My next stop on my tour of Alaska was the town of Seward. This town has a harbor that remains ice free all year long so it naturally has a very big marine industry. Or big for the state of Alaska, anyway. How big can an industry be when there are only about 3,000 people in the town?
I got into Seward fairly late, so I just went to a coffee shop for a quick little pick me up as well as access to free WiFi. I didn’t have a reservation for a hotel room, so I asked for tips on where to stay. This is another way that Alaska is different. I’m used to just showing up and getting a room, or logging on to a website and reserving a room when I need it.
That wasn’t possible in Seward. All the hotels were completely booked. But, one of the places I went looking for rooms told me of a little bed and breakfast on the outskirts of town. They picked up their phone, called the place, and I had a room there reserved before I left the hotel I was trying to check into.
I showed up there, and was ready to check in. And then I found out again that Alaska is different. They didn’t take credit cards there, so I couldn’t pay. I figured the owner would send me to go get money, but she let me check in and said, just pay me before you leave.
This is the cabin where I slept.
It was more like a toolshed, but it had electricity and a roof to keep the rain out and me from getting consumed by misquitoes, so I was just fine with it.
So I got a good night’s sleep, and woke up the next morning and headed into town. I checked out the Marine Life Center, which is on the web. It’s a place where everyone goes but it’s worth it. There, I got to see a couple of seals
They also had an aviary, where you could get a good look at some puffins.
My plan was to spend a few hours there, then head out on a half day cruise, and then head to Homer.
My plans changed. I was doing some shopping for gifts – and if you’re on my gift list, I got them for you. If you have to ask, you’re not on it.
I got to chatting with one of the owners of a store and they told me I needed to do a full day cruise. They told me if I did a half day, it just wasn’t as good. And they picked up their phone and put the person who runs the place on the phone with me.
So, I booked my cruise. Then I headed to the Marine Life Center to listen to a presentation about the animals there and climate change.
Next I headed up to the Exit Glacier, where I got to see climate change for myself.
I walked up the trail to the edge of the glacier.
Along the way to the glacier, I saw a sign. That was where the glacier was in 1998. I had to walk another 500 feet to get to where the glacier’s edge is now. There’s a visitor’s center at the glacier which is about a mile and a half away from the glacier. In the early 1900s, that visitor’s center would have been covered in ice.
After hiking around the Exit Glacier, I called it a day and went to bed.
It was going to be a long day the next day, so I figured I’d get a good night’s sleep.
I was going to need it.