We stopped enroute to Seward in Girdwood AK to revisit The Bake Shop and The Kobuk Valley Jade Co. Sadly, the Jade Co appears to be closing down — hopefully just leaving early for the season? The Bake Shop was going full tilt, on the other hand. We enjoyed a couple cups of coffee and splitting a tasty hot bun before walking around this ski resort.
Everywhere we’ve gone throughout Alaska we see phenomenal vegetables and flowering plants. These flowers are outside The Bake Shop and adjacent businesses. It’s a little difficult to get perspective on just how big these blooms are.
Compared to Debbie’s hands, how big are these begonias? They’re just beautiful, they’re sometimes everywhere we look, and we don’t tire of looking at them.
We enjoyed walking around Seward a few times. A couple of highlights were Raven’s Brew Coffee and Bakery, the historical society museum next door to their Senior’s Center, and this nice welcome sign downtown. Shopped great brands in historic Brown and Hawkins store, the oldest continuously operated mercantile in Seward.
The campground is the same one the dreamstreamrs stayed in four years ago, but was far nicer this visit — August weather was far nicer than May’s. This August visit we had sunshine and less chilly days. This was a neat campground too for our caravan arrangement within. Only a few Airstreams didn’t make this upper section, and they were immediately below so still close.
We know our caravan makes places more attractive, but would you have imagined we could have made this scene so gorgeous? This is a beautiful area and a fine place for the bay-side campground.
Our group had a cruise, our fifth, from Seward. This was pretty spectacular. It seemed as though we rode out to more distant glaciers. The scenery was lit differently, I guess, so we had different sets of pictures from the last cruise.
Holgate glacier made great popping and cracking noises, calved little piles of ice, but was otherwise just blue and gorgeous and monstrous. We stayed here over half an hour, hoping to catch sight of something that just didn’t appear.
This is a gratuitous mountain picture — we saw so many beautiful things to capture in pictures. We couldn’t resist this one, with it’s delicate grey scarf and white highlights.
These orca whales were sort of hard to photograph. They weren’t very close to us, they didn’t breach, they just moved around out there on their own and ignored us.
These dall’s porpoises were another matter completely. They raced along our boat, skimming then popping up briefly and creating a great rooster tail. They are the fastest small cetaceans, swimming at over 30 mph, and were very showy and playful.
The otters are just so darned cute, with their little praying paws together as they cruise about on their backs. It’s hard to believe those mean pelt hunters from so many countries nearly drove the otters to extinction, isn’t it?
We sat on the fresh air deck with a pair of Connecticut honeymooners, Bryan and Christy, and with Ted and Donna from our WBCCI caravan. Donna disappeared to hang out at the lower deck railing just about the time this humpback whale breached very near the boat. Bryan caught this great photo with Christy’s little camera and shared it with us.
Last time we were here, in May 2008, we tried to get to Exit Glacier and could not. Deep snow covered the access road. This time we wound our way into the park service parking lot and hiked the short trail to view Exit Glacier and the outwash plains below. We just cannot get the perspective on how big the glacier is, nor how great the connecting ice field above it is. Exit Glacier is so called because it was the easiest exit down from the Harding Ice Fields, an enormously broad and deep expanse of glacial ice.
Seward is a great place, and even better in nice weather. We’ll look forward to another visit here and to Girdwood.