We left Seward in the morning and drove to Whittier for a 5 hour Glacier Boat Tour. As you come into Whittier, you go through a 2 1/2 mile toll tunnel that is also a railroad tunnel. The tunnel is timed in 15 minute segments for vehicles east, vehicles west, trains east and trains west. Pretty neat. The tunnel was built in the war years as an access point. Before that, Whittier was only accessible by boat.
The tour of the glaciers was in the west side of Prince William Sound. The boat was warm and cozy and they served a great salmon chowder lunch. We say tons of glaciers, Stellar Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Sea Otters and birds.
The glaciers are really amazing. It is impossible to show the scale of them in the pictures. Many of the glaciers have face walls of over 300' above the water line and some are as thick as 3000' under the water. Glaciers actually move down hill as much as 100' a day. There are 616 named glaciers but Alaska has an estimate of over 100,000 glaciers. WOW
We are leaving the Kenai Peninsula today and looking forward to seeing the sun again.
So here is real issue with the Kenai Peninsula. It is really a cold rain forest. The glaciers actually make their own weather patterns. When you get closer to the water the glaciers interact with the sea temperatures and create lots of moisture. It is interesting how different each little pocket of land reacts to it. Homer for example gets a very small amount of snow. I talked to a local that had not even used his snow shovel in the last two years. In the mountainss above and in the glacier regions, there are areas that get over 100 feet of snow a year. Most of the Peninsula has average summer high temperatures of 61 and average low temperatures of around 28.