Caravanning to Seward, AK

We left Eagles Rest RV Park in Valdez, AK on Monday, July 11 at 8:15 — Acey’s mileage 88,713.4 and Thor’s 104,659. We had some dense fog for a while and had to drive about 25-25 mph as we could not see very far ahead, but suddenly it was “clear sailing”! Have we mentioned before – these long white clouds remind us of our trip to New Zealand “The land of the long White Cloud”?

This peak looked rather volcanic.

We stopped at a pullout to look at the scenery – the fireweed grows everywhere! (purple flowers)

In the valley by the mountains, kind of hidden from our view because of the trees, we saw what looked like a ribbon of snow.

We soon discovered it was Matanuska Glacier.

There was not enough room for us to park at the viewpoint as we drove by.

But here’s the photo Andrew took!

The road got quite curvy as we drove on…

And the scenery!

Another bicycler!

We arrived at Big Bear Campground in Palmer, AK for an overnight stay around 2pm. We have 30 amp only – no water or sewer hookups. We filled up with water as we needed to do a small load of wash and we’ll have water for showering. We made lunch and took it easy the rest of the day. We have been busy going, going and going!

As we were thinking about heading to bed, just after 11pm, Acey started to shake, and we were no longer running the washer; it was an earthquake! I lasted nearly a minute! Jim looked up the stats later – it measured 4.7 was 51.1 km deep, centered 14 km south of Tyonek AK (south of Anchorage) The second quake in just a few days!

Tuesday, July 12, we left Palmer at 9:25 after dumping the grey water tank. Acey’s mileage 88,977.8 and Thor’s 104,659. We have a shorter drive today. We stopped at Costco in Anchorage.

As we drove along Turnagain Arm, we were reminded of our previous visit to Anchorage in 2009 and seeing the tidal bore come in.

tidal bore July 14, 2009

We noticed the train track – we rode on the train from Anchorage to Whittier to board our cruise ship in 2009.

Definitely at low tide!

This is probably Spencer Glacier.

We were welcomed to Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula!

And more road construction…

We arrived at Lone Moose Lodge & RV Park in Soldotna, AK around 3pm – NO utilities – boondocking in the dirt. We had to use the leveling pads as the back wheels would be off the ground otherwise. We’ll have to remember to take a photo next time we use them! On our way to the grocery store – saw a mama and baby moose.

Wednesday, July 13, we left Soldotna at 10:20am; Acey’s mileage 89,617.8 and Thor’s 104,665.  We were nearly the last of our group to leave – we have only an 80-mile drive to Homer, but it could take 2 ½ hours. We thought check-in at the Homer Spit Campground was at 12:30; turns out it is normally 3pm but we got in about 2 – after waiting at a rest area where we met up with Kimberly, Lee, Joyce and Bob. The rest area had some pretty gardens!

And a nice but foggy view.

A bit of history.

Joyce & Bob

And finally, we got to the campground!

 When we arrived, we filled up the freshwater tank and dumped the grey tank; we have only 30 amp electric and no water or sewer hookup for our 3 night stay. We sat with a few of our caravan friends at a campfire – very odd to have a campfire in the daylight! The sun sets after 11, but it doesn’t get very dark here!

Some sites at our campground DO have waterfront views – but not where we were parked.

On Thursday, we took a ferry from the end of the Homer Spit across Kachemak Bay to Seldovia.

The ferry was for passengers, luggage and bicycles – no cars!

The docks at Homer and Seldovia float. The tides can raise the water level quite high here – note the barnacles on the post and the angle of the canopied walkway to land.

The flowers at the visitor center were very colorful!

This whale carving was nice!

Inside the Visitor Center, we saw some information about the history of Seldovia. Native people lived here for thousands of years.

Russian Fur Traders came to the area in the 1740’s and Native people were pressed into service for the fur companies though they fought to resist the Russian domination. In 1838, a smallpox epidemic decimated the Native population and crushed their ability to continue their resistance. Russian Orthodox Missionaries brought a more compassionate approach to the Native people.

Fox faming was popular for a while, gold prospectors also came to Seldovia, two herring salteries were a booming business in the 1920’s – after the herring business failed, they fished for salmon, halibut and crab.

Because of the drastic sea level differences due to the tide, a wooden boardwalk was built to make it possible to walk across town no matter the stage of the tide. The massive Good Friday earthquake in 1964 devastated Seldovia. The land dropped 4 feet! It took a long time for the town to recover – and commercial fishing was never the same here.

Animals and plants are abundant around Seldovia.

A sea otter was on display – they are the smallest marine mammal; their coat has 600,000 – 1,000,000 hairs per square INCH! They eat 25% of their body weight every day (This is like a 180-pound human eating 45 pounds of food!) This particular sea otter was found deceased by five local young people.

This intricate Alutiiq headdress is made with beads, chiton shells, leather, and thread – beautiful work!

We walked around the quaint town – so many wood carvings all along the streets!

There was a wooden stairway we climbed up to see the Russian Orthodox Church on the hill.

