Monday, May 9, 2016

Seward ~ Resurrection Bay ~ Iditarod Trail, AK

Our day in Seward, AK on Resurrection Bay.

We left the Russian River parking lot on an overcast morning but it wasn’t long and we had rain.  This was a short drive day of 102 km so we got into town early giving us most of the day to sightsee.

Glaciers at Resurrection Bay
When we arrived in Seward, it had been raining and with low clouds, rain threatening to return.  It was early enough in the day that we were able to get an RV spot in the Seward Waterfront City Park, and we were parked right on the waterfront with only a walkway between our RV and the beach!  The sky was overcast but we could watch the boats passing by and see the glaciers right across the bay.

Cruise ship terminal at Seward, AK
The fog was there but we were able to see the cruise ship and terminal which was not far from our front door.  Seward on Resurrection Bay is a busy port and has been a regular stop for the cruise ships for many years.  There is no airport here in Seward so the cruise ship passengers can catch a shuttle to or from Anchorage if beginning their cruise here.

Incoming cruise ship
There were not too many dark hours during these summer days but I did happen to catch an incoming cruise ship with all its’ lights on as it passed when approaching the port at 5am.  I had to quickly grab my camera and take this picture out the RV door so it’s not the best shot but I was excited to get it.

Downtown Seward, AK
This general store is the oldest business in Seward.  It was founded in 1904 and has been a family owned business ever since, still owned by the Hawkins family.  Mr. Brown and Mr. Hawkins met during the Gold Rush in Nome and first opened a store in Valdez then in Seward.  The Seward store also included a bank at that time.

Monument for Founder of Seward, AK
Seward was founded in 1903 when the Santa Ana steamer arrived in the port, which was to become the ocean connection to the proposed railway.  Seward was the name of the US Secretary of State who fought for the purchase of Alaska from Russia and won that in 1867.  The name and location was chosen by the founder John Ballaine, I could not resist sharing his quote seen on the monument.                                                                             

“If there is such a place as Heaven, I cannot imagine anyone admitted through its’ pearly gates with sentiments more joyous than I experienced that shining forenoon as we glided easily in those majestic scenes up to the timber-covered site I had chosen for the future terminal city – the future gateway into and out of Alaska’s great interior.”

"Current Home" at Seward
This amazing 6 ton sculpture was built by Brad Hughes in his shop in Homer, Alaska.  It is a carved concrete based sculpture and was moved here once it was completed in 2011.  The name of this grand sculpture is “Current Home” and can be seen at the SeaLife Center in Seward. Click here to see photos of our visit there.

Historical beginning of Iditarod Trail
This marks the beginning of the original Iditarod trail that was used to transport people and goods to places in the interior as far as Nome by dog sled.  This trip was 1600 km (over 1000 miles) long and was their main form of transportation until the 1920’s when the airplane then did the job.

Iditarod dog sled
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race came to be in 1973 to commemorate the development of Alaska and continues today.  It begins on the first Saturday of March every year in Anchorage and would be a great winter spectacle to witness.  The trail was designated a National Historic Trail in 1978.

Sunny morning in Seward, AK
And then there was sunshine!  It was so nice to be able to enjoy the view with blue skies and sunshine before we left Seward and headed onto other places.  We leave the Kenai Peninsula today and head north, passing through Anchorage once again and will make our next stop at Talkeetna, AK.

Join us at the Denali National Park, click here.

Alaska SeaLife Center ~ Seward, AK

Our visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center

We spent the afternoon at the Alaska SeaLife Center.  It is a private, non-profit corporation opened in 1998.  There is a staff of volunteers and about 105 employees, a large employer considering the population of Seward is just over 2500 people.

They rescue sea life and are the only rehab center in Alaska.  They are also a science center which researches the ecosystem of Alaska.  The project was mainly funded by the Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement funds, after a very tragic oil spill at Valdez, AK in 1989.  

There are some beautiful sights to see.

Some sights are not so beautiful,

and some are just darn cute!

Seals are quietly basking in the attention.

Puffins are such an unusual sight to see.

And what aquarium would be complete without the performing seals at mealtime!

Their high standard of accreditation at the Alaska SeaLife Center puts them into the top 5% of the nation’s 6000 zoos and aquariums.  A visit here is highly recommended.  To learn more about the Center, click here.


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