Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. ~ John Muir

The Scenic Seward Highway

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Welcome to Seward, one of our favorite cities to visit in south central Alaska.

David and I have driven along the Seward Highway many times already and it’s one of the most scenic areas in Alaska.

Few roads in the United States can offer the diversity of scenic landscapes and unique natural features so concentrated in one area. This 127-mile road, linking Anchorage with Seward, passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. The landscape varies from the milky waters of Turnagain Arm to the icy blue glaciers that hang almost to the sea. Wildflowers and waterfalls brighten every corner of the highway as it glides below towering mountains that pierce thick, heavy clouds and pristine landscapes.

Depending on the season, passengers may see endangered beluga whales cruising up and down the arm (spring through fall) or black ice floes playing bumper car after breaking loose from the shore (spring).

Moose and mountain-roaming Dall sheep wander the lush Chugach State Park (the nation’s third-largest). Farther south, toward Girdwood, salmon and hooligan (smelt) attempt to spawn in valley streams before they’re devoured by eagles and bears.

More creatures are easily seen at the non-profit Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage Glacier. There, injured, ill and orphaned creatures roam in large lots on the 140-acre complex, giving visitors who pay the entrance fee up-close views of elk, caribou, moose, coyote, Sitka black-tailed deer, bald eagles, grizzly and black bears, and musk oxen.

This stretch of highway is one of the most avalanche-prone in the nation. Scars from the 1964 Good Friday earthquake, which measured a near-record 9.2 magnitude and killed 115 people, are still visible around Girdwood. Ghost forests litter the area; the dead trees are remnants of once proud forests that were killed off when sea water rushed in, killing the root systems, after the ’64 quake.  The glaciers visible from the road slowly are shrinking, likely because of global warming.

Like the gold prospectors, hunters, fur trappers and native peoples before them, today’s drivers will find a mother lode of adventures along the road.

Situated at the head of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic communities. Known as the “Gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park”, Seward is a picturesque town located 126 miles south of Anchorage. Visitors can easily reach Seward via theThe Seward Highway Scenic Byway, and the Alaska Railroad.

4.0 sec at f / 22, ISO 200, 18 mm (12-24 mm).

Alaska SeaLife Center: (Highly Recommended)

The Alaska SeaLife Center is the world’s first marine science facility designed from the start to combine a research mission with wildlife rehabilitation facilities and public education. The center welcomes some 150,000 visitors per year to better understand the rich underwater ecosystems of Alaska. While the center’s Steller sea lions, octopus, harbor seals, and puffins remain visitor favorites, there is always something new to see. Among the many species of fish, crabs, birds, and other sea creatures, visitors will find a touch tank open for gentle exploration and learning. This amazing structure was designed by Livingston Slone, an architecture firm based in Anchorage, Alaska. Proceeds from the Exxon Valdez spill were contributed in building this amazing aquatic & research facility. To read more about the history of how the Alaska SeaLife Center came to life, please proceed to this link to read more. It’s well worth your time. Alaska SeaLife Center ~ Research History 

Stay tuned for a new journal post in the near future… :)

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4 responses

  1. Nice, Jena – love the panos!

    – Jack

    May 23, 2011 at 6:08 AM

    • Thank you Jack! I really have a great time learning more about photography and being in the field with David. I know I may never be pro, but with my images I hope to help someone see how graceful nature and light can be. :) The panos were cropped from the original – I have yet to tackle the “stitch/merge” version. But I like em!! ;)

      May 25, 2011 at 9:55 PM

  2. What a great entry! Absolutely love the image of the star fish…gorgeous colors you have captured!!!

    Hurry…more postings!

    May 23, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    • Thank you Mom #2! I appreciate your comments, and aah the starfish one is one of my favorites!! The colors just “spoke” to me when I was looking at them. I’m working on more postings, patience my dear! I hope to have another one up this weekend! YAY! Love and miss you! :)

      May 25, 2011 at 9:56 PM

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