8/2/2014 – 354 mi – Anchorage to Seward and back
The ride south from Anchorage to Seward on a sunny day is just beautiful. I really don’t have words for the section through the Turnagain Arm, and wish we’d stopped for more photos, as there just haven’t been many days as nice as this.
The plan was to ride to Seward, and then take a day cruise to try and see some wildlife and glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park. So we rode to Seward, and THEN checked the weather forecast. Oops. Bad weather coming in for the next several days (ok, I’m putting that lightly, it was 90% chance of rain for the next 10 days, everywhere within a day’s ride). Ok, new plan. We’ll check out Exit Glacier while we’re here and the weather is nice, and then ride back north and explore Anchorage from the comfort of indoor accommodations for a day or two. Hopefully we’ll get a better chance to take a boat ride soon.
Exit Glacier is maybe 10 miles from Seward, and a short easy hike from the parking lot. The signs along the hiking trail lead to a spot allegedly on the edge of the glacier. However, the signs are now a few years old, and the glacier has receded so that you cannot actually get right up next to the ice any longer; at least not on that trail. We looked down over the hill, and saw people hiking right up to the toe of the glacier. Huh. So we followed the trail of people, and found that it’s possible to scramble around this narrow, root filled ledge on what’s apparently an unofficial trail, and get right up next to the glacier. A warm sunny day is definitely the preferred condition for this hike, the wind picked up as we approached the glacier, and that air coming down over all that ice was obviously pretty cold. Also, don’t sit on the glacier; it really is as dirty as it looks.
We don’t normally like to explore cities, but they do often have the benefit of lots of diverse and delicious food in close proximity. The fresh sushi was particularly good, as was the Cajun place a couple of blocks over from our room. The first evening ended up being really nice weather, despite the forecast, and we walked around sight-seeing and generally having a nice time. There were a ton of people fishing in the river, and catching quite a bit. I think dinner that night involved a tasty gyro pizza (two of my favorite things combined!), and later locally made ice cream. Touristy summer evening goodness.
Also, weather forecasts here are almost completely meaningless. 90% chance of rain? Maybe it will rain all day, or maybe one shower will come through and it will be sunny and nice all day. 20% chance of rain and sunny forecast? Cold, dark, wet, and miserable all day. Or maybe not. Who knows.