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Monday, June 27, 2016

Sightseeing in Seward

Hi Blog!

After a full day of adventure we finally made it to Seward, Alaska! Seward was named after William H. Seward, United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. In 1867, Seward fought for the U.S. purchase of Alaska from Russia. Seward is also the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad. This keeps the port busy with freight coming on and off the trains, but also makes Seward a primary end point for north-bound cruise ships. Cruise ship passengers disembark and often take the train or bus farther north to Anchorage, Denali, or Fairbanks.

We checked into the Sauerdough Lodging. Built in 1907 by William Sauers, the Sauerdough Lodging building has served many purposes over the years. It originally housed the Seward Commercial Co. general store, with a town meeting hall upstairs. During the Roaring ’20s, the building was used as a brothel. Tom was very excited. He finally got his chance to stay in a brothel!

After a full day of touring about, we built up a powerful thirst. Our first stop, Seward Brewing Company. Here Tom and Eileen get ready to wet their whistle!

After a scrumptious meal, we took a leisurely stroll along the waterfront bike path. This point marks Mile 0 of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. The Iditarod Trail, also known historically as the Seward-to-Nome Mail Trail, refers to a thousand-plus mile historic trail system in Alaska. The trail began as a composite of trails established by Alaskan native peoples. Its route crossed several mountain ranges and valleys and passed through numerous historical settlements en route to Nome.

We had a beautiful evening for our stroll. If you are lucky enough to get a waterfront campsite at Resurrection South, this would be the view from your front window.

After a little tourist shopping, we returned to the brothel to watch the final episode of "Person of Interest." The next morning we were up before the coffee shop opened at 7:00, so we took a stroll around town to check out some of the historic buildings.

This statue below commemorates the Iditarod trailblazers. The discovery of gold brought thousands of people over this route beginning in 1910. Roadhouses for people and dog barns sprang up every 20 or so miles. By 1918 World War I and the lack of 'gold fever' resulted in far less travel. The trail might have been forgotten except for the 1925 diphtheria outbreak in Nome. In one of the final great feats of dog sleds, twenty drivers and teams carried the life-saving serum 674 miles in 127 hours. Today, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race serves to commemorates the part the trail and its dog sleds played in the development of Alaska.

The sun was just peeking over the mountains and casting soft morning light on the glaciers across Resurrection Bay. This sailboat was getting an early start.

St. Peter's Church is an historic Episcopal church located at 239 Second Avenue. The first Episcopal services in Seward were held in 1904 by a priest from Valdez. The church building was constructed between 1905 and 1906 and was consecrated on April 1, 1906 by the Rt. Rev. Peter Trimble Rowe, the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Alaska.

We heard the sound of thundering water and followed it to Lowell Creek. We watched as the water poured off Bear Mountain through a flood control flume, creating rainbows in the morning sun.

After plunging off the mountain, the creek slows and meanders its way to Resurrection Bay.

After breakfast, we visited the Alaska Sealife Center. Since we were scheduled for a boat tour of the Kenai Fjords National Park, we thought it would be good idea to learn about some of the local residents. While Kathy helped Eileen practice with her new camera, Dave got up close and personal with this crested puffin.

We had a great time getting to know all the different animals in this area. We were eager to get out on our boat tour to see how many of them we would spot in the wild.

We took more photos than we could fit in any one blog. If you are interested, you can check out more photos from Seward and the Alaska Sealife Center on our Flickr site.

Click this link for more Seward photos!

Click this link for more Alaska Sealife photos!

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