Follow by Email

Alaska Adventure-Day 9, Wasilla to Whittier to Hope to Seward, 270 Miles

Whittier is a cute little fishing village accessed by rail, boat, or a vehicle (like motorcycles) through the railroad tunnel, a long dark thing where one must ride between the rails on the concrete. Clammy and dark, the place feels foreboding and has that damp, musty smell. 
Whittier became something during WWII, as the military built a huge barracks for a thousand men to help protect Alaska from the Japanese. And for trivia, the Japanese did land and fight on Alaskan soil. The town also provided much needed lumber for the war effort, complete with a huge sawmill. The earthquake (9.2 and over three minutes!) and subsequent tsunami really wiped out the town. Immediately following that destruction was a huge fire, finishing it off. 
The Alaskan people rebuilt and now it's a fishing and tourist village, really nice except for the huge gray hulk of the old military building, six stories of concrete with no windows, and anything of value vandalized or stolen.
The handful of glaciers in the area make the water a beautiful mint green. The mountains drop right into the sea like a hoop skirt dipped into water. The green slopes are slashed by high waterfalls, dropping and turning white for hundreds of feet. Giant glaciers, a blue tint, lie on use slopes and slide down at a glacial (pun intended) pace.
We enjoyed halibut and chips at a small cafe and ate on the outside deck, the weather a bit cooperative. Then off we went.
We rode to Hope, and the road could be the best road we've ridden, two lanes, winding and snaking with green trees a canopy over the pavement. And smooth, the road somehow avoiding the frost heave blues. We toured tiny Hope, a hamlet tucked against flat tidelands, the houses camouflaged with dense trees. 
With so many stops today, we rode into Seward around nine a bit tired and snippy with one another. The tour is getting to be a marathon, not a sprint. Hopefully a good night's rest will reset the emotions. 
Tomorrow we ride to Homer, 'A drinking town with a fishing problem.' Then back to Anchorage. See you then.

No comments: