Friday, July 27, 2012

Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery - Valdez


Here in Valdez, Alaska, we spent three nights at a full service campground in downtown Valdez, but had to leave there because there was a large caravan coming in that had prior reservations. Last year we had stayed at a more rustic campground which is about 7 miles out of town and closer to the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery which is where we like to spend time observing the wildlife, including bear, salmon, sea lions, and eagles. So we decided to return to that area, where we plan to stay at least two nights.

This year’s wildlife at the hatchery has been no different, with the water absolutely boiling with salmon. Nearly every evening, bear come out to feed and when the tide is out, the eagles come down to feed on the fish remains. Last night I counted over 100 eagles. There are also quite a few sea lions, but we have not yet seen a bear.

There is a asphalt trail that goes along Prince William Sound, past the hatchery, ending at the terminus of the Alaska pipeline. I really enjoy running this for the above mentioned wildlife, the beautiful setting as well as the opportunity to observe all the people who are fishing for the salmon.

After we finished our workouts, we went into town to have our afternoon coffee and pastry and the visit the library so we can have internet access. After we finished at the library, we went to the ferry terminal where there is a nice park where you can observe the boat action in the harbor. We had the unique opportunity to see a Coast Guard boat as they practiced some of their skills. They would throw out rings, markers and other survival and rescue items. They would then move several hundred yards away and then on signal, with sirens and movement of personal on the boat, they would arrange themselves on the side of the boat while quickly accelerating to the area where they had left the items. Then, they rescued those items. They did this quite a few times, with changing of duties for the six member crew. It was interesting to watch and I could not help but notice the big gun that was attached to the front of the boat.

When we got back to the campground, we built a huge fire and cooked burgers and hot dogs. Thankfully, this campground has showers because we certainly did smell like smoke.

Needless to say, we are very much enjoying our time in Valdez.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound

What an absolutely amazing experience! Tuesday we took a 9 hour Stan Stephens Glacier and Wildlife Cruise. The cost was $155 per person, but it was well worth it as we were able to observe steller sea lions, humpback whale, sea otter, dall’s porpoise, harber seal, and a wide variety of birds, including puffins. The destination of the trip is the Meares Glacier with a view of the Columbia glacier, but the entire trip was filled with beautiful views, as well as the opportunity to observe and learn about commercial fishing that is so important to Alaska.

We left the Valdez harbor at 10:00 am and returned after 7:00 pm. The boat has a capacity of over 160 and was about half full, so we had lots of room to move around. When we left the harbor, the clouds/fog was so bad that we were wondering if we were going to have a good trip. About the time we got past the Alyeska Pipeline Terminal, it started to clear.

We had a really good narrator and he did a great job of providing us with the history of the pipeline and the oil spill. We were able to see where the tanker had run aground and he explained the circumstances of the grounding. He also gave us a lot of information about navigation and how the spill changed the way traffic is now handled in the harbor.

As far as the amenities of our boat trip, we were provided free coffee and hot tea with a variety of snacks available for a small charge. The crew that served us was composed of high School and college guys who were quite knowledgeable and courteous as the served us. We had a lunch that consisted of baked chicken with alfredo sauce over a bed of rice, vegetables, a large rolls and oreo cookies. Late in the afternoon, we were served a bowl of clam chowder with crackers. Our lunch was warm when it was served, but just as we started to eat, the narrator told us that whales were just up ahead. We then spent about 30 minutes whale watching and returned to a cold lunch that by that time was not very good. That’s OK because I certainly did not want to miss seeing the whales.

As we began to approach the Columbia glacier, we observed increasingly larger chunks of ice in the water. The ice from that glacier was nothing in comparison to what we saw as we approached the Meares glacier. This was so amazing and the views of the glacier were just as you see on postcards, etc. The Captain got us very close and although we did not get to see any huge calves, we did see and hear several small ones. We stayed at the glacier for about an hour.

On the way to and from the glacier, we saw hundreds of commercial fishing boats and the narrator gave us a history ofAlaska fishing and the current status. It was really neat to watch the process. A small boat is attached to the net and it moves out to make a circle back to the large boat as the fish is captured in that net. Then, the fish is loaded on that boat. Some of these boats just go back into harbor, but some off load to a tender and remain out on the water. It is my understanding that they can fish 12 hours a day and that time is closely monitored by the coast guard. The boats take turns getting lined up to fish certain areas. It is an honor system and I’m sure they deal with any violation amongst themselves.

If you are ever in Valdez, I highly recommend this trip. We were constantly watching wildlife or seeing other things which are unique to this area. At first I was reluctant to fork over that much money, but in the end it was certainly worth it.

Guess which TV show?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hollie's Bear Encounter

The picture is not the bear that Hollie encountered, but one that we saw last year.

We spent last night at Squirrel Creek State Park. This is a beautiful small park located on the Richardson Highway about 80 miles North of Valdez. We got a site that was right by the creek and had a great time cooking hot dogs and burgers over our roaring fire. We had purchased about 30 pieces of firewood (for $10) at a roadside honor system place that had stacks of wood priced  at $10, $15, $20, $25, $30 and $50. We bought from this place last year and the wood is very good. They have a box by their driveway and you are on your honor to pay. Previously, on this trip, we have paid as much as $1 a stick for wood.

When we checked in this campground, I noticed a sign stating that firewood would be delivered to the campground at 6 & 9 pm. So when I was approached by a young woman who asked if I knew why the firewood had not been delivered, I told her I did not, but that if she wanted some of our wood, I would sell her 6 sticks for $5 which was less that what we paid for some and more than what we had paid for others. I figured it was a good deal since they would otherwise not have any wood. Then, a guy from her group came over with the money and since I'm too short to reach inside the truck, I told him to just get 6 pieces of wood. The guy moved the wood around until he had picked out the biggest and best pieces and he took *seven* pieces. Since Hollie was not around, I thought I'd best not get into a confrontation in remote Alaska over firewood. But it did anger me that I was trying to be helpful and then, in my opinion, I get shafted. So much for trying to do a good deed.

