Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 3, Anchorage and Seward Highway

Anchorage weather: High 70, low 57, Partly cloudy
Kenai weather:  High 55, low 45, Overcast and definitely nippy
Steps taken: Shaun - 10,077 steps, 27 floors climbed; Shannon - 9865 steps, 28 floors climbed
Critter count: 3 bald eagles, 1 moose (Shaun only, due to Shannon wearing her sunglasses at night)

We started the day preparing to leave the B&B in Anchorage, which meant gathering up the considerable amount of crap we have accumulated in the two short days we have been here. After eating breakfast, we paused to write the blog post for yesterday since we were too exhausted to do it last night.

The weather was beautiful, so we decided to spend an hour touring the Alaska Botanical Garden before heading to Kenai. Boy, are we glad we did! It was small, but it had some beautiful plantings. We found a few plants we would like to try in our gardens next year and some that even Shaun, the master gardener, had never seen before. Our two favorite discoveries were monk's hood and meadow rue (see pictures below...Shaun is in front of a patch of meadow rue, and the monk's hood is the purple spirey plant after that.  The seriously artistic picture is something we don't know...but I was trying to give Betty a run for her money, and then the final picture is a blue poppy which is popular in this part of the world). We left the botanical garden, had lunch, and headed down the Seward Highway toward Kenai.


Shannon is in front of a big ass moose fence that went around the whole garden, and it was serious!  They were having nothin' to do with mooses eating their plants!  They also spotted bear on the properly just a couple of weeks ago, but Shannon wouldn't let Shaun go play with them.  She's such a killjoy!

The Seward Highway follows the Turnagain Arm (so called because the treacherous inlets caused Captain Cook to keep having turn around again when he was exploring the area in the 1700s - sorry for the historical interlude, that's the historian in me talking). The whole route is nothing but picturesque vista after picturesque vista, so it's lucky that there are turnoffs every mile for Miss Paparazza. Here are just a few of the multitude of pictures we took along the way:

We were bad at Beluga Point and crossed the railroad tracks to climb in the rocks, despite the "No trespassing" signs everywhere. One more thing to be added to Shaun's FBI file. Even so, we didn't see any beluga whales. We did see three bald eagles further down the road, though, so that kind of made up for our disappointment. Again, Shaun would just like to thank Dar for giving her such an awesome camera, because this bird was really far away from us, but I was able to get a pretty good picture of him just the same. Shaun also saw a moose on the side of the road, but Shannon was wearing her prescription sunglasses to read the street signs and couldn't differentiate him from the surrounding foliage.  Dang it!

The only other interesting thing to happen along the drive was that we saw two crazy people windsurfing in the mud flats in the Turnagain Arm. It was extremely windy today, so they were getting quite a bit of lift, but they were also surfing across mud flats that contain quicksand and an area that has a 33-foot tide differential. So, they were obviously experienced or really stupid. The Darwin Effect will tell.

We didn't arrive at the Grouchy Old Woman B&B until after 11pm because we got stuck behind a house being driven down the street, with a four-car entourage that wouldn't allow anyone to pass it.  The B&B itself is out in BFE, but super cute. More on our time on the Kenai Peninsula tomorrow when we drive down to Homer, which sits at the bottom of the peninsula.


  1. This blog is so much fun, as I re-live our trip out there last year. Makes me want to go back even worse. So glad your Flightseeing trip was not canceled. We too, crossed the tracks and climbed on the rocks at Beluga point, but the water was much higher when we were there since we just missed high tide both times we went thru there. So funny, that you mentioned all the turn outs, as we stopped at every one also :) You are going to love Homer, that is where my mom's favorite quilt shop was. Also, the turn out when you enter Homer has a beautiful overlook. And when you drive out on the spit, the first camp ground is where we stayed the night. Also, look for the otters out in the water, they were everywhere. Can't wait to hear about the Kenai, this was one of my favorite areas. Drive safe and have FUN!!

    1. Aunt Debbie, you can rest assured that my mother would never pass by a quilt shop. I'm sure we'll be hitting up every likely shop in the whole town. More on that too come, but thanks for the advice about the otters. The more critters the better!

    2. Carl says I'm wrong on the campground, it was one further down the spit, but anyway, I think it was called Castaway, it had wi-fi :)

    3. It was amazing to us how many people there are utilizing those campgrounds, and especially the folks who are TENT CAMPING! It was windy as hell, so they must be very hearty people. We saw a guy trying to cook. The rocks were all piled up on the windward side, and he was actually laying on the ground with his head in a hole that must have been dug on the other side of those rocks. Amazing!

  2. So pretty! Love the flowers! Are you guys Instagraming this trip by chance?

    1. We aren't Instagramming the trip, but that would have been a good idea. Maybe next time ;)