Woke up to one of the, if not my favorite day on this entire trip. Woke up to absolutely gorgeous weather. No rain, clear blue skies and best of all, a casual day! The guide had to make a run back to Anchorage for sleeping mats and because of that, we had a totally chill day, which after only 3 days of constant living with the same people, we all needed it. The guide was doing a run into town for the people that wanted to go on a nature cruise at 9am, but otherwise, the rest of us were on our own all day. And I loved it. TM and I woke up late and lounged around and made breakfast, took showers and just sat on the porch of the shower house to charge our cameras and phones and read with some of the other tour mates.
Some randomness about the campsite:
-Lots of showers, but they take tokens, which you have to buy before hand and there are no refunds. $1 for 2 minutes of shower. Apparently you can toss all your tokens in at the start and just guess how long you have left, but I tossed my tokens in one at a time, so I knew my time and I was under by like a minute. Better then being over! I wish I had known the shower situation before hand because I would have washed my hair at the other place, but it ended up being okay, because the shower situation at the next two places was even worse. So it all worked out for the best!
-Right on the water!
-A bit of a walk into town, took me over an hour.
-Shop is a little disorganized, so don’t count on them for much.
-Tree canopy for most of the grounds, which is good and bad.
-A bit muddy when it rains.
So, after taking a few hours and enjoying the sun and charging my phone, I waited for a few of my tour mates to leave for town and I followed them about 45 minutes later. I just needed a nice walk to myself! I ran into one of the girls who went into town with the “shuttle” at 9am (it was like 1pm when I ran into her walking back to camp) and we chatted on the side of the road for a while. She didn’t do much but have a wonder around Seward for the day. I was walking into town to meet up with the group at 4pm to go Heli-Dogging! The walk was a flat 2.3 mile (now according to Google Maps) walk into town and it was the perfect day for it!
I stopped at Resurrect Art Coffee as recommended to us by the guide and it was okay. No Kalandi Bros! But it was a pleasant place to stop for a drink and the fantastic view and call my parents. I continued into town and since I didn’t have lunch and I thought we were going to have more fish for dinner, I wanted to eat a big lunch. I ran into another tour mate at a restaurant and stopped in and said hello and she invited me to eat with her, but I passed, said we all need some alone time today, which I think she was happy I said. Like I said, it was a good group, we all gave each other space when needed. I found a pizza place [great pizza, friendly owner (from LA!) which ended up being awesome. The owner who took my order said I looked familer, but of course, where from? Turns out, he was from LA too and had been living up in Seward for over 15 years! But how funny is that. I got a calzone to go, as it was beautiful outside and I wanted to eat it near the water. It was huge, kind of expensive, but really really good. Perfect for the day. I had a wonder around town and into the national parks visitor center for a while. I sat on the dock and read my book until I heard the rest of my group, being the loud people we were on the other side of the building.
We all met up with the cruisers and the guide drove us to the airport for our helicopter ride up to the glacier! After signing our lives away and investing our 401K’s (expensive!!!!!) I claimed the middle group and really wanted to sit in the front, as I had never been on the helicopter before, but the back was really good too. We saw a bear in the forest on our way up, which was so so so cool, exactly how I wanted to see a bear before we landed about 10 minutes later on the ice. The first group was just finishing their run and we got some great pictures from the air of them.
Then it was our turn. I claimed the front of the sled and we went about half way around the track before we stopped and swapped places and I went to the back, which was so awesome too. Then one of the mushers took a bunch of pictures of all of us on the sled with the dogs before we got to go to one of the kennels to see puppies. I got to hold one of the older dogs and thankgod, I had a little experience holding dogs, because I got a crazy one! But they were so cute! Then, when the third group arrived, the pilot took us over to the really tiny puppies who were less then a month old and we got to hold them for a really long time. Fresh puppy!
We then went back over to the older dogs who were chained up to their houses and some where going crazy with barking and some where just sleeping. I took tons of pictures of the dogs and tried “my angle” to get some of me with the dogs but a lot of them would not sit still! They just want to run, is what I think, which is why they are so crazy when chained up, but who knows. I had a really good time and it was totally a highlight for me. Expensive, but well worth it.
After about an hour, we took the helicopter back a different way and landed. I plugged my phone into the wall while we waited for the last group to come back and I said to myself, yes, I know I am going to leave it. And we pile back into the van and of course! We are right in town, halfway back to camp when I yell FUUUUUCK. Of course! I feel so horrible about this, but no one else seems to mind too much. Thankfully, we turn around to go back and we run into more tour mates who were about to walk back from town, so it ended up being a good thing that we u-turned it in town to get my phone. Even better, when I get my phone back, there is an adapter plug attached, which of course isn’t mine but it ended up being another one of my tour mates! How funny! He had plugged in his camera before we went up but forgot the adapter! So going back saved a lot of people and I didn’t feel bad any more.
We got back to camp and unfortunately, had spaghetti and hot dogs for dinner. I was so NOT hungry after the large and late lunch I had, but I still scarfed food down. Rain was predicted the next day and we had a long day in the van ahead of us and certain times we had to meet to catch the ferry on time, so we all got as much together at night as we could before bed.