After a fun couple of days in Valdez, Deidre continued her vacation in a rented cabin 15 miles north of Seward. Considering it had no electricity, water or bathroom, it was quite nice and the four of them were quite comfortable.
We had planned on going to Seward a week or so later, so with a shift in plans we booked a few days at an RV park that I thought would quite close to where she was going to be. It was indeed! In fact the RV park managed the rental cabins and we were virtually in the same place.
They took one day to drive there, but since the driving distance was about 350 miles, we decided to take two days, stopping at Slide Mountain RV Park on the way. We could have done the drive in one day, but I am still a little cautious since the accident, and prefer to minimize the stress.
One aspect of being retired I consider an advantage, is the time to go slowly and enjoy doing nothing other than just living. On the other hand, our daughter and family were on vacation and wanted to pack in as much as possible. On our second day of driving, they went on a fishing trip and caught lots of salmon.
Before they arrived back, we went over to the cabin to get a fire going in the deck fire place. It overlooked the lake and was a good place to relax.
We also built one in the cabin itself. The nights do get cool, and the little wood stove made it nice and cozy.
Andrew grilled some fresh salmon both evenings we were there. They also gave us enough for several meals, and shipped the rest back to their home in San Diego.
|same youngster, photo from web|
They went on a sea kayaking trip, and Craig and I went into town to explore and visit the Alaska Sealife Center. Craig liked the Giant Octopus the best. It was all scrunched up along one edge of a large tank.
I enjoyed watching the orphaned walrus cub. He was in a pool with his handler learning practicing how to get on and off a slab of floating plastic. A skill he will need to climb onto floating ice. We were able to observe through a second story window overlooking the pool.
It was raining when they got back from kayaking, but working together we got a fire going, salmon grilling, and side dishes ready to share. I think my grandsons were looking forward to sleeping up in the overhead loft.
Our last day together, Sunday July 9th, came too soon. It was our daughter's 50th birthday.
They had reservations for their last night in Alaska at the Hotel Alyeska, and dinner plans at the restaurant at the top of the tram.
Once again, this shows how mother and daughter sometimes think alike. A stop at the Alyeska was also in my plans. It is quite a beautiful place, and the ride up the tram is fun.
The Alyeska allows overnight RV parking in their day-use lot 51 weeks of the year. Unfortunately this was the one weekend they did not, because there was a big festival going on in the town of Girdwood, which includes the resort.
I am glad I had double-checked the RV information the week before. It would have been unfortunate for us to arrive, expecting to dry camp there and be turned away. Instead we left the Alfa at the RV park near Seward and followed them in the Jeep. This made for a late drive home again, but with the all-night dusk it was not a problem.
Until we almost hit a moose!
|This is not the moose we almost hit. We saw this one up close at the |
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, before we went to the Alyeska.
At one in the morning it is as dark as it gets, especially when both sides of the road are densely wooded. I was driving a little under the speed limit, with my brights on, when suddenly there was a moose on the pavement, ahead of us. Fortunately he or she was going in the same direction as we were, ran alongside for a few paces, then ran off the road. If the moose had gone across the road, we would have hit it.
Hundreds of moose are killed on the roads of Alaska each year, and the vehicles that hit them do not fare well.
Speaking of moose, we saw several at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which we visited with Deidre and family.
They have a large moose barn where five young male moose live. They were all rescued as calves when their mothers were either killed or abandoned them.
We all enjoyed seeing this porcupine. He was really fat. He was rescued after his mom was killed on a road. He had lived as a house pet for a couple of years, actually sleeping with the family children. It was interesting to see one, alive, after having only seen road kills in the past.
This young black bear also lost his mom at a young age. The mother had grown to be a problem bear in the Valdez area, constantly raiding garbage cans and staying in town. She was put down, and he was brought here.
Their grizzly bears have a large enclosure.
There is a large, sturdy deck that overlooks the area so people can watch the bears in a somewhat natural setting.
The bears also seem to enjoy watching the people. The public cannot feed them, but the bear hope for handouts anyway.
So ... where are we now?
On Monday we drove up and around the Kenai Peninsula to a park just north of Homer. (See the map above)
But this post is already way too long! I'll catch up some more in the next post.