We got up from an awesome night sleep in Seward and packed up. The campground next to the water was really nice and had a pavilion and bathrooms with showers. We were heading out to hike and bike so we skipped the shower and will wait until Homer. A quick stop at a local coffee shop for a muffin and coffee and we headed out.
Carl was hiking up to Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park and I found a trail called Lost Lake that was a 5 star rated bike ride. I dropped Carl off at the visitors center and I headed up the road for my trailhead. There were a couple of other cars in the parking lot but it was basically deserted. I got the biking clothes on and got the trusty steed put together and headed up the trail.
The trail climbs 2300 feet over about 7 miles, which was a lot less of a grade than I had experienced the day before in Alyeska at the ski slope, which was 2000 feet in about 2 miles. The trail started in some lush pine and fern forest and after about 3 miles, changed into the low brush and thick undergrowth of the lower mountain slopes. I was cognizant of bears and moose, but not real worried since we have not seen bears in Alaska. The trail peaked into a meadow and met up with another hiker trail that supposedly went back to a cabin. I rode the cabin trail a little over a mile to see if I could get there, but I could not find it, so I turned around and continued up.
The trail peaks above Lost Lake and has 360 degree views of the surroundings. I could see glaciers, waterfalls, alpine tundra, and just amazing beauty. I took 15 minutes or so to enjoy the scenery and then saddled up for the ride home. The trail up took me about 2 hours and 10 minutes and the ride down about 45 minutes. The trail was flowey, rocky, root filled, and just an all around fun time. Definitely worth the ride up if you are in the Seward area.
I met back up with Carl, who had gotten to hike up to a viewpoint and then hike down the canyon to the glacier. He described it as surreal and hard to describe. Check out www.SevierConditions.com for this day’s video.
Carl and I headed back up the Seward Highway and stopped at a hatchery where we were able to get a short tour and saw multiple tanks filled with 65,000 (each tank) silver salmon and 6-8 tanks filled with sockeye salmon (125K per tank). We learned some interesting facts about the hatchery and the survival rates. Hatchery salmon have a 90% mortality rate when then get to the wild compared to 50% of wild hatched. However, wild hatched have a much less rate of survival when young, so like the manager said, its a numbers game.
We continued on to the Sterling Highway and made our way through some pretty dense smoke from a forest fire that has been burning for several weeks. We stopped at the confluence of the Russian and Kenai rivers and watched the salmon fishing follies. The salmon are running in the Russian and it is battle fishing along the shore. Still no bears.
The smoke cleared and the waters of Cook inlet came into view. We saw moose and a bunch of beautiful boreal forest. We made it into Hope about 6:30 and stopped by Safeway for some supplies, Chevron for gas, and then on to a Thai food restaurant for dinner. We looked around the spit at Hope (mini peninsula) and found a nice place to camp for the night on the beach. The wind was a bit cool and the water is nothing to swim in, but it was beautiful with all the mountains and glaciers framing the background.