Saturday, October 18, 2014

August 29, 2014 Kenai Fjords National Park

It was foggy again this morning as we headed out toward Seward...

...but it seemed different today as the sun began to break through the clouds...

,,,and the mountains came into view at Tern Lake,

This place was very scenic for a small roadside turnout at the intersection of the Seward and Sterling highways.

We had to move on because we have to catch a boat in Seward.

A little further down the road, we stopped to take a short hike to a salmon stream. It was here that Chrissy began her photo fascination with the incredible amount of funky mushrooms that grow in Alaska.

It turns out the only fish we saw were dead salmon along the shore and in the water.

Another stop along the way because blue skies were visible for the second time this week.

We finally make it to Seward. Ken & I park the car while Chrissy & Karen pick up our Kenai Fjords Boat passes.

Here's our boat... the scenic Seward Harbor.

I love childish humor.

We got seats on the upper outside deck.

There were otters in Resurrection Bay.

The soon to be gone alpine glaciers along Resurrection Bay.

We passed by several whales.

We cruised out of Resurrection Bay into the Gulf of Alaska on our way to Aialik Bay.

K & K trying to stay warm.

We passed Pederson & Addison Glaciers on our way to the main attraction Aialik Glacier.

The scenery was amazing throughout the day.

Approaching Aialik Glacier...

...there are waterfalls everywhere because all these glaciers are part of the Harding Icefield.

Our boat got pretty close to Aialik Glacier.

There were several small calvings but nothing big enough to rock the boat.

We moved on when another boat showed up. Now you can get a better idea of the size of this glacier. 

Seals hanging out on a small island.

We zig zagged through small islands...

....this one had birds on it and not was covered white.

We saw puffins all day long and this was the best picture.

I'm just gonna say it...this was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. We saw whales throughout the day. But none were this close or having this much fun. The cruise narrator sounded amazed while whales were breaching and fin slapping on both sides of the boat.

It looks like that beer will stay cold for you.

Scenes on our way back to Seward.

Back on land, Chrissy made me pose with this otter...I have no idea why.

Since the sun doesn't set until about 10pm, we have time to hike up to Exit Glacier. 

This is the valley were the glacier was a couple hundred years ago.

I was here ten years ago and the glacier has retreated at a non glacial pace since then. Back then you could walk right up to it, now you can not.

Here's the valley where the glacier was 10 years ago.

Two cousins from New York City walking in Alaska.

The National Parks have been called America's best idea. I agree. Most of the trips I have taken the last fifteen years have been to National Parks and I always leave feeling like I visited someplace special.

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