Thursday, July 26, 2012: glaciers and volcanoes
We said goodbye to our Seward campsite and otter friends and headed back towards Anchorage, stopping at Exit Glacier on the way. The glacier is derived from the Harding icefield in the Kenai Mountains. We went on a hike on the trail that takes you close to the glacier itself. As we passed through the forested parts of the trail, the bugs were pretty terrible. It stood out because for the most part, mosquitos weren’t nearly as bad as I had predicted before the trip (everything we read ahead warned us to prepare for horrible bugs, even recommending headnets). Besides the trip to Exit, the mosquitos in Alaska were not even as close to what I am used to dealing with while camping in Wisconsin.
The closer we got to the glacier, however, the more the bugs thinned out. The air grew crisper and cooler to the skin, like walking into a large freezer. It was incredibly refreshing and felt amazing after the uphill hike. We could see the glacial rivers and waterfalls up close, as well as the crystal blue color of the icy crevices.
After Exit Glacier, it was a straight shot to Anchorage, where we said goodbye to Bob and Amy who had a late-night flight home. They were excellent RV-roommates and I highly recommend them for your traveling companion needs.
On our own, Kurt and I headed back down the Kenai peninsula, this time heading to the other coast and the Kenai/Soldotna area. We had not reserved an RV park site ahead of time so we set out to explore and find a good spot to camp out for the night. I saw some pretty awesome-looking taxidermy shops along the road, which we sadly never got to check out on our crazy schedule.
After consulting our camping book, we decided to drive further north from Kenai and try Discovery Campground in Captain Cook State Recreation Area, along the Cook Inlet shore. It was a nice, secluded woodsy spot, exactly what we had in mind after the beautiful-but-RV-packed Seward site. We arrived later in the evening, and the skies were starting to darken as it was getting later in the summer, but beyond the trees lining our campsite there was a scenic view of active volcanoes along the inlet coast.
We made an easy dinner of hot dogs on sticks over the campfire, and Kurt entertained himself by whittling a ‘bear-killing stick.’ We hardly saw any neighbors, except for a truck full of twenty-somethings who drove past shouting “The British are coming!” You never know what kids these days are going to be into.
Cool geographic sightings: glacier, volcanoes, temperate rainforest