We decided on this trip we'd budget money to do some side trips off the boat and experience more of the areas we were traveling in. Christy's parents also wanted to see some of Alaska so we decided to meet them in Anchorage and spend some time exploring the Kenai peninsula.
July 29th - Homer, AKOur first destination was the little hamlet of Homer. I'd been here a few years back on my motorcycle. I was pretty taken with it at the time so we put this high on the to-do list.
The Clements ready to do some whale watching.
Our tour boat took us over to Seldovia, a small town across Kachemak Bay from Homer. Much of the town lives in these cool, stilted houses along the shore of salt water inlet.
Our tour boat took us by some of the locals. Turns out, these guys are actually snowbirds - they all head to Hawaii for the winter.
A few places around Homer are pockets of traditional Russians living in small villages. They all seem to speak Russian as a first language and dress in traditional Russian clothes. And what self-respecting Russian enclave wouldn't have an onion-domed orthodox church?
Christy's folks - Anne and Carl. We had a great time hanging out with them. Something hysterical is never far away when you're with the Clements.
We took hundreds of pictures trying to capture the grandiosity of the mountains and glaciers across Kachemak Bay from us. All the pictures seemed to turn out like this, never really came close.
Christy and Anne walking the beach.
No visit to Homer would be complete without stopping in at the Salty Dawg. If you do, I highly recommend a Broken Birch Bitter from Homer Brewing Company.
August 4th - Whittier, AKAfter a few days in Homer, we headed over to the other side of the Kenai Peninsula. I remarked that Whittier was a wierd little town worth a visit. No one understood what I meant by "wierd" until we actually got there.
Whittier is a deep-water ice-free harbor that was important to supplying Alaska with troops and goods during World War II. The problem is that a big ol' mountain range lies between Whittier and ... well, everything else. A single-track train tunnel was blasted through the mountains. Now, in order to drive to Whittier you have to drive through the train tunnel. But you can't go when trains are scheduled. And you also can't go when cars are coming the other direction.
Heading into the tunnel.
Driving through the Whittier tunnel. We just made the opening on our side.
The port of Whittier. This is about all there is to Whittier.
August 4th - Seward, AKAfter an hour of experiencing Whittier, we were pretty well done. We went on to Seward for a few days.
Checking out Exit Glacier.
Crossing the braided river that comes out of the bottom of Exit Glacier. We were determined to get to the toe of the glacier. That was clearly a mistake. That water is about 32.1°F.
Carl could have sat and watched the puffins all day long.
We ate lunch in a school bus. One of the better hamburgers we've had.
August 7th - train ride to AnchorageWe had to get back to Anchorage to fly back to Juneau. Rather than ride with Anne and Carl, we decided we'd take the train. Brilliant idea - the train ride was really fun. It also passes through some scenery that the road doesn't. We really like the Alaska Railroad.
Christy approves of rail travel.
59° 36.113'N 151° 25.274'W