Saturday was a travel day – covering the 360 miles from Denali National Park down to Seward on the Kenai Peninsula. It was a rainy overnight, so we packed the tent up wet, treated ourselves to breakfast at the Visitor’s Center campus to save time and got on the road. The next few days are predicted to be quite wet and rainy in Seward, so we found the Nauti Otter hostel a better option to cold wet days in the tent – and they have a kitchen where we can cook our own meals.
It was a rainy day which made travel even slower, but the charging stations were familiar – the Flo station in Cantwell and the Tesla Supercharger in Chugiak near Anchorage. Most of the Level 3 chargers we use require our CCS adapter and take about an hour for a good charge (20-80 or 90%), but the Tesla supercharger does the same amount of charging in about half the time. The scenery was also beautiful even on a rainy day – especially between Anchorage and Seward which was new for us. We hope the weather will be a bit nicer on Tuesday when we head back this way so we can make some stops to better enjoy the views and maybe stretch our legs with some short hikes.
After a warm, dry night in a real bed at the Nauti Otter, we were up, breakfasted and out the door to explore Seward. This started with charging the car at the Level 3 charger at the visitor’s center (which unfortunately was closed for the day). We got a plan for the day while we waited and Paul got to get his pictures of the Alaska Railroad train coming into Seward. He waved to the train knowing our friend Dave was on it, thinking it unlikely he would ever see – much to our surprise we learned he had seen Paul waving and knew exactly who it was.
The it was off to the Alaska Sealife Center. What a magical visit watching the seals, sea lion, fish and many sea birds from the land side on top and the underwater side on the lower floor. The grace of the large sea mammals as they swam around their tanks was amazing. And watching the birds fly on the surface then swimming underwater was astonishing – especially the puffins that look like they are flying underwater. So different from some of the other divers who fold their wings in and swim with just their feet.
Next we took a hike to see the Exit Glacier. It was closer than we got to a glacier in New Zealand, but still a somewhat distant view because of the amount the glacier has receded. They keep adding trail, but it gets more difficult as the glacier shrinks. There are signs posted of where the glacier was at different years.
We capped the day off with dinner at the Flamingo Lounge with Dave to celebrate his 40th birthday. He was right, the “Bucket of But” (short for Halibut) may be the best fish fry I’ve ever eaten – even those Wisconsin is famous for. It was particularly fun to be able to celebrate with our new friend – there was clearly a reason we kept running into each other in Alaska.
While at the bar a voice from behind tells Paul “your Tesla is being towed”. Paul’s note: I looked up at there was my former Morningside Neighbor Jeff Shoemate on a short vacation with his daughter Ana. The Shoemate’s were founding members of the Morningside Family Frisbee Club the forerunner to Cool Planet, or perhaps in this case a small planet.
We are excited for tomorrow’s kayaking trip to see what else Seward has in store for us.