27 June - 1 July 2014

Entering the Kenai Peninsula on the other side of the tunnel was spectacular - fantastic weather to admire the glaciers, mountains, lakes, river, etc. so I of course made countless photo stops. It was flat to the Seward highway junction and a bit after but as I left the ocean the climb began and the weather got overcast; only a few steep sections and otherwise gradual and long... I went past a couple of passes and ended up at Summit Lake as the weather improved again. I was unsuccessful finding a place to camp along the lake so I ended up on the other side of the highway next to a transformer station - probably not too healthy but okay for one night and most likely it would keep the bears away...

The next morning was gorgeous as I continued down Seward highway. Initially I wasn't sure I would do the 130k (80 miles) detourto Seward but Quinn and Angela living there (the couple I stayed with in Cordova) insisted it was a must do because of the spectacular views along the way. And they were right - it's definitely one of the most stunning rides I've done for a long time. The ride to Seward this day was only 75k (45 miles) but it took a long time because of all the photo stops... continuously passing lakes, rivers, mountains, forests, glaciers, etc. Quinn was going fishing for the Summer but Angela had offered I could stay with her in Seward when she returned from Cordova early afternoon and after a quick rest and lunch break we decided to exploit the lovely weather and hike up to Harding Icefield at 1,200 meters (4,000 feet). We began late afternoon but as it's light until midnight it didn't matter we didn't finish until 9pm. It was a somewhat strenuous 14k (8,4 miles) return hike up through the forest where we got the first views of the Exit Glacier - unfortunately clouds came in as we progressed but before we reached the top the sun was out again and we got spectacular views also on the way back down... impossible to explain - hopefully the pictures and videos can give you idea...
 
The next day we slept in and left for an even more strenuous hike to the top of TieHacker at noon - about the same elevation as the previous day but much steeper; often 45 degrees on goat tracks along the ridge. However, it was all worth it for the even more gorgeous views we got of the mountains and surrounding valleys... On the way up we avoided the snow as much as possible but returning we exploited it fully running down the snowy slopes. We had talked about going sea kayaking in the evening but unfortunately it was too windy..
 
The next day I was pretty soar in my right thigh because I compensate for my bad left knee. After almost burning down the house because I turned on the wrong burner on the stove, I bicycled around town before spending the day in the library mostly working on my website. After dinner we went kayaking launching just outside town and paddling to a small waterfall some kilometers out in the sound. I've done a lot of kayaking but never in a real sea kayak so it was great fun and we avoided rain despite the overcast weather...
 
The day before I had some challenges with my own computer and had to wait in line for the library's pc so I spent another day getting up-to-date with my website - really important to me as getting far behind becomes a somewhat stressful burden.       
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The famous Exit Glacie...
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Entering the Kenai Pen...
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I was let off from the...
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The official entrance ...
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We began late afternoo...
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Approaching the Hardin...
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Lovely nunataks...
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The icefield up close....
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Fun hiking in the snow...
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On the way down we spo...
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A last view of the gla...
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Bear droppings - incre...
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After the forest we co...
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And here the bear with...
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It's Tiehacker top in ...
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Beautiful 360 degrees ...
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After enjoying the vie...
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Angela running down th...
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Seward used to be base...
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Downtown Seward...
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The library where I sp...
 
 
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