July 17, 2014

Exit Glacier/Sea Life Center/Lowell Point

The last two days my family was in town was spent on land, seeing everything Seward has to offer. That meant:
Exit Glacier, Sea Life Center, and Lowell Point
Which I was okay with since I hadn't yet gone to the Sea Life Center and it had been awhile since I hiked to Exit Glacier. So it was a win-win for all of us!
Exit Glacier is a part of Kenai Fjords National Park and also Harding Icefield. It's located in the Kenai Mountains. It received it's name of Exit Glacier because it served as the exit for the first recorded crossing of the Harding Icefield in 1968.
If you are down this way on the Kenai Peninsula, I would definitely recommend hiking up to Exit Glacier. The hike is pretty simple with beautiful scenery and how cool is it to end up near a glacier?!
^^ In front of the Visitor's Center // Safety sign in the center to warn of wildlife... wait.. what does that last part say? ^^
^^ Good to remember - only if it starts eating you do you fight back.
All throughout the park, starting with a ways away from the center, you start seeing these signs in the ground that say random dates. Turns out, they aren't that random. It states the year in which the glacier was there. This sign, that my mother is partially hiding, says 1926. That means that in year 1926, the glacier would have been seen at this point. It was quite a ways away from that point. Crazy global warming!

 So like I said, the hike was pretty easy. Just a tad slippery since it had been raining, but not bad at all. It took us 45 minutes to hike to the glacier and back. And actually, it didn't even feel like it took that long. I would highly recommend visiting Exit Glacier if you make it down to Seward.
So after Exit Glacier, we decided to go into town to shop around 4th Avenue. We really do have a cute street with cute shops. Most of these shops are only open during summer months, aka tourist season.

And since we were already down this way, and to take a break from the rain, we decided to finally go into the Sea Life Center. This has actually been on my bucket list of things to do in Seward, which I have meant to write a blog post on - it just hasn't happened yet, but it will! The Sea Life Center is definitely a cool attraction that Seward offers. I'm pretty sure it is open all year round. It offers a public aquarium plus a permanent marine animal rehabilitation facility. I'm so glad I finally got to experience it!

^^ Fun Fact! When I was in Newtok, I was closer to Russia than I was to Joshua in Seward!

There are different things you can do at the Sea Life Center. They offer four different kinds of tours, close encounter with an octopus, sea lions - that sort of thing. We just did the self tour option and even with the self guided option, I felt like we saw a lot. There were exhibits where we could see sea lions and sea otters swim around and an area where you can go view different kinds of birds, including puffins. And I mean right up next to them. Very cool.


And along with these animals, there was a section of the Center that allowed you to touch and feel the different kinds of growth you'd find in the ocean.

^^ I thought this was so cool! They are see-through! And also, even though it says that sea jellies are plankton in the pic on the right, that is only correct when they are smaller. Like the smack of jellyfish I showed you yesterday, they aren't considered plankton, because then they can control their movements.

 And it would not be a Sea Life Center in Alaska if it didn't have some sort of exhibit on Salmon.

So we went to Exit Glacier, we walked down 4th Avenue, we visited the Sea Life Center, what to do next? Joshua, Kenny, Mom, and I decided to hike to Lowell Point. This was a little rougher hike, and more slippery, so Grandma decided to wait this one out.
Usually, this hike is well-worth it. You hike right down to the beach. But since it had been raining, it was foggy and you couldn't really see much. At least we got some exercise! And plus, my mother got to try some salmon berries. YUM!


It was a busy, last few days in Seward!

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