Sunday, June 27, 2010

Drive to Seward; June 26

After having spent the night at a hostel in Anchorage, we provisioned ourselves and hit the road for the 150-mile drive to Seward, which is on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage. We drove along the Cook Inlet, so the views were spectacular and we past several glaciers on the way. The road wound along the inlet with the ocean on our right and steep cliffs going up on our left. These cliffs are home to Dall sheep, so our eyes were peeled and we finally spotted one lone sheep munching on flowers on the cliff face, only about 50-feet above the highway. We made two stops along the way: Portage Glacier, which has receded so much that you can't actually see it from the Visitor's Center (but you can from other vantage points); and the small town of Hope. Lonely Planet describes Hope as one of the last cute little towns in Alaska without a touristy gift shop. Hope first came to being nearly 100 years ago after a very minor gold strike and it seems there has been little or no development since that time. There were a couple of restaurants, an art gallery (in the artist's house), and a handful of homes all in slightly rehabilitated ramshackle old buildings. It started to rain in the afternoon, just in time for us to camp!