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Going South

August 12, 2016

We had another long drive day from Sheep Mountain to Seward.  Pancakes started the day.  Alaska has about one road, so we were headed straight til we hit Anchorage and then headed left to Seward.

First detour was the Matanuska Glacier.  Upon arrival, down a gravely mountain cliff road, we were greeted by a gruff woman who explained the process to us (pay $25, drive two more miles, then follow the cones).  Siobhan opted out, and I drove her up to the nearby Long Rifle Lodge and headed back down.  The gruff woman greeted me with “hello – first time here?”  I started to tell her I’d been there five minutes earlier, but then just paid my money and drove on.

The walk to the glacier was muddy and rocky and gave evidence of where the glacier might have been in the past.  There were several mud fields covered with wood planks or metal walkways.  Stepping off one left me on an incline so steep, I moved over and ended up in mud up to my ankle.  My new boots were worth every penny.

I trekked to the glacier took a selfie and headed back.  Halfway back was a picnic table with initials and messages carved in.  I added a KD and headed back.  A dredlocked guide came by with a  small group.  I asked him bout the receding glacier and the one that Siobhan had heard was advancing.  His condescending explanation of global warming killed any desire I had for a follow up question.

Picking up Siobhan, and downing another of Alaska’s amazing cups of coffee, we drove on to a salmon fishery where we watched the giant red fish spawn into the current.

Finally arriving in Anchorage, we stopped for our king crab lunch (YUM) and stretched our legs.

Next up – the Seward Highway, which we’d been assured was a beautiful drive.  The Drive did not disappoint.  We wound south with a mountain on one side, the bay on the other.  Several photo stops later, we passed through the charming Moose Pass (famous, apparently for its fudge) and entered Seward.  We wondered the town a bit, then hit the brewery, where we talked to a man eating alone at the bar.  He told us about traveling with his special needs son and the joy of their time in Alaksa.  Also about his failed business and complicated custody, but he needed to talk and we liked listening.  We dined at the “farm to table” foodie mecca The Cookery, where we had wonderful dinners followed by a cream cheese ice cream, with balsamic and bacon.  YUM!

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