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Rolling and Writing in Alaska Part 2

The second part of our journey in Alaska started when we rolled out of our ever diminishing campsite along the Susitna river. It rained a good deal over the memorial day weekend and we were losing river bank real estate steadily.

Re-provisioned and with the laundry caught up we hit the road again heading for Seward, the city named for Seward's Folly for the man who purchased Alaska for the United States. a nice patch of green very near the city. It was good to move around in Anchorage finding supplies and a truck wash to spray off some of the Alaskan-Canadian Highway from the rig. We even went out for dinner at the Texas Roadhouse for our 28th Wedding Anniversary. Anchorage is a haven of normal

living in Alaska with shops, malls, and good groceries to be found easily. Getting around the city was a little difficult to explore because of a lack of parking. It was fun seeing this restaurant over Ship Creek though and few brave souls were already trying their hand at some fishing.

Re-provisioned and with the laundry caught up we hit the road again heading for Seward, the city named for Sewards Folly for the man who purchased Alaska for the United States.

As we drove toward Seward we were hoping for some good boondocking and found a few decent turn outs to stop in overnight. Alaska is a big place and though it only has a few roads (something that is significant to your journey) and it will take some time to get from place to place. Researching good places to stay we both plugged our favorite pick into the GPS and headed there. Oddly enough we had both picked the same place. A little spot near Moose Pass on

float plane at Moose Pass AK

the Seward Highway was one of our favorite places to stay during the whole trip. This patch of gravel near a large lake was somewhat busy but it was also free and had lots of appeal. It was also close to the town of Moose Pass where the major business is a tiny story, coffee and fudge shops, and float plane tours. We often watched the planes land in the lake and sail to their docks. From our little spot near the lake we could explore and took the Jeep into Seward. Seward was a lovely town but with tour boats coming in regularly the shops, restaurants, and activities were geared to the tourist crowd. Here I need to remind everyone that although we are travelers we are not tourists. We live day by day on the road and do not have a 'on vacation' mentality or budge.We did really like the fact that for a modest fee you can actually park and camp on the beach in Seward though and considered it but we preferred out lake view.

An Otter in the bay at Seward.

We did stop at the local Safeway market to pick up supplies and had a great time watching an otter playing in the water but we spent very little town in Seward. Instead we headed to the Exit Glacier and walked the trail to the point of an avalanche warning sign only about a mile from the end of the trail.

Exit Glacier and Ice Field

It was interesting seeing more of the Alaska wildlife on this section of the journey. It was becoming obvious that Alaska was a unique blend of wild spaces and developed areas, few of which were very large.

After a nice four day stay on the lake we turned our nose toward Homer and the beach there. The city of Homer has a lot where and RV can park for about $20. per night. It was an interesting town with loads of opportunities for fishing voyages, airplane excursions and boat tours. The Spit is a long strip that juts out into Cooks Inlet. The place is unique in that most of the buildings are up on stilts. All along Cooks Inlet the tides are some of the most dramatic in the world rising and falling nearly thirty feet each day.

It was still cold when we arrived in Homer but we enjoyed watching the water and the wild life on the beach. We even saw horse back riders trailer out for the day and ride along the spit. Homer provided a better glimpse of what Alaska is really like. Although it is a regular town a large section of revenue is derived from tourism and the

Bald Eagle eating a fish on Homer Spit

fishing. We made our way to the Ocean Center and enjoyed the displays and videos the National Forest programs provide. We also took a stroll on the beach and splurged out for a pastry at the Three Sisters Bakery.

Cooks Inlet as a whole is very interesting and if you take a plane, boat or other excursion you can see a great deal of it. We took the Jeep for a long drive almost to the very end of the inlet before the roads and the rain forced us to turn around. From Homer we made our way to the Cook Inlet State recreation area. This is a state park with no hook ups. It costs $15.00 per night and they do have water stations where you can fill up a jug if you need drinking water. We spent a few days along the inlet finding the rise and fall of the water each day fascinating. When the tide was out you could see enormous boulders lining the channel but when the tide came in they all disappeared. It was dramatic and beautiful if somewhat disturbing. Along with the high tides another danger was the mud of the inlet. Mud is largely deep silt on water and works much like quicksand. We could see instantly that it was not something you should try to walk on. We learned more about this when we made our way to Whittier later that week.

Tracks from a dog of fox in the mud flats near an inland river

Water, wind, and ice have shaped the Kennia Peninsula and will always have there way in the end.

We still had a bit more adventuring left as we headed for Whittier later but we were learning what we loved and didn't love so much about being in Alaska. Entering the state early we discovered that the cost of things was higher than the lower forty-eight, but when May turned to June things changed dramatically. Alaska is wild, beautiful, huge, but also limited. We had seen many wonders, learned much about history, and discovered shortcomings in our expectations of the Alaskan Roll

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