The church was locked, but we could see in the windows…

The view from the hilltop.

This decoration on the school building looked to be a clock, but apparently not!

Many of us had lunch at the Boardwalk Hotel.

We walked over to a dock to look at the bay.

We saw a sea otter floating – too much cuteness!

And two pigeon guillemots also were swimming there.

Fireplugs in the town were painted in fun ways – here are two of them.

When pigs fly…. a fun wind vane topper.

We walked as far as the Seldovia Bible Chapel and turned around.

Chriss and Paul came by on a golf cart and we hitched a ride to go see the Seldovia Historic Boardwalk.

This parrot reminded us of Linda’s brother Rob’s bird.

We found a third church – Prince of Peace Lutheran Church that holds services on the 1st and 3rd Sunday every month.

Since the door was unlocked, we took a peek inside.

We noticed a stairway to a second floor, but we didn’t check that out.

This rock was painted to look like an eel coming out from under the stump!

Since we “otter be” here, we stopped in for a beer!

We enjoyed our trip to Seldovia – and soon it was time to head back to the ferry.

The name of this boat made us think of Linda’s father who we called Grampie!

As we sailed out, we passed by the Boardwalk Hotel where we had lunch.

There was the dock where we saw the otter – and the Russian Orthodox Church, up on the hill.

After a while, the Homer Spit was in view!

The location of our RV park is indicated by the arrow

We had a “free day” on Friday July 15. After breakfast, we went for a bike ride on the Homer Spit Trail. We had rented bikes when we were here in May 2016 with Bill & Charlene, and the bike trail is paved and lots of ups and downs. We stopped at the Seafarers Memorial, right next to our RV Park.

There were a few other bikes, some dog walkers, and families too. We rode against the wind (notice the flag?!) on the way towards town.

When we got to the end of the trail – it was still windy and a cool 55°; we decided not to ride into town and past the brewery as we did in 2016 on bikes we rented.

Bill, Jim, Linda & Charlene 5/31/2016

We turned around and headed back toward the campground. We rode past the RV park to the end of the Spit where Lands End Resort is located

A long cloud obstructed our view of the places labeled on the information board…

We parked the bikes and went down to the beach and under the pier. Lots of people were looking at what the low tide left behind. A little girl had found some crabs.

Another group had collected some starfish.

We walked to the water’s edge and saw more starfish floating along like this one.

The tide was low, so the posts were full of sea life clinging to them.

Seagulls made their roosts on the pier.

We walked along the beach to the end of the Spit – the temperature was dropping!

We got back to our bikes and headed back to the campground for a bit. We rode just 9 ½ miles today.

Later, we met our group at Harbor Bar and Grill for dinner – the food was fantastic! Andrew had a Bloody Mary with the works – it was supposed to have a shrimp too, which he got later!

After dinner, Lee and Kimberly went to the Salty Dawg Saloon with us. We had a beer and put a dollar bill on the wall. SOMEWHERE there is a dollar bill that we put on the wall or ceiling here in 2016 with Bill & Charlene!

We put another dollar bill on the wall!

It rained Friday night and Saturday morning. We got Thor hooked up and we left Homer Spit at 9:00 am to head to Seward. Acey has 89,249.3 miles, Thor 104,669, and the bikes 2074.8 miles. It rained and rained most of the way to Seward!

And Yipee! More construction and a muddy road to drive on.

We saw rafters on the river – not our idea of fun – in the rain! 7912 7910

We arrived at Seward KOA Journey at 1:30, got set up and had lunch. Tomorrow, we have a full day in Seward! Stay tuned!

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8 thoughts on “Caravanning to Seward, AK”

    1. We have a lot of daylight in Alaska – as a matter of fact it really doesn’t get very dark for very long this far north! Sitting around the campfire at 8pm in broad daylight just somehow seems wrong! Sometimes its shorts and t-shirt weather – other places we were glad to have our winter coats along! Dressing in layers is pretty much a must-do – and have a bag along to hold the shed layers! I’m blaming my cousin who asked us to “bring some rain to Colorado” and we seem to have brought it here too…. Haha!

  1. Great pictures of the terrain, flowers, and animals. Looks like everyone is having a wonderful time. Looking forward to the next blog.

    Made a beer run Friday, 15th, to Evansville, IN. Stocked up on Toppling Goliath, enough for 5-6 months. 2 1/2 hours each way. Went pretty fast. Would love to go to New Glarus, WI but that is 8 hours one way. Probably won’t make that trip this summer.

    Travel safe!

    1. We have visited many craft breweries while on the road – nice to try brews from different places. WE have to be careful with border crossings tho – they want to be sure you are buying just for personal consumption and don’t have a large stockpile on hand… as a matter of fact, we have NO beer on board at the moment!

  2. Hi Alaskan travelers. I enjoyed the trip to Seldovia and the carving of the owl pouncing on prey. AK is a most interesting state. Greay job blogging your adventure.

    1. Thanks Ted! I often think I spend way too much time on the blog – but it will be a great way to remember all we did!

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