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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Alaska – Our Visit during July, 2013 - Part III

Tuesday, the 16th July:

Seward is situated at the head of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula and is known as the ‘Gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park.” Seward is a picturesque town with a bustling harbor. The Seward highway connecting Anchorage with Seward has been named an All-American Road, which is the highest designation of a National Scenic Byway.

In the morning, Sanjay and I left for the riverside. It was just opposite to our hotel. Actually, we wanted to get into the river to play in water, but there was no secure arrangement and so Sanjay for disappointed.
We returned back after taking pictures and spending some time in the spectacular restaurant located near the front desk at the hotel.

Meanwhile, Viji had prepared some delicious ‘rajma’ and rice for our lunch. We had cereals for our breakfast. We left our hotel to reach the visitor centre for Exit glacier and after collecting necessary information brochure, we began our hike.
We managed Sahana in the stroller for some distance, but the smooth pavement ended soon and we had to hike carrying Sanjay, Sahana and the stroller, through rough uneven rocky route. We shed weight by discarding the stroller to one corner on the way. Viji carried Sahana on her back, and I carried Sanjay on my back. We quickly moved forward. We stopped near a small bridge on the way to take some rest before we hiked further. It became colder and colder as we went closer and closer to the glacier. There was strong, chilly wind blowing in our direction. We reached the penultimate view point before the glacier and from there we had wonderful view of the valley down and the glacier up the hill. Sanjay and I went further up to the final view point that was very close to the glacier. It was freezing cold there and worsened by cold winds. The glacier looked beautiful in semi-bluish in color and at the same time very scary too.

An information board kept there, revealed that the glacier had been receding or shortening in its length over years, probably indicating global warming.

While returning back to the visitor centre, some visitors whom we met on the way reported that they spotted a bear in the woods area and they cautioned us to go carefully. However, we saw no bear and we were back safely at the visitor center. While we were looking at a few souvenirs displayed for sale, Sanjay attempted some puzzle in a book gifted to him by the Ranger staff in the visitor center. For successfully completing the puzzle, Sanjay was presented with a Forest Junior Ranger Badge and was administered the Junior Forest Ranger’s pledge. It was funny watching Sanjay taking the pledge without opening his mouth. But he was visibly proud that he had received the Badge. We went back to the hotel for our lunch.

In the evening, we left for the bay area. Sanjay and Sahana played for sometime in a park and we didn’t have much activity to do except watching the bay and the moving, small ships and speed-boats.
Suddenly, Viji had an idea. She suggested that we could drive up to Cooper Landing on the Seward highway to see Kenai River and Kenai Lake. It was a 47 miles drive on the way to Anchorage.

It was late in the evening when we reached the quiet Kenai Lake. The lake was desolated, but for a lady and her small child. The lady patiently watched her two-year-old son playing with pebbles near the water. She carried a gun on her belt and that scared us. But she was nice, she lived there and she gave us very useful information about the place. On her suggestion we drove a little up on the main road to reach a bridge across the Kenai River from where we could get excellent view. The river and its blue water with the backdrop of the hill offered scintillating view. It was past 8.00 PM and someone was just beginning his lonely river-rafting. He must be a daredevil, we thought.

After taking several pictures, we returned back to our hotel, had our dinner and went to sleep.

The hotel we stayed was located in a beautiful, spacious campus with plenty of trees, flowers and plants.

..................... continued in Part IV

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