As we journeyed toward the Northern Pacific Ocean the weather turned bad and super windy, which made for a few thrills along the way. We spent the first night roadside along Turnagain Arm, a windy section of tidal waters, and the next two camping at the Army’s Seward Resort. Seward is purportedly surrounded by mountains and although we did see evidence to support that we never did see one in its entirety. All those sunny brochures are a hoax. Rain and clouds seem more the norm but we made the best of it. We took a 9 ½ hour glacier/nature cruise of the Kenai Peninsula. It really was spectacular, seeing all the animals that call this area home. Sea otters, seals, eagles, porpoises, humpback whales, puffins and many more species were in abundance. Also, rain, heavy seas and more rain accompanied us.
We also managed a visit with a couple of Ada’s cousins who live in Soldotna, Alaska. We had not seen one of the cousins for about 35 years, so it was a special treat for all before we headed back towards Anchorage. It was raining and blowing so hard along Turnagain Arm that we pulled off the main road towards Portage Glacier. Being 6 miles away from the tidal water we thought that the weather conditions would moderate up the valley, but it just got worse and worse. The wind and rain was blowing “like 60” off the glacier and we had to find shelter late last night in a state campground that was sheltered by willow trees. The weather was so nasty that the campground host did not even come out of his comfortable camper to collect our camping fee, so we got a free nights stay there.
Today, the 26th, we drove to Wasilla, Alaska and came up to a place called Hatcher Pass…way up in elevation where the state has made a historic place out of an old hard rock gold mine. We are at 3,800 feet elevation and are going to spend the night here among these majestic mountains and spectacular views. But, I don’t know what I am going to do, the weather is beautiful and I don’t know if I can get to sleep without the rain beating a tattoo on the roof of the camper. I am sure we will all manage somehow, LOL. Now I see that Kevin and Laurie have climbed to the top of one of the surrounding ‘hills’ (I guess another 1,000 feet in elevation from where we are right now), so I reckon that their sleep will be early and deep. Tomorrow….Denali and Mt. McKinley!