What do you do in Alaska on a beautiful summer weekend? Well, most people head outdoors to camp or fish, or both. As I haven’t really gotten into the whole camping thing, (I’ll stick with a nice hotel, thanks), it was fishing for the win. Believe me, when the sun is shining- we DON’T take it for granted!
Seward was our destination of choice, and is about 2.5 hours south of Anchorage, on the Gulf of Alaska.
Of course the scenery is spectacular, and we passed at least fifty bald eagles just sitting in the mud of the low tide, waiting for passing fish. Eagles are such a common sight to us now, I forget that it’s not normal.
(***The girls have made a habit of checking vending machines for money, and do quite well in their quest. $1.85 this time- JACKPOT!)
Finally found our fishing spot for the day.
But we weren’t alone. It was very crowded.
Yes, this does constitute a crowd in Alaska!
Then sometimes you turn around, and the majestic beauty of this land leaves you breathless.
The Last Frontier, indeed!
I have to remember that we actually do have lots of beach front property in Alaska, it’s just not what typically comes to mind when you think “beach vacation”. It’s very rocky and did I mention it’s COLD?
Any good fisherman follows the tide schedule, but we arrived at low tide, which wasn’t ideal for this location. Oh well, they gave it go anyway.
I was content to be a spectator. Unbroken is a book I re-read every few years, and every time it’s as good as the first. A story of adversity, resilience, and ultimately the peace of Christ, it is a page-turner. Read it today if you haven’t yet!
But alas, seaweed was our only catch of the day. Lots and lots of seaweed.
However, we found how it attached to this rock to be quite fascinating. There was no getting it off!
And, so we called it a day, until later that afternoon when the tide would be higher.
Crossing this log to get to our car took more skill than it seemed, which is why most Alaskans wear boots year round. I should know better by now.
In fact, X-tra Tuf’s are the Alaskan footwear of choice. They are acceptable everywhere from church to Walmart to a restaurant. Year round! Sigh.
We stopped for a quick (and cheap) lunch in Safeway, not really in the mood to buy a $20 quesadilla in town. Did I mention that Alaska is pricey? But chicken and clam chowder really hit the spot anyway.
Now on to the Seward harbor. We love walking the decks looking for sea otters and other creatures.
No luck with the otters, but the views abounded!
I couldn’t get over the sunshine! A special gift from above, for sure.
My two favorite catches.
Though not exactly a hot day, ice cream is always in order.
What would you write down?
Ella wrote “sky dive”,
and Eva wrote “hold a koala”. Much more my speed!
One last look before heading back to our hotel for some downtime before round two of fishing.
I just couldn’t get enough of the sun, so the girls and I sat on this lovely patio with our books, while Matt napped.
I soaked up as much vitamin-D as I could get!
High tide, and back out to try our luck with the salmon.
The wind was STRONG, so I opted for book time from the comforts of the van. (By the way, we were shut out again. No salmon to be had on this trip.)
I found it odd that so many people were camping right in the dusty, rocky, parking lot,
with a view of some sort of refinery. Seriously, it’s almost impossible to find anything other than idyllic scenery and THIS was the campsite of choice? I’m sure they knew something I didn’t?
Speaking of camping….later that evening we met up with some friends at their campsite for hot dogs and marshmallows.
And a very sweet little guy to love on.
Once again, all campers were right next to each other in a gravel parking lot. I guess close proximity to the fishing was top priority. At that point in the evening, my top priority was finding warmth. The wind was blowing hard and I was frozen to the core. In MID-JUNE. It was painfully cold, even by the fire.
So it was back to the hotel to warm up and try to sleep. This picture was taken at ten o’clock at night and the sun was still over an hour from setting. The sleep struggle is real with the midnight sun!
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
On our drive home from Seward, we made a quick stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where they rehab and help animals. We watched a bear cub play,
a pack of wolves howl,
a bald eagle perch,
and a couple of moose finally decide that they wanted to participate in the meet-n-greet, after much coaxing.
I’m not really used to seeing moose behind a fence!
In fact, I’m not used to seeing black bears behind a fence either.
(Do you want to know what it is like to live in Alaska? Next time you go to the zoo, open all of the enclosures and walk around among the animals!)
But the swimming brown bear was my favorite of the day.
He seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. We kept overhearing guides call it a “hot” day… all sixty-three degrees of it! (Temperatures in Anchorage rarely hit seventy degrees and when they do, we sometimes get an extreme weather notification on our phones.)
We learned that not all brown bears are grizzly bears.
Grizzly bears live in the forest regions and are generally smaller than brown bears because food is not as plentiful, mostly living on small rodents and lots of plants.
Brown bears live in the coastal regions and get very large due to their abundant supply of salmon and other sea creatures.
I don’t want to meet either one face-to-face!
The conservation center also had breathtaking views, and it was fun to watch the animals in their natural habitat, with the protection of a fence!
So, though we didn’t get lucky in the fishing department, our stop at the conservation center was a win. And a beautiful day to boot!
Apparently perseverance pays off in the salmon game. Matt returned the following weekend, alone, and scored!