We left Deep Creek Beach on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula this morning after saying goodbye to Gene and Joyce, our bloggin’ friends who are now real friends. We drove 140 miles: first north, then east, then south to reach Seward which sits at the end of the road on the southeast side of the Kenai. This is still serious fishing country, but fishing doesn’t seem to overshadow all else as it does on the west side. It also has more varied terrain in terms of proximity to the mountains than does the west side.
After dropping the trailer at the Bear Creek Campground, we drove 9 miles on a side road to the Exit Glacier Visitors Center. From there it’s possible to hike a mile to reach the toe of the glacier, which we did. Exit Glacier is a relatively small tongue of ice flowing from the larger Harding Ice Field. What it lacks in grandeur is made up for by its’ ease of access. We also learned a new word: katabatic. This is a special type of drainage wind that results from cool, dense air that sinks and flows down over the glacier to the valley, with the temperature and density differential causing the stronger, colder wind. Brrrr – we felt it!
We drove back to Seward and spent the afternoon exploring this small seaport town. One unique feature of Seward: there are 4 or 5 municipal campgrounds that only cost $5-10 a night, right in the heart of downtown and mostly on waterfront property. These campgrounds are merely gravel lots with sites delineated by white chalk lines, but how can you complain given the price, view and convenience?!
Tomorrow we’re off to Prince William Sound for our last glacier fix before we start the journey back to the Yukon Territory, heading toward home.