Monday, July 01, 2013

Seward to Whittier to Anchorage!

We left Seward this morning. We had a great time there and saw a lot of animals while we were there. There was another cruise ship in dock on Sunday when we were down there. We visited the Marine Life Center. It's kind of an aquarium, but serves more as an educational venue. There were several different species of animals though and some we hadn't seen yet, so that was fun.

We also spent some time visiting the shops in town. Seward has a larger and more organized downtown area than we have seen in the smaller Alaska towns. We took advantage of the shops and browsed. We had a nice time walking around and meeting and talking with the shop owners. They are all curious about where people are from and how far they have come to see their state.

On our drive out of camp this morning, we saw a moose cow about knee deep in the marsh eating away at plants. She pulled her head out of the water and had a mouthful of luscious greens hanging out of her mouth. . . just like you see in pictures.

It was raining all morning and we had a fairly short drive of 2 1/2 hours to Anchorage, so we detoured and took the road to Whittier. Whittier sits on the water, but the only way there besides water or air is to take a 2 1/2 mile tunnel. The tunnel is shared by cars and the railroad, so coordination is the key! It is narrow and the tunnel is acutally carved out of the rock. The sides of it are very rough and jagged. There are several "safe houses" along the route so if there is an emergency in the tunnel, you can make your way to one of those. There are some pull offs at those areas as well. It is a bit spooky or I should say claustrophobic, but you can actually see both ends of the tunnel while you are in there. You have to drive on the railroad rail which is a little squirrely. We got through it and out the other side and saw a cruise ship was in the harbor. Also there was a ferry there. We had talked at one time of taking the ferry over to Valdez and this would have been the ferry we would have taken. But we decided since we had the time, we would do the drive. There is not much in Whittier except for the terminals so we did a lap through town and then started back. There is a schedule for moving through the tunnel and we lucked out when we arrived that we were able to proceed directly through. It happened the same on the way out, and we got through very quickly.

We got back onto the Seward Highway headed toward Anchorage. We arrived and parked across from Tab and Deanna. We then took off and went downtown to the Ulu Knife Factory. The Ulu knife is a knife made in Alaska and is of a unique design. We watched them making the knives in their factory and checked out their store. Afterward, we parked near the downtown area and walked down Fourth Avenue, which is the main tourist area. We picked up a few things and enjoyed the walk.

We are now back at our campground and planning our route tomorrow. We will drive to Valdez tomorrow for three nights. Looking forward to that!

Till next time. . .


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