Steve and Connie's Alaska Roadtrip 2015 travel blog

Looking away from Resurrection river, Seward

Another view of Exit Glacier, Seward area

Short drive from Seward to Anchorage this morning. On the way, we visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. They accept injured or orphaned Alaska wildlife and try to rehabilitate them and return them to the wild. The ones that can't be returned to the wild (like the one-winged Bald Eagle) are used for education programs.

I mentioned the 1964 earthquake previously. Turns out it was a huge event for the entire area. The little town of Girdwood had to completely relocate several miles up the side of the mountain. As a result of the quake, the land that had been at sea level subsided at least 10 feet. This devastated the Seward harbor and wiped out Girdwood. Portage, another little town in the area, never recovered. It sits under water at high tide, lost forever. There are ghost forests all over this area. When the salt water rushed into these fully developed forests, the trees took up the salt. It killed them, but simultaneously preserved them. As a result, you have large stands of fully grown leafless tress standing all over the coast here, thanks to an earthquake that occurred half a century ago. Unfortunately, the area's bad luck continued when the Exxon Valdez dumped a load of oil on their doorstep.

We had a picnic lunch at Beluga Point (didn't see any whales), then set up camp in Anchorage and went downtown to explore. Museums, art galleries, lots of shops to snag tourist dollars. Museums are good, didn't find much I needed to buy in the stores. Interesting exhibit about Capt Cook's exploits here. It seems he is the one who gave Turnagain Arm its name when he was searching for the Northwest Passage. I don't think it takes much imagination to figure out how he came up with the name.

Speaking of Turnagain Arm - this is the place with the paddle boarders, bore tide, Beluga point, etc - when the tide is out there is a huge mud flats area. It looks reasonably sandy, but we had been warned to steer clear of the area at low tide. We followed instructions even though it looked like a great place to let the dog run. Now I have the rest of the story. Most of the rivers and streams here are glacier run-off. I noticed in Denali that the rivers and creeks all looked like watery cement, very grey and thick-looking. The reason is the glacial fed streams are full of "glacial till", a finely ground rock flour. By the time this till settles in Turnagain Arm, it is 1500 feet deep in some areas. It is pure quicksand. I have heard stories of people being pulled apart as helicopters attempted to rescue them from this area. Don't know if those stories are true, but stay off the sand on Turnagain Arm!

Ship Creek, near where we are staying, is a true salmon river, and the salmon are running now. It is interesting to watch and talk to the local fishermen about the salmon.

We will be in Alaska a couple more days, then back to the Yukon.

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