Monday, June 25, 2018

ALASKA TRIP-2018 - MAY 23RD, 2018 - SEA OTTERS IN SEWARD AND HORSES IN HOPE


Alaska Trip-May 2018
Sea Otters in Seward and Horses in Hope 
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 
(It was  misty over the mountains today.)

We awoke after 11.00 a.m. and our niece and nephew slept in also. We were all surprised as every morning we have been up early. I think not having a set time table has made us a little more relaxed. 
(This is a fireplace in the foyer of the hotel, a favorite sitting area of mine.  I loved nothing better than to sit down and rest, watch and feel the warmth of the flames and enjoy the salmon design on the grate.)

We told them we were going down to the coffee shop, that they had no need to hurry as we weren't sure what we were going to do.  We would take it slow and easy. 

Our niece and nephew joined us and still in no rush to go anywhere, we talked for a long time. Eventually it was decided that we would drive to Seward.  We didn't have a lot of time to look around the last time we were there, and wanted to explore.  
 
On the way we spotted a sign that pointed to the historical town of Hope. It was one of those impulse things to drive down this very quiet road. I saw the sign and Gregg's curiosity was peaked.  It was only a short distance later that we  saw the moose munching on tree branches, just like the other one.  It was tucked down an incline behind the guard rail.  Only the top of the head was showing.  (If you can't view the video above you can go to this link.) As it was not a well-traveled road Gregg reversed as quietly as he could, and slowly backed up to the moose.  Another very exciting time but we restrained ourselves and spoke in whispers, and then not at all.  That beautiful animal didn't pay us much mind, though she (I'm assuming it was a she) was aware of us. We didn't get out of the car as the moose was too close to the road, and we didn't want to startle it and put ourselves or her in danger.  She let us stay in her company for a couple of minutes, though it seemed much longer, and then not wanting to bother her any longer, we moved on.  What a gift! 
The town was very quiet but apparently people flock here for the salmon fishing when they are in season.  

In its heyday Hope was a gold-mining town.  In 1889 a miner discovered nuggets in nearby Resurrection Creek and the population swelled to 3,000 residents.  Today there are about 200, according to this link.  I am not sure when it was last updated but it has very interesting information about Hope.  According to the website Hope's heyday was short lived.  By 1898 news of the Klondike Goldrush had spread, and most miners packed up and headed to Canada.  

Today we couldn't see that many places were open but it was still worth the trip as we loved looking around.  It was very rustic and very quaint, definitely this place had history.

We found one small café but it was closed.  A very friendly lady came out and told us where we could go for lunch, which was another café not too far away.  A young man made us Philadelphia Sub Sandwiches. We told him how good they were and got into a nice conversation about the area.  

We mentioned the moose we had seen and he told us there were others. There were four females, one of whom had just had twins.  The other was pregnant and due to give birth any day now. He thought she would have twins also and seemed to know a lot about them.  

He also said there were no bears in the area, and volunteered that if we liked horses there was a field where we could see several. We followed his directions and while our niece and nephew crossed a make-shift bridge across a stream, I stayed behind. 

The ground looked a little too uneven for me, and knowing my history, no way did I want to tempt fate.  
Gregg walked further along. 

Niece and nephew had a good time visiting with the horses who were fenced off...
and they took more photos.

We looked around for a little while but then it was time to move on to Seward. 
As we reached the town we saw a cruise ship sailing out of port. I couldn't tell which company from that distance. A back drop of mountains and the cruise ship was fast disappearing.  What a beautiful sight.  

I asked Gregg if he would stop at an interesting stone memorial I had seen.  I am always curious. 

We stopped close to where our cruise ship had tied up, as this is where we disembarked for the land tour. There were all kinds of boats moored nearby.  I remember  them when we were on our balcony shortly after we woke up the morning we got here, and it was such a pretty sight with all their lights twinkling.  

Today Gregg saw what he thought was a floating 'log', and the harder we stared we saw that there were another three identical looking 'logs' floating close by.  We were still in the car and decided to park and walk down. 
(I cropped this photo of  two of those 'logs'.)

There were all kinds of boats tied up to several docks, and as we wanted to take a closer look we got out and walked towards the boats, and the 'logs'. With nephew striding far ahead we followed him, and when we saw him quickening his pace as he turned down one of those docks, I just knew those 'logs' weren't logs at all, they were sea otters! 

We found a family of four and studied them for half an hour, in a bitterly cold wind.  Our nephew and niece took all the photos of the close-ups. 

It was a lot colder than the last time we were in Seward. We eventually started feeling it but we couldn't leave just yet and kept taking photos, and looking at these adorable otters.

Slowly turning into popsicles but just a few more...

 and a few more. 

The otters were slowly floating away and we decided it was time to go.  Niece spotted a harbor seal some distance away.  
His adorable face stared in our direction, as curious about us as we were about it, as if asking,"Got fish?"  Nope, sorry!

It was another day of wonderful wildlife.  

We started back to the hotel and it took us a couple of hours to get there.  

