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Harry and Judy's RV Trip
1st Jun 2014 - Alaska 2014
Day 3-June 1, 2014-Seward, Alaska

Day 3-June 1, 2014-Seward

We’re off and running.  Turned out to be a very busy day.  Got up at 4:30AM to get the shuttle from the hotel to the train to Seward.  We had packed breakfast to eat on the train and overnight bags yesterday so we just had to leave our luggage at the front desk and go. 

We rode Gold Star Class on the Alaska Railroad, which is the upper car of the glass domed train.  Met a couple from Clermont, about 45 minutes from home at the train station.  It’s a small world.  The journey was 125 miles and it took us about 4-1/2 hours. The view of the black mountains of the Alaska Range covered with snow is spectacular.  There was a commentator explaining everything we were seeing, two dining cars downstairs, an open air viewing deck, which was nasty in the rain, and a bar in the back of our car.  We met 2 couples traveling together, one from Flagstaff and the other from Spearfish, SD and had some fun with them.  Saw a few Dall sheep on the mountains and eagles on the beach.  Great experience except that the train went so slow that we were late for the “Real Alaska Tour”.  However, the train had kept in contact with the tour bus so they waited for us.

From the train we immediately got on the “Real Alaska Tour” bus, which had only eight passengers, including us.  Joe, the guide and driver, took us to Seavey’s Iditarod Tours, owned by Mitch Seavey, the 2013 winner where we got on an Iditarod “dog sled”-except this sled was on wheels and looked like a modified golf cart.  We were in the middle of the dog “yard”-about 200 barrels that resembled 50 gal. plastic drums turned on their side-l for each dog.  The dogs are not only huskies but any and all breeds that can be trained to run the race.  Last year they went to the local animal shelter and brought home fourteen dogs to train. The Iditarod is run every year in early March and they say it is 1049 miles because it’s over 1000 miles and Alaska is the 49th state.  It goes from Anchorage to Nome and usually lasts 9-15 days.  You start with 16 dogs and have to end with at least 6 to win.  The Seavey family has won numerous times and really knew and loved their stuff.  Even the grand-daughter, 9 year old Alex, was into it.  As we turned a corner she was there taking pictures, although she later told me she would rather race horses. 

We got on the “sled” and two men, both of whom have won the race, (one with a PhD in Physics who decided he’d rather do this, and the other, Danny Seavey, Mitch’s son and Alex’s dad, the youngest man to ever win) hooked up the dogs, one by one, eight rows of 2.  The dogs go wild, you can almost hear them barking “PICK ME, PICK ME!”-it’s a frenzy of 200 dogs barking and jumping.  And the sixteen that are hooked up are chomping at the bit.  There’s a brake on the sleds so they can’t go yet but the second they hear the word to go, they go.  AND WE’RE OFF!  They have all kinds of words to go left, right, etc. but none to stop because they never want the dogs to want to stop running.  So they use a signal to let them know to slow down and then just use the brake to stop.  We took about a 2-mile run and then got a demo of the real sleds and the real race.  At the end we got to hold seven 3-week old puppies (but they counted them at the end so we couldn’t take one home).  Very interesting, you can tell they love this life. 

Back to Resurrection Roadhouse, which is next door to our hotel for lunch then to Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park for a hike in the woods.  It’s pouring and cold-in the 40’s so we decided to do the 1-mile walk instead of one of the other two intense hikes.  From there to a salmon ladder where we got to pull salmon out of a net that has captured the salmon swimming upstream.  They’re each counted and sexed then put right back in the water to continue going upstream to spawn.  There was another area where they counted the fry traveling downstream.  This was harder because they swam in schools and there were quite a few in the nets.

The tour bus let us off in town where we went to dinner at Thorn’s Showcase Lounge which advertised “The Best Butt in Town”, butt being halibut.  Not very hungry after the lunch we had so we ordered a bucket of butt and a beer.  Right down the street was the Alaska Sea Life Center which we had planned on doing tomorrow but since we were right there (and still able to move) we went in.  One of the first exhibits we saw was Alaskan sea birds, a separate outdoor “room” with plenty of room to fly and swim.  There was a gorgeous bird sitting on one of the rocks and we both thought it was fake until it moved-it was a King Eider duck, the most beautiful duck I’ve ever seen.  Also had great sea lions and other mammals. 

Took the shuttle from town back to our hotel, the Seward Windsong Lodge, and like magic our bags were there.  Don’t think we’re jet lagged, just tired, cold and still a little wet, so we got to sleep about 9:00PM. 



Next: Day 4-June 2, 2014-Kenai Fjord National Park Cruise & Holgate Glacier
Previous: Days 1-2-May 30, 31, 2014-NORTH TO ALASKA!


Diary Photos

Train view

View of train

Train view1

Ititarod trail

Us on Dog Sled

Ititarod dogs

Ititerod dog ride

After the ride

Harry at Ressurection Roadhouse

Exit Glacier

Moose Poop at Exit Glacier

Salmon swimming upstream

Harry catching salmon

Seward main street

Town of Seward

Seward downtown

Sea lion

Moe, Larry & Curly

View from back of SeaLife Center

Us in back of SeaLife Center

Can you find what we wrote

Alaska SeaLife Center outside

Eagle nest in tree

Eagle nest in tree

Resurrection Roadhouse Restaurant

Our unit at Windsong Lodge

Our room at Windsong Lodge

View from back of train

Sunset of sorts

Me and puppy

Puppies

Authentic dog sled and gear

Exit Glacier

Salmon waiting for ladder

Salmon being counted

Alaska Rairway

Us in Seward

Alaska SeaLife Center

King Eider

Puffins

Dall sheep from train

Harry on train

View from train

Resurrection Roadhouse1

Diary Movies

Back of SeaLife Center

Exit Glacier

Hooking up dogs

King EiderMAH00735

Racing

Sea Lion

Seward downtown


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