We camped in Seward, Alaska with Joyce, our friend who was visiting from Denver, for the first four days of our stay. During that time the weather alternated between mostly sunny and beautiful and cloudy and rainy – a good representation of Alaska in the summer.
On one of the nicer weather days, we explored the (little) town pretty thoroughly. Seward is a fairly touristy town and has a good number of shops and restaurants for its small size. There are also quite a few lovely murals throughout the downtown area.
One afternoon we watched some guys setting up a bunch of huge halibut on hooks, while “arranging” the rest of the catch (pretty large fish also) on the ground in front of the halibut. Afterwards all of the proud folks who caught the fish had their photo taken by this display.
On a cloudy and rainy day, we explored some of the areas outside of town on a drive out on the Sterling Highway. We have yet to see our first bear in Alaska, after seeing quite a few in the Yukon Territory, and were hoping that Joyce got to see one as well.
But although we did not find any bears, we did spot a moose cow with two calves. A few people gathered to look at them, and they quickly disappeared into the forest. But all three of us got a good look at the calves, with their gangly legs and reddish coloring.
That one day weather alternated between cloudy dry periods and drizzling rain and there were some very cool clouds in the sky. We came across a beautiful cabin with a “Gift Shop” sign and stopped to check it out.
It turned out they did not have a lot to sell at the moment, mostly pelts, but the cabin had an interesting story behind it. It is one of the original pioneer cabins and the proprietor found and purchased it at another location, and dismantled and reassembled it at this location, log by log. A piece of local history.
That day was obviously baby day because we later saw a trumpeter swan with four cygnets. As I was looking at some tall grasses, I spotted one long neck and a few slightly shorter necks popping up amongst them. They were in one of many pretty wetland areas we drove by. I always think of ballet when I see the swans – so lovely.
When we neared the campground we found these two talkative turkeys walking down the street. Hmmm.
Joyce’s last day here was pretty rainy, and the three of us visited the Alaska SeaLife Center, an aquarium that also rescues and rehabilitates marine mammals.
But the horned and tufted puffins steal the show flying out of the water, sitting on the ledges and rocks right next to the people, and landing back in the water in their awkward and entertaining way.
We love puffins!
The SeaLife Center also offers educational seminars each day for the general public as well as special “behind the scenes” programs, and other programs for schoolchildren and other groups. We really enjoyed our visit.
After touring the center with Joyce, it was almost time for her to return to Anchorage for her flight home to Denver. It was then that we realized that her trip included planes, a train, an automobile, a boat AND an RV, all in six days!
The trains that run from Seward to Anchorage are quite beautiful, which is appropriate since they ride through such beautiful scenery. The nice guy boarding the train allowed us to walk Joyce to her seat on the upper deck. That brought back memories of our train ride eight years ago and made us wish we were taking the train too. Well, maybe we will find an opportunity to take a train ride later this trip.