September 10, 2011
Patrick's Wild Alaska- Part III
This is the last of the Adventures Patrick and I had on his visit to Alaska. After I finished up my classes for the week we packed up my new car and hit the road, looking to see more of Wild Alaska. I have been spoiled over the years having a garage full of top of the line camping equipment ready to throw in the trunk. Without that at my disposal up here, we had to get a bit creative and do a little more traditional car camping. Luckily, I bought a car just big enough for the two of us to sleep in the back, which is great in Alaska because 1. It rains A LOT here and 2. while bears do break into cars, it is far less likely than a bear getting into a tent. When we started driving, it was of course, raining in Anchorage. Hoping for the best, we headed south on the Kenai Peninsula to Seward (home of Mt. Marathon and 4th of July festivities). Our first stop was the Exit Glacier and Harding Icefiend in Kenai National Park. My friend and former teammate Eric Packer took me here over the 4th so if you are an avid reader, you have read about this place before. The National park is interesting because the Exit Glacier is about the only part of it that is accessible by road. It basically encompasses all of the Harding Icefield (500 square miles of ice) and its associated glaciers, which cover most of the southern part of the Kenai Peninsula. The sun actually came out for a bit during our hike up to the icefield so we were able to get some good views and pick up a little much needed vitamin D!I love sea animals and always have thanks to my frequent visits to Cape Cod so the two us set out to the Sea Life Center. This is an aquarium and research center that appeared to do quite a bit in the area. When my dad traveled for work when Charlie and I were little, he often brought us back a present from where ever he was. I got a book and stuffed animal puffin, Polly Puffin, that I loved and still remember quite well. As a result, I really wanted to see a Puffin in real life. In order to see them in their natural habitat you have to get away from the town via boat which was much too expensive for us so I had to settled for the Puffin exhibit they had at the center. They are really neat bird with distinct markings and can dive down into the water up to about 600 ft to catch fish. We could watch them doing this at the exhibit so that was really neat.