Of Whales and Glaciers
A mystic journey
When we traveled to Alaska in August 2013, we've decided to make it an epic RV road trip, kicking off our journey in Anchorage. From there, we took the Seward Highway down to the little fishermen town of Seward and started our Alaskan adventure with a day trip on a small boat, which took us deep into the misty waters of the Kenai Peninsula.
Traveling with an RV allowed us to enjoy the scenic road with it fir forests, small lakes and full bloom of wildflowers. A lot of times, a set back turnout can be your place to stay the night, but if you get a copy of the Milepost, it will tell you about each eat or sleep place alongside the road in advance.
Compared to the rather dry and sunny Denali area, the Kenai Peninsula is misty, wet and foggy - but offers a very unique and somewhat mystical atmosphere. It felt like this place hasn't change in centuries and nature and mankind still remain in balance.
The Kenai Peninsula offers a variety of - mostly via water - ways to explore the rugged wilderness. You can take boat trips, multi-day kayaking and camping adventures or even hike to a glacier.
We chose the boat and it took us on a wet adventure with numerous impressions and breath-taking sights.
Where to stay
Between Anchorage and Seward, you'll find numerous campgrounds along the way. We've decided to drive down to Seward with one night resting along the highway and then found a nice place for the last two nights close to Seward, as we had some early morning activities planned for the next days.
We initially checked out the Seward campground right at the water, but it was kind of parking lot style and people were stacked on top of each other - but the view over the water was nice for sure.
So we drove back and out of Seward and spend 2 nights at a gorgeous place called Renfro's Lakeside retreat. It's located at a cute lake and their log cabins are neatly nestled into the surrounding forest while the RV site offers a super clean hot shower, toilets and the essential fire ring and picnic table. We had a wonderful time here, sat by the fire and enjoyed some BBQ and s'mores while listening to the sounds of the forest. Renfro is the nicest guy, he even showed us how to use the dump station as us RV rookies didn't know how to clean the pipes.
Where to eat
There are a few restaurants in Seward, most of them looked quite nice and you can get fresh Alaskan King Salmon pretty much everywhere. But when you travel with an RV, you do that because of the BBQ's at the campsite, so we didn't test any restaurants. Again, the Milepost is your best guide here as all restaurants are listed.
There is a big Safeway in Seward that we used to stock up on supplies for the rest of the trip. It's pretty much the only big grocery store within miles.
What to do
We've decided to get out on the water to explore this water wonderland in its full glory and chose the "Captain's Choice Tour" with Kenai Fjords. It looks like they don't offer this tour anymore but the Northwestern Fjord tour seems to be very similar.
It was a 9 hour tour, limited to only 16 people which were primarily photographers. The great thing was that we made the call what we wanted to see and they gave us plenty of time to shoot the wildlife that we were honored to observe.
We made it up through fjords, along small islands and mountains to a glacier. To be quite honest, it was wet, chilly and sometimes a bit rough on the water but we were able to watch whales, puffins, sea otters, sea lions and even a bald eagle in their natural habitat - so you'll not regret it.
When we came back after a long day on the water, soaking wet and still half frozen from lingering around the glacier, the hot shower and the campfire were just the last pieces of heaven on this unforgettable day.
Check out the gallery below for some impressions of the Alaskan wildlife and scenery in the Kenai Peninsula.