Tuesday, June 18th 
Seward - Anchorage

previous day | roadmap today | next day
 

The inevitable end gets closer.


10h20
The maritime climate in Alaska looks like a wet Belgian summer:
grey clouds, little wind and drizzle so now and then.  Before heading to Anchorage, we have a look at the Benny Benson Memorial just outside Seward.
This guy designed the Alaskan flag in 1926 for a drawing contest, the constellation of the Big Dipper on a dark blue background.  Honestly, it's a beautiful symbol for Alaska, but I don't see why they make a memorial for this.  Hardly chauvinist as we are, I don't see us making a memorial for the one who designed the Belgian flag, whoever it would be.  We already noticed that Americans are definitely different.

10h45
We are about 10 miles out of Seward and we already left the costal weather behind us.  The sky is almost clear, but it's colder now with a strong breeze.

Spatterdocks in Placer River12h40
While crossing the Turnagain Pass we turn our back on the Kenai Mountains an we find ourselves again in the plain near Portage where we got of the train the day before yesterday.  In Placer River, which is more a chain of small lakes, we see Spatterdocks, also known as Yellow Pond-lily or Cow lily.  The Indians previously used the stems for their medicinal qualities.  The seeds were crushed into flour and the leaves were used for coloring.  Today, only beavers and birds are interested in the nutritious aspect, for us they are a beautiful decoration in the scenery.
We turn now into the Portage Glacier Road.
 

Ice Floes in Portage Lake12h55
Portage Lake. The glacier itself is not visible from the viewpoint at the Visitor Center, but the drift ice floats towards us.  The huge ice floes are melting in the sun and now and then one is turning over with a roaring noise.  A deep blue color becomes visible above the water surface.  Like in a chain reaction also other pieces start wobbling and turn in another position too.  "Amazing", like a hear saying behind my back.

During our visit to the Visitor Center we get to know everything about glaciers and related geographic phenomenons.

15h15
After a sandwich (no hamburger this time!) and a visit to the gift shop, we jump back into our car for the last part of the journey to Anchorage.

15h45
Driving on the Seward Highway, we follow the Turnagain Arm beside us.  It's low tide and large sandbars are visible. "Dangerous quicksand at low tide!" a sign is warning us. Don't be afraid, we weren't planning a walk on the beach.
On the other side of the highway, the spruce trees are dead due to the penetrating salty water of the Turnagain Arm.   The valley is bordered by steep hills covered with spruce, willow and short alpine vegetation.  Above all that, we see snow like whipped cream on a cake.

16h20
Beluga Point, but we don't see any Beluga or "white" whales.  Probably the low tide has something to do with it.
Meanwhile we're about 16 miles from Anchorage and we feel that the inevitable end gets closer.

16h40
Rush hour in Anchorage. Incredibly busy compared with the lonesome journey of the past three weeks.
We still need to buy some presents and stuff everything from our car back into our suitcase and travel bags.  Tomorrow, we won't have time for all that!

next day