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We had a great day hiking in Kenai Fjords National Park around Exit Glacier (the easiest way to exit the 50 mile wide Harding Ice Field, for extreme, camp out for 3 week kind of hikers). The Weather was beautiful, infact, it got up to 70 degrees, and sunny today. We realy lucked out with the weather. There is an easy trail, and a moderate Trail heading out to Exit Glacier, which you used to be able to safely touch from the end of one of thpe trails. They are both relatively short trails. There is a long hard trail that is 4 miles out, and 4 miles back that puts you on top of a mountain that gives you views of the vast Harding Ice Field. That mountain is 3,500 feet up from sea level. The first 1.4 miles covers almost half that elevation at about 1,580 feet up. After Marmot Meadows (which is everything but a meadow) at the 1.4 mile mark, the terrain evens out a bit for the rest of that long haul. Marmot Meadows is as far as we went, but it was very difficult, and uphill with uneven rocks, and dangerous 200 foot drop cliffs most of the way.

Here’s an interesting fact: The glacier has receded at least 300 feet since I was born in 1998. The picture below shows the change: The man in the Red is where the face of the Glacier was in 98, and you can see where it is now on the right side of the picture.

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I have two days worth of material, but I will try to make it as quick as I can.
The Alaskan railroad from Anchorage to Seward is some of the Nicest scenery I have ever seen.
We saw a few moose, and I had a quick Black Bear sighting too. We passed tons of Glaciers including my favorite, Spencer Glacier, as seen in a picture below. When we arrived in Seward, we took a Summer Dog Sled Tour, run by the Seavey Family, Alaska’s best Iditarod Mushers, with the Sileo’s in the Modfied Golf Cart Summer Sled with us, also seen below.

Today: we took The Kenai Fjords Tours “Resurection Bay Boat Tour” whch stays in the bay, and doesn’t go out into the very high waters around Kenai Fjords National Park, Infact, today was the Parks 31st anniversary as a National Park.
I was actually pleasantly surprised how bright the water was. If it wasn’t for the high, snow caped mountains, I might have thought it was the Carribean.
On the boat, we spent a hour sailing out to Fox Island for a Salmon, Prime Rib, and Crab Leg Buffet., then after an hour on the Island, we sailed out to Resurection Point, where we saw some Humpback Whales (some thought they were orcas, but the Captain said Humpback). The picture above this post is the best one I took all day. We also saw some Sea Otters, Stellar Sea Lions, and my favorite, Puffins. We sailed back into Seward, and saw the luxury cruise ship, Seven Seas Navigator from Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line. It was a 4 and 1/2 hour tour.

We had a nice dinner with the group, and now I’m headed to sleep with another fun day ahead.
Good Night.

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There was Beautiful Sunset over Mt. Susitna (The Sleeping Lady) last night. This Morning, We woke up, had a nice breakfast, and went down to the rent bikes to ride on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. We ended up riding 16 miles (8 out, 8 back) on this coastal trail, which eventually went into the woods. We did not see much Wildlife in terms of Animals,but it was Beautiful.

We picked up our Rental Car, and headed out of Anchorage on the Turnagain Arm, one of the top 10 most scenic highways in America out to Girdwood, Alaska where we went Gold Panning at the Crow Creek Mine. On the way there, we stopped at the Potter Marsh because we saw two Moose, A mother, and a baby. Before I even started panning for Gold, I saw a good sized (for a tourist) nugget of Gold in the corner of my eye in the water. I only found one more piece of Gold in the soil, but it was fun.

During this time, Fil, and her group went on a short walk on the same trail. After that, they visited the Anchorage Museum, which sounded very fascinating.

Dinner at the Snow Goose Brewery and Restaurant was good, but everyone was tired including the Sileo Family who just got in from NY to complete our group.

Tommorow we leave Anchorage, and head to Seward on the Alaska Railroad.

Good Night.
-Spencer

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This may surprise a lot of people, but I am going to say that this was the best thing I have ever done on Vacation. We were picked up at around 10:30 this morning by the Driver for Knik River Lodge, Laura, whose Boyfriend, Steve was our Helicopter pilot from Ridgeline Aviation (http://flyridgeline.com/) We went up, and flew to the Knik Glacier two at a time and saw a moose going up, and 4 going back. Just seeing The Glacier and Mountains from the sky was amazing! The Glacier looked like a sea of ice with mountains and clouds around us in every direction. On the Glacier, we peeked into giant holes in the glacier in fact, the owner of the Lodge, Peter, repelled down 200 feet one time, and still couldn’t see the bottom. We walked around, took lots of photos, and had a great time!If you ever go to Alaska, I seriously recommend this tour. It’s only one hour out of Anchorage.

I am not going to post tons of photos.. Only 1 or 2 per day. All of my photos from this trip will be on my main site, which you can find the link to on the right side of the main page on this blog under “links”

Dinner with Fil and Group was nice. I had my first fresh caught Alaskan sockeye Salmon this trip! It was Delicious. On the ( meant to be uneventful ) half mile walk back to the Bed and Breakfast, there was a very rare, bright, and thick full double rainbow. That was cool. I didn’t have my camera with me though.

Good Night

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As the morning has progressed, it is slowly clearing up, and I can almost see the mountains. I do know that they do exist because the other people staying here saw the mountains yesterday morning.

I just calculated the found the exact mileage of our two flights ( through a flight tracker) and added up the total.Our total mileage in e sky yesterday was 3,941 land miles.

Okay, off to eat breakfast upstairs, then helicopter ride to a glacier and lunch. have a Great Day.

We’re Here

I learned that flights can be made much better by spending $8.00 ($6 with frequent flier credit card) to get direct tv on the screen in front of your seat. Even thogh I had a choice of 95 channels, I watched I love Lucy re-runs from 1955. On the second flight, I played angry birds and various other iPod games. It was terribly boring, but Lucy and the angry birds helped me through it.
I learned that Anchorage, AK is the largest city in USA based on land mass it probably doesn’t make the top 50 for population.
It feels like 10:00 at night even though it’s only 6:00.
oh, wait, it IS 10:00, in New York, and in my mind still set on EST.
Fil, Pierre and group, see you tommorow

-Spencer

In Seattle

First flight done. Only 3 1/2 hour flight to go. Very excited!