The next day we drove from Denali, through Wasilla (my dad may be a little Sarah Palin crazed) and on to Anchorage where we just roamed around downtown. The next morning, however, we got up at 4:30 in the morning and made our way to Seward.
Seward was one of my favorite places. We went on a 10-hour whale-watching and glacier-view cruise through the Kenai Fjords. We went through Alaska Saltwater Lodge, and they come highly recommended by both my father and me. The boat was small and there weren’t a ton of people, there was a naturalist there who stayed with us and explained what we were seeing, since our boat was small we could get up close to waterfalls, glaciers and wildlife. The experience on that boat was one of those experiences that will always stick with me.
We saw a ton of glaciers, especially Northwestern Glacier, we got to watch the glacier calving. The noise that comes off of that when it breaks off was so mesmerizing. I could have sat there for hours in the freezing cold just watching that vivid blue ice falling into chunks and hearing the glacier crack and roar. Besides the glaciers and waterfalls we saw bald eagles, sea otters, stellar sea lions, orcas, dall porpoises, humpback whales, and horned and tufted puffins.
After the tour we walked around downtown, and then we made our way back to our lodge, which was indeed the Alaska Saltwater Lodge. It was the greatest place I’ve ever stayed. There was something about it that felt like home. There was real hospitality, no TV, a spectacular view of the mountains over the bay, and I saw a bald eagle catch a seagull in its talons from the window! Then in the morning the lady who owns the lodge was fixing the breakfast and talked with us like she had known us all her life. She was so genuine and gave us advice for the last few days of our journey.
That day we went to Exit Glacier. It was a pretty and easy hike. However, I wish we had seen that glacier first because after The Northwestern Glacier blew Exit Glacier out of the water! However, as a person who loves to hike, I liked getting to actually get out and explore a bit on foot.
After exploring Exit Glacier a bit, we headed off toward Homer! Holy cow, there were some of the most amazing views! There were these beautiful snow-capped mountains behind this amazing little artsy town. We saw a lot of amazing little art galleries, my dad went to the Time Bandit Shop from The Deadliest Catch, we went to the Salty Dawg Saloon and I pinned my dollar to the wall to prepare for the next time that I am there, we wandered around the Homer Harbor, and went to the Seafarers memorial.
The next day we headed back towards home. Our last major stop was the Native American Heritage Center, and it was very interesting and I really learned a lot about the different native cultures.
This really was an amazing trip full of loads of new experiences and I got to take in so many amazing new sites! I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to take this trip with my dad. I highly recommend to anyone thinking about going to Alaska and has a good amount of time to spend, drive! It’s worth every single mile.
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