Saturday, July 20, 2013

Seward

The Train Depot: Fairbanks 356 miles; Whittier 62.5 miles, and Seward 114 miles. Elevation 38 feet
The original plan was to leave very early on July 5th from a grocery store parking lot in Anchorage and ride a 200k Perm to Seward. Completion of this ride would tick off another item on Michelle's Life List getting her ever closer to earning her RUSA Explorer Award. But, July 5th woke up rainy, cold, with no thought of improving. Plus, there was tell of road construction, etc., etc. en route. So, Barry loaded our bikes on his car and took us to the Anchorage Train Depot in hope that we could get on with no prior reservation. It was our lucky day. 


A portion of the Alaska Railroad Route: the portion we traveled twice, once from Seward, and once from Whittier
Opting out of the 200k was one of those "Plan-but-don't-plan-the-outcome" kind of things. Had we ridden we would have been wet, cold, and tired with no interest in exploring the quaintness of Seward: discovering Ray's Seafood, Nature's Nectars (an amazing Espresso shop on the main drag), riding around town on a folk-art mural treasure hunt, taking a boat ride to Fox Island and seeing Puffins, Humpback and Orca Whales, Eagles, Sea Otters and more; touring the Sea Life Museum because it was too wet and cold to outdoors thing, and riding to Exit Glasier in the rain.

We learned the operational definition of "socked in" when the clouds were so enveloping we could see mountain tops and house above the clouds! We learned that Alaskans are truly made of a different metabolism, certainly different from me. I'm fully bundled and covered while the locals are walking around in tank tops, cutoffs, and eating ice cream while the thermometer read 42.
Mountain above the cloud

Our train en route to Seward


Two of the 20 or so murals

Socked in. There are actually mountains behind those boats

Bundled

Yes, it's 42

Exit Glacier to the right behind the trees. Yes, it's cold and rainy

10 years ago the glacier covered everything you see in the foreground

One of many Tufted Puffins





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