When we looked out the window this morning, at first we almost thought it was overcast. Then we realized that it was just more smoke from the fires. There are 70 separate fires burning in the interior and the smoke is drifting to the south, so the sunlight was filtered through a sullen, yellow-brown lens. Just like home!
The road down to Seward is a beautiful road, or so we suspect. Mountain after mountain unfolded out of the heavy haze as we drove along. Sometimes we only the snow lines stood out of the haze, so the mountains looked like some abstract of white on white on white. We stopped for a break (after all, we’d been driving for an HOUR!) at a little lake called Jerome Lake right beside the highway to look at the perfect reflections in the water.
We’re staying at the Army’s recreation facility in Seward. It’s not right on the water, but the price is right. We cruised the town, and had a late lunch at a place called the Smoke Shack, a barbeque place in an old rail car. Excellent. One of these days though, I’m going to have salmon! There are fish being caught, because this row of fish was up for photo ops. Apparently you don’t actually have to have caught the fish to get your picture taken, as about a dozen different people posed with them while we stood there watching. So the guy in the photo is just a guy who wanted his picture taken with a bunch of dead fish.
The harbor here is very large and filled with boats of all shapes and sizes. It lies between two mountain ranges and it’s easy to understand the enthusiasm of the early pioneers when they discovered this open channel that made it possible to reach the interior of Alaska more easily than the overland route through Canada. Actually, the first trail into the interior was called the Iditarod Trail, which ended in Nome. So the race is only over about half of the original trail. Gypsy says she just wants to be like the guy with the fish – get her picture taken with the trail sign, but not actually have to do anything silly like pull a sled.