While we really enjoyed our cruise, we’re land lubbers, so it was really nice to be off the ship permanently. Our final stop was Seward, where we had a terrific day exploring before hopping on the glass-domed train ride to Anchorage. While every day is so different, my sister and I agreed that this was the most visually stunning day.
Kayaking around Resurrection Bay
Seward is based off Resurrection Bay, and we headed to Lowell Point to see various mountain passes, glaciers, and views.
We had a short break on a beach after about an hour of paddling. There, we saw the Ghost Forest, which are now preserved remnants from the 1964 earthquake that nearly decimated the entire area. The 30-second earthquake caused the shoreline to drop a drastic six feet, exposing the floral and fauna to seawater. The ghost forest is a series of petrified trees that died from the exposure that are still there today.
On that beach were some of the absolute best stones for skipping I’ve ever seen and touched. Almost paper thin, some of which would shatter while they skipped. While I can skip a stone on the water, these made it borderline foolproof. The most I counted were 12 skips – I felt like a pro!
Exploring the fishing village of Seward
Surrounded by various wildlife refuges and state and national forests, Seward is one of the most scenic places in Alaska. It was named after William H. Seward, the Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln, who fought for the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. Settled on Resurrection Bay, the picturesque village is flanked by Mount Marathon (famed for it’s insane 3-mile annual race) and the Kenai (kee-nye) Mountains. It was established in 1903 as an ocean terminal for the Alaska Railroad, which constructed between 1915 and 1923. Today it’s the ocean terminus and supply center for the state and is the largest community on the Kenai Peninsula.
We enjoyed a terrific lunch of fresh caught oysters, mussels, and halibut and were totally captivated by views of the fishing village, Bay, and Kenai Mountains. It was a sunny day and the blue skies made the already impressive landscape pop even more. After a stroll through town, we hopped on the train to Anchorage.
A EPIC railroad ride to Anchorage
Several people recommended taking the railroad from Seward to Anchorage. At $90, it doesn’t come cheap, but it was worth every.single.penny! A woman narrated the four-hour ride and the conductor often slowed down so we could get photos or take in some especially beautiful sights.
I’m still a bit wonder struck by everything we saw yesterday. It came down to two things:
- Views: Seriously, I’m still in awe. Between the valleys, creeks, waterfalls, and vistas – it was all incredible. There were several double-decker cars on this train that had glass domes so we had completely unobstructed views of everything and could soak it all in.
- Animals: We finally saw a bear! A black bear, just toodling along. The guide shouted “There’s a bear! There’s a bear!” It was great to see. I also saw a moose (my sister missed it) and we saw a mountain goat, too.
The Alaskan Railroad was a really nice ending to our trip. We were definitely experiencing some delirium from being over-tired and it being bright and sunny at 10:30 p.m. But we made it tour B&B without issue and crashed hard.
I definitely plan to come back to Alaska with Chris, for sure taking the railroad again to Denali. But before I talk too much about next time, we still have one last day to explore Anchorage before heading home.