On the way home we saw Bald Eagles on the mud flats, and an occasional trumpeter swan, lots of gulls and the occasional magpie.  Not much opportunity to take any photos of the birds, too far away.  We never got close to an eagle, disappointing but I'm happy to get something.  I kept hearing you need to come when the salmon are running (too early right now) or, you should go to Homer, they're all over the place there.  Maybe next time.

These mud flats are very dangerous by the way.  Our tour guide told us stories of people getting stuck in the mud walking across to the island when the tide is out.  Locals and tourists have had their problems. I am glad she made us aware, not that I would have ever gone out there. Doing some research on line later I read stories that made me shiver. No way should people walk on the mud flats.  In parts it is like quicksand.    
(This is an addition I added on 6-27-18. Not to be a downer on my post, but I thought it was important, just in caser anyone decides to go to this part of Alaska.  Forewarned is forearmed.)
The surrounding scenery of water and mountains was absolutely stunning.  The light in the sky equally so. 

We eventually arrived back at the hotel and took a half hour break before going down to the ground floor for a late dinner.  We were in the same place as last night.  The other restaurants in the hotel were closed.
(This is the Walrus from my last journal post.)

When we got back to our room it wasn't long before we were counting sea otters instead of sheep, and then we were asleep. 
(This clever artwork was done by Gregg using one of his apps on his iPhone.  
All I had to do was add my name. 
Toodles my Lovelies!) 

34 comments:

  1. Love the look of that hotel and those sea otters are so cute! So special to enjoy this time with loved ones, too!

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    1. It certainly is, very special. Thank you Ellen :)

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  2. Oh wow...great pics. I love otters, love to watch them. I feel like I have been everywhere with you. thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Pam and so glad you are enjoying my posts. These otters are fascinating little animals aren’t they?

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  3. Not surprised you slept in. You have been packing a lot into each and every day.
    Hope is the perfect name for a gold rush town. I suspect many were dashed.
    Sea Otters? Colour me jealous. And thank you for the photos. So much.

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    1. You are very welcome, always happy you enjoyed them. We were all feeling a bit weary, it was nice to relax for a while. I agree about hopes being dashed. Must have been so hard and backbreaking work. It was the first time for many things on this trip, one was to see otters this close in their natural habitat.

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  4. Wow, what a great day that you had. You are such a good documentarian.

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    1. Hi Yogi and how kind of you to say so.

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  5. Amazing photos. What a lovely souvenir you have. Great memories.


    God bless you all.

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    1. Thank you Victor :) I certainly do.

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  6. What a fabulous post and those sea otters have just won their way into my heart. I agree with Yogi you are a great documentarian. Enjoy your day Diane

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    1. Thank you Diane :) The otters have a way of doing that. You enjoy your day also

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  7. You certainly had a wonderful holiday! Love the place you stayed and love the view of the mountains. The otters and seal are so cute! Have a beautiful week!

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    1. Thank you Nancy, have a beautiful week also.

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  8. I have been enjoying seeing and reading about your adventures, Denise, and side trios are always good because you never know what you will see...like sea otters!

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    1. That makes me happy Dorothy. Those unexpected side trips can lead to some great adventures.

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  9. Dear Denise, why in the world could I have not found a way to smuggle my way into your suitcases??(lol) These pictures and your adventures are truly amazing! Hugs...RO

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    1. You would have been very welcome in our group RO. I am glad you are enjoying my posts on Alaska.

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  10. I LOVE THE LIVING LOGS!!!!! and the living moose and the town of HOPE I could live in but I want it in FL if we could move it. love those old western towns

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    1. Me too Sandra and like you I love these old towns.

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  11. Hello, what a wonderful day with great sightings. I love the mountain scenery, the moose, otters and seals. Great post and photos. Enjoy your day!

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    1. Thanks Eileen, always glad to share the happiness.

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  12. Hi Denise, you certainly have documented this trip well, you are very good at keeping in accurate journal. I love those orders, they are certainly one of my favorites. I also enjoyed the picture of you, you never seem to change!

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    1. Thanks Debbie, I have always been a detail person and so sweet to say I don’t change. I just say to myself, not too close, too close! LOL!

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  13. The otters are particularly adorable!

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    1. I have always loved the little guys since our days in California.

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  14. Hi Denise,
    After a late start you most certainly packed a lot into the day.
    Love the Sea Otters, the way they lie on the back and feed.
    With so much to see and do, I'm not surprised you slept in.
    Super post, All the best, John

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    1. Hi John, we did after all. Sea Otters have always been a favorite of mine. All the best to you too.

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  15. Hello Denise, it's just so brilliant to read of your adventures. Adored the sea otters and could feel your joy with them even though it was so cold. Great photos too. Love all your descriptions. By the fireside looks a cosy spot 😊

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    1. Hi Sue, very happy you are enjoying my journals. Yes, a lot of joy kept us very warm even in the cold, but the fireplace in the evening kept us nice and toasty :)

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  16. Terrific pictures to browse through, Denise, I especially liked those otters.

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    1. Thanks Valerie :) The otters are always a favorite of mine.

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