do as many "touristy" things in Seward this time because we did so much of that three years ago. For example, although our day cruise to Aialik Glacier was a high point of our first trip, we didn't do another cruise this time. We often have more fun the first time we do something new and it's not as interesting the next time.

We did go back to the Sea Life Center again on our last morning in town. I'll write about that in another entry.

Next entryJim discovers why I love the Harding Icefield hike so much (how many people ever get to see an ice field up close?)

Happy trails,

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

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2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil