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Day Trip to Seward from Anchorage (Alaska)

July 17

Today is our third day in Anchorage and we decided to make a day trip to Seward. We had already visited the coastal towns Stewart and Skagway and taken part in the sea cruise from Whittier. We know the city of Juneau (Capital of Alaska) is not accessible by road. Seward became the next logical place to visit in our list.

The distance from Anchorage to Seward is only 204 kilometres. The road to Seward from Anchorage is the Seward Highway. They keep it open throughout the year including winter. Some sections of the highway are subjected to avalanches and can be temporarily closed for clearing.

We left early in the morning. Our plan was to pay a visit to the Alaska Wild Life Conservation Centre (AWCC) in Girdwood, then proceed to Seward. Alaska Wild Life Conservation Centre is in Girdwood on the Seward Highway, the same road that takes you to Seward.

AWCC is a non profit organization working for the preservation and welfare of the wild animals. They bring wild animals that get injured or orphaned due to various reasons and rehabilitate them. Some of them are released back to the wild. Others who are unable to go back to their wild life remain in the centre in spacious enclosures.

Grizzly Bear in the enclosure

There was a grizzly bear in one of the wire fenced enclosure. The warden in charge of the animal told us that he was found as a small cub abandoned by their mother or the mother bear may have been killed. The bear cub was very sick with porcupine frills stuck all over its body. Obviously it has been attacked by a porcupine. The conservation centre staff brought it to the centre and managed to treat it and bring it back to good health. It is now fully grown, but it lacks the basic skills to live in the jungle and find food. AWCC has become its permanent home.

Caribou relaxing in the AWCC enclosure

Group of Wood Bison

Picture of a Musk Ox

Injured Bald eagle

The other animals in the conservation centre included Black Bear, Wood Bison, Musk Ox, Caribou, Elk, Bald Eagle, Owl and porcupine. Wood Bisons are different from the normal Bisons you find in Canada. They were thought to be extinct at one stage. When they found some Wood Bisons, they were brought to this centre to breed and propagate them again. They have been given an area of 65 acres with the idea of releasing them back to the Alaskan wilderness. We were not able to see any Bald eagles during our sea cruise in Whittier. We were eager to see the Bald Eagle in AWCC. We were told that it has a damaged wing and cannot fly.

We spent about two hours in the AWCC and then started driving towards Seward. Like Skagway, Seward is a major tourist destination on the path of the Alaska Marine highway. Many tourists come to Seward using sea cruises or ferries which use the Marine Highway. We decided to do a day tour from Anchorage to Seward. The Seward Highway is very scenic and we had many opportunities to stop the vehicle and take photos. The road continuously winds through snow capped mountains, streams and waterfalls. In summer, snow on the mountains starts melting and creates many small waterfalls.

Snow capped mountains on the Seward Highway (An incredible sight where the mountains reflect off the water)

We arrived at Seward in time to have our lunch. We were hungry and decided to try seafood. Mala and Malisha were keen to eat Alaskan crabs. We went into a small seafood Restaurant called Nellie’s Roadhouse and asked them for Alaskan crab. The girl who came to serve our table told us that crabs are available only at dinner time. She was very polite and apologetic when we said we are visitors and we came to their restaurant specially to try Alaskan Crab. In Skagway, Mala and Malisha ate Alaskan Dungeness crab. They are somewhat similar to our Mud Crab. This time, Mala and Malisha were after Alaskan King Crab. Our Waitress went inside to check with the restaurant chef and came back to tell us that they can prepare King Crab for us if we are willing to wait for thirty minutes. We agreed to wait and Mala ordered one pound of crab. You have to order crab in portions of half pounds. I am not very particular about crabs, so I ordered Halibut fish which is a well known fish in Alaska. While waiting for our main dishes, we ordered Seafood chowder and some onion rings. Seafood chowder was extremely tasty and well prepared.

Alaskan King Crabs have very long claws and they are softer than the normal crab claws. The way they prepare them is very simple. They boil/steam the claws and serve them with melted butter with a few pieces of garlic. You simply remove the outer shell with your hands and dip the flesh in butter and eat. That way you can enjoy the true taste of the crab flesh. After eating crab, we talked to the girl who served us. She is from Kazakhstan and she works here only in Summer. It becomes too cold and most of the restaurants are closed after Summer break.

Name Board on Nellie’s roadhouse

We went around the city streets and spent some time looking at the city attractions. There were many boats in the harbour, but no Cruise Liners. They have day cruises starting from Seward. We have already done that from Whittier and had no interest in doing it again. They organise tours for people who like to do ice climbing and ice hiking. The two glaciers they use for these tours are Exit Glacier and Godwin Glacier. You can either hike in or take a helicopter tour to land on ice. You can access Portage Glacier from the Seward highway. We decided to call it a day and return to Anchorage and have our dinner in Anchorage. We went to Boston Pizza for dinner. It is not just a pizza place, but has a good menu including Italian food and steaks.

Posted by fernando65 17:30

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