Monday, June 17, 2024

Alaska 2024, Part 2- Day 4 and Day 5

We sure do love Alaska!
Alaska 2024--Day 4...We decided to take our time getting to Seward and drove to Cooper Creek Landing South campground on the way to Seward at mile marker 68 to boondock for the night. Cooper Landing is a very small town, population 224, but swells in the summer due to the amazing fishing available in the summer. One of our goals this trip was to stay less at expensive campgrounds and boondock more. SCORE! 
Cooper Landing South, AK

This campground had a rushing creek that looked more like a raging river just at the back of our site. There was a little path down to the river from the site. It was another USFS (United States Forest Service) campground, so fee for the night with a senior pass was 11.00. No hookups, but we were doing great with our water supply and propane. We had a great campfire with no one else around. Sites were very far apart and level. We could run our generator which we needed it as temperatures were in the thirties for that night. We encountered a few mosquitoes but nothing we couldn't handle. We had a wonderful campfire that night.

Day 5....Our next destination would be Seward, a distance of 48 miles from Cooper Landing, easy peasy.  The drive there was uneventful except we did see the ravages of the Swan Lake forest fire (caused by lightning) that happened in 2019. It burned from June that year until fall.The fire burned 170,000 acres and was considered a megafire. It was awful to see the damage. 

We also saw extensive moose fencing along the way through the Kenai wildlife refuge. It was very interesting to see not only the high high fence line, but moose "jump out" points. Guess there were so many moose car crashes they had to come up with something to reduce the number of collisions. A big moose can STEP over a 4 foot fence easily. Not sure how these work, but the idea is that IF a moose gets on the road side of the fence, the "gates" steer them into the corridor where they jump down below...they can exit this fencing from the roadside, but cannot come through it to get to the highway. Or so they say....They have also constructed a couple of corridors that go underneath the highway at some points.

Since it was too early to check into Seward (1:00 PM) we drove to the Exit Glacier trailhead. There was bear poop in the middle of the highway, but we had yet to see a bear anywhere. Sparky hiked to the glacier on the Exit Glacier easy trail hike. 

Because that was pretty easy, she then decided to hike the primitive Resurrection Bay trail. That was much harder and a little scary going it alone. Sparky met a hiker who said there was a lot of fresh bear scat. He had his dog with him and it didn't seem to bother him about the scat, but Sparky did not have bear spray and didn't want to chance it. Even though he said he saw a moose about a half mile further up the trail. A mile in on that one, and back out was enough for the day. She hiked a total of 7.8 miles today. Even with regular biking before the trip, the knees were complaining!

We planned to stay at the city's municipal RV lot right on Resurrection Bay for two nights. (63.00 a night, not on the water). It's just a gravel parking lot on the bay. If you have a front row site right on the bay, it's fantastic. If you are in the middle of the lot or towards the street, not so much, and it fills up quickly and tight all around you on the weekends, as the locals come in to camp.

River next to us set up on the wrong side, sigh...

Walking along the path along the bay
When we first pulled in, there weren't many rigs around us and we had a nice view of the bay, even though we were in the middle section and middle rows (#434) of the campground. There is a nice walk way for everybody down at the water front. The weather was cloudy and rainy...One thing about Alaska weather, it changes from minute to minute. One minute it's very cloudy and raining, the next minute the sun is trying to come out. We settled in and Sparky checked things out. Well, I'll be! If it isn't our neighbor with the donkey wheel cover, from Homer, following the same travel route! He's got a prime site on the bay. 

Sparky LOVES all the murals in Seward. They are all over town, some of them are Native American stories with artists' illustrations about the Raven and its significance in their cultures.

Downtown Seward

There is so much to see in Seward...the harbor, the murals, the cute shops, the bay, the marine museum there, the Iditarod sculptures of two men, Jujiro Wada and Alfred Lowell, who worked on establishing trails and the Iditarod route throughout the Seward area....
Jujiro Wada, Iditarod pioneer & renowned dog musher

Sparky LOVES the library facade in Seward. It's made of iridescent tiles that change colors throughout the day, depending upon the angle you look at it and the changing position of the sun. It reminds her of the Aurora Borealis, something we've never seen up north, but most certainly is on our bucket list for sometime in the future, maybe!

At the side of the library is a beautiful little garden, lovingly tended, and there are sculptures that have changed in the past several years that weren't there the last time we visited. Sparky LOVES these fish, they look like spawning salmon swimming upstream. Here is one of them at the left, and a photo of all them...very cool!
What made Sparky's downtown excursion more interesting, is that all of a sudden, the police were swarming everywhere and blocking off the streets surrounding the library. There was a BOMB THREAT at this beautiful library! False alarm but upsetting all the same to see this happen in a beautiful harbor town. 

What else can you see in Seward? A cute, Alaskan guest house....

Magpies...everywhere...Boy, are they noisy, and their bird chatter is like they are having a conversation...They don't sound like usual birds chirping, that's for sure. Sparky understands better the expression, "chattering like a magpie" after hearing these birds!

If you are lucky, you might see a Steller's Jay, one of the most beautiful Alaskan birds. Sparky saw this one at the Exit Glacier visitors center in Kenai National Park.

We tried a couple of restaurants in Seward which were very good but very expensive...Gold Rush Bistro and Sea Salt Grill. How about 24.00 for a simple hamburger and fries? Eldo's favorite--fish and chips--33.00. We didn't dine out much this trip as we found the prices a little daunting.

Seward Municipal Campground
Sparky met a little buddy while out walking. She loved his sweat shirt so much she asked his mom if she could take his picture. She said sure! In five minutes, Sparky knew who all his cousins were, where and how long they were staying and everybody in his family, including the dog. He was really cute! (Sparky is a kid magnet, don'tcha know? explains Eldo).

And in Seward, there are beautiful flowers blooming this time of year...These are elephant's-ears, also known as Siberian tea or winter blooming bergenia. They were gorgeous!
We were supposed to spend two days there, but got so socked in on all sides with RVs that we no longer had a view of any kind. One neighbor pulled in in a big motorhome right next to us, the wrong way. She was supposed to back in, and have all her "living area" (rugs, chairs, etc.) on the other side of her rig from us, which is the correct way to camp. But she had to have a view, she said, so she pulled in forward so her front window overlooked the bay, moved her picnic bench over to our living side, set up her rug and chairs inches away from us and thought that was ok, even though she fussed about her hookups because her cords were too short and she had to pass them under her rig. For a seasoned RVer, she knew better, but even after Sparky had a kind discussion with her about why her cords weren't reaching and how and where everybody's living space was supposed to be, (she knew perfectly well she parked and set up on the wrong side) she wouldn't consider that she was being rude by intruding on our camping space. With several kids and a dog right on top of us, no view, dirty bathrooms and showers, we decided to move a day early to a different campground, the KOA outside of Seward. Wow, what a difference!

Beautiful spacious sites, amenities of all kinds, beautiful showers and bathrooms, and an active bald eagle's nest right outside our door in the campground. Yes, it's a bit expensive, 93.00 a night, but the facilities were amazing, and the KOA was much closer to Kenai National Park and Exit Glacier. We loved it so much we extended our stay there for three days and that's where we would end our Alaska trip before heading back to the airport.

More hiking trails coming up, a nicer stay, with more news on our last couple of days in Seward...See you soon!

                              Sparky and Eldo


  1. There are always those who think they know better than others. She'll have problems getting out, when the time comes.
    Glad you enjoyed your trip. Stay Safe.

    It's about time.