2012.8.25~26We went to Alaska with my parents last September. Until I started booked the flights, I realized that, although at the same side of the country, Alaska is quite far from California. Direct flights were very few. We landed at Anchorage airport at 4:40pm. After 40 minutes, we finally got our car and on our way to Seward.

The Seward Highway (AK-1) is the only road leaving Anchorage to the south. Passed Chugach State Park, the first leg of the Seward Highway run along Turnagain Arm.

Chugach State Park, Alaska
Chugach State Park, Alaska
By the Seward Highway near Beluga Point, Alaska
Turnagain Arm near Beluga Point, Alaska

After making a big U turn at the tip of Turnagain Arm, the highway wound into the mountains. This was the most scenic part of the Seward Highway. Lakes by the road were absolutely tranquil. The last ray of sunshine diminished gradually from the top of the mountain as we drove into the Sterling Highway split.

By the Seward Highway near Girdwood, Alaska
By the Seward Highway near Girdwood, Alaska
Lower Summit Lake, Alaska
Lower Summit Lake, Alaska

After the split, which is commonly called as the “Y”, the Seward highway became AK-9. Because we spent a lot of time getting off the car and taking pictures, it’s getting darker as we drove on the last leg of the highway. Finally, at about 9pm, we climbed out of the mountains and were back to the sea level. We had a dinner at Chinook’s near the harbor and we would stay at the Best Western for two nights.

We planned to take Kenai Fjords National Park cruise tour through Major Marine Tours the next day. Tours offered by different companies share the similar routes. They also share information when they saw whales or other marine animals. We booked the 6-hour tour, which took us around Aialik Cape into Aialik Bay. Along the way, we saw Killer Whales, Sea Lions, Sea Otters, Mountain Goats and Alaska Puffins.

Seward Harbor, Alaska
Seward Harbor, Alaska
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Killer Whales, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
A group of Killer Whales hunting collaboratively, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Sea Otters, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Sea Otters, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Aialik Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Aialik Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Sea Lions, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Sea Lions, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Alaska Puffins, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Alaska Puffins, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

A park ranger on board explained the nature history and ecology along our cruise route. We met several young people from China who were travelling America by themselves. They certainly did their research and had better information than us regarding programs, coupons and even where to see bears and salmons. My parents had great time talking with them.

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