This is obviously a day with some camp time that I'm able to catch up on blogging.
After departing Anchorage we traveled onto the Kenai Peninsula "Alaska's playground' (pronounced keen-eye). We made a long travel day and went all the way down the peninsula to Homer and camped on the Homer Spit, aka Lands End. Homer is a big fishing village with a large fishing port, and I believe that one of the 'Deadliest Catch' boats is from based on the amount of DC souviners available in town. There is a Seafarers Memorial next to the campground we stayed at that I believe has been on the show. Anyway, we had a great dinner out at Boardwalk Fish & Chips where we had grilled halibut and chips...great change up from the fried version, and the halibut was great. The next morning we played with Willow on the beach and she was definitely freaked out at the waves crashing on the shore. Then we went up to an overlook above town and were treated to a great view across the water to the state park we would have had to ferry to in order to visit. Enough ferry rides coming up soon.
Then we drove back north to the city of Kenai and explored the Kenai River delta where it meets up with the Cook Inlet. Amazing tidal action there where the beach is about 1/4 mile further out at low tide, though very muddy. I said that if we didn't know this was normal for here, I'd be worried about the impending tsunami. Willow got plenty muddy and enjoyed lots of exercise time on the beach. We camped that night at the Captain Cook state campground where we had an ocean view from our campsite, and were treated to bald eagles soaring along the shore. It was a bit of a cliff scramble to get to the beach and made me think that the most dangerous three words may be "follow me dad". Once down there though, it was great and Willow made friends with a local dog and burned off lots of energy in the sand and waves.
From Kenai we continued back up the peninsula past our entry point to Seward. The day was clear with just a few high clouds, so we decided our cruise to the Kenai Fjords NP should happen that night rather than risking a weather change the next day. We booked the dinner cruise and then went to explore Exit Glacier at the land entrance side of the the NP. We were able to hike basically to the very foot of the glacier, and even could have walked out to the ice field given sufficient time. This was definitely the closest we've ever been to an actual glacier and it was really cool to experience in terms of color, grandeur and overall impressiveness.
After the hike, we spent a bit of time finding a shady parking spot in a neighborhood for Willow to hang out in Byron during our outing. The cruise began with the captain pointing out some waterfront features that used to be off shore moorings and the like before the 1964 earthquake changed the landscape in a very real way. We then got fully underway and were treated to some great views, and lots of wildlife including Dall's porpoises that look like mini-orca whales, a porcupine spotting while on Fox Island for dinner, Puffins, several bald eagles including one with a freshly caught fish, lots of cool jellyfish, an otter, and sea lions. Also, lots of glacier and fjord views and exploring. The cruise was a great experience.
Camping was effectively booked solid in Seward what with the annual 4th of July foot race on Mt. Marathon. This looked and sounded like a crazy event that included a killer climb of 2,000+ feet, and a sprint down a steep spree covered slope. Look it up...I'm sure there's lots of pix and info. We ended up camping in a turnout along the road to Exit Glacier...we were not alone.
We now find ourselves near Whittier having explored yet more glaciers today, and readying to board a ferry for Valdez across Prince William Sound in the morning. Looking forward to more views and wildlife sighting during the crossing.
Pix to accompany this post will be put up later when I have a wifi connection. Two bars on 1x cellular barely gets the text up onto the blog.