Before we started our fire we went out for our workouts. The only place to run or bike was the highway and we were located at a very hilly section. Hollie did not want to get too far away and he wanted to ride back and forth until he got his desired distance. I did the same, except that I ran 4 miles and walked 1 mile. I got back before he finished and got the fire started. When he finally returned to the campsite, he appeared to be very agitated and excited. As he explained his bear encounter, I quickly understood his elevated state. He said that he was riding up hill when a grizzly started across the road about 20-30 yards in front of him. The bear reared up and Hollie was sure he was about to be attacked. Then, the bear quickly turned and ran in the opposite direction. We had a good laugh about this as we figured that the bear had never seen anyone riding that road on a Cat Tryke which is a three wheel tryke where the rider's butt is about 4 inches off the ground.

We are now in Valdez, Alaska where the high temp today was 55 degrees, with mostly rain. We found that we could workout at the community college for a $10 per person fee. Hollie did that because he wanted to do a weight lifting session, as well as walk/run on the treadmill. I went outside and although I got quite wet, I was never really uncomfortable as I ran 6 miles and walked 1 mile.

We will be in Valdez for at least 3 nights and if the weather improves, we would like to do a boat trip out into Prince William Sound. There are also two very nice museums which I will visit. Of course, there is the fish hatchery which attracts eagles and bears. The back drop for this is Prince William Sound where there are whales, sea lions, otters and lots of salmon.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Now in Homer, Alaska


Before we left Soldotna, AK yesterday morning, we stopped by the Skyview HS and I got in a good speed workout. This is not the track I ran on last week that had all the mystery/incorrect markings, but it also had issues. There were frost heaves in most of the lanes, but only lane one was so bad that I had to stay away from it. I ran a total of 4.5 miles and walked 1.75. The speed consisted of 6 x 400 @ 2:08 with a 400 jog recovery.

This school is located in a beautiful area with cross country trails overlooking the school. In fact, they have a series of 5K trail runs for 5 consecutive Wednesday evenings. I had considered doing that event, but I really needed a speed workout more than I needed a trail run. After I finished the workout, I did walk part of the trail and saw that it was lighted for cross country skiing. Here in Alaska, they would need lights because of the lack of sun during the Winter. I think they have the Alaska state cross country championship on this course. It would be perfect, for such an event. The surface was dirt and grass, with the trail having several changes in elevation as it worked its way through the woods.

We are staying just outside Homer at an RV park overlooking the bay, with the mountains in the background. Our spot is such that when we sit at our dining table, we have a great view. It is hand’s down, the best view that we have had at any campground. I have included pictures. We will stay here at least two nights.

This morning’s weather forecast called for rain so we tried to get out early and do our workout. Hollie wanted to go to a track. Last year I had attempted to run on the middle school track, but it was pretty bad. We went over and checked it out and it was even worse than last year. I knew that the high school track had been condemned in 2008, but I also knew they were going to rebuild it this year. We went by the check it out and sure enough it was under construction. That meant that we would do our workouts on the Homer Spit which has a hike and bike trail. I had run on it last year and it is a beautiful area, with wildflowers all along the trail and great views of the bay and the surrounding mountains. I ran 4 miles and walked 1 mile. As I was doing my stretching, I noticed that a huge bald eagle was high up on a light tower, observing me.

Tomorrow we will hit the road, but we’re not sure where we will be for the next few days. We do want to go back to Valdez, but may take our time getting there.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


We are still in the Kenai, Alaska and we are experiencing our best weather yet. The highs have been in the low 70s and the lows in the 30-45 range. One of the things that we really enjoy is watching dip net fishing. This is an opportunity that is only available to Alaska residents. When the salmon run into the mouth of the Kenai river, people stand in the water or ride on small boats hold “dip nets” into which the fish swim. These nets are huge and are attached to an aluminum pole. The people wear chest high waders or wet suits and go out into the water, some up to their armpits. Once they capture a fish, they take it up on the beach and kill it by bopping it with a small bat. Then, the fish is handed off to someone else who cleans it. Sometimes there is an assembly line going and there is one person in the water, one person bopping and sometimes several people cleaning the fish. The debris from the cleaning is left on the beach and the sea gulls feast.

As you will see in the pictures, this is a huge family activity. Each permit holder can take 25 salmon and 10 flounder and 10 of either for each additional household member.

Tuesday afternoon we drove out to Captain Cook State Park. We had bought some salmon and firewood and proceeded to cook our fish. Not really knowing what we were doing, we tried four different methods. Using aluminum foil, we placed the fillet on the foil and added either butter, Italian salad dressing or Evil Evelyn’s (honey mustard) which we had bought early in this trip. We then double wrapped with the foil. Each of these turned out quite tasty, but we had either cooked them too long or had the fire too hot. It really did not matter since we were having such fun with the fire and enjoying the view out over the inlet with the mountains in the background.

It is indeed a small world! As we were finishing up our picnic, three people came along and we asked them if they would take our picture. While talking with them, we discovered they were from the Katy, TX area and the more we talked, the more we realized that we had quite a few mutual friends. That was really fun! There were here working for a company that is hiring for some new/renewed oil and gas development.

Since we were so smoky smelling, we wanted to get a shower before going to bed. We have found that we can get free showers ($2.00 for non Seniors) at the Kenai Recreation Center. This had worked quite well until last night when the shower area was taken over by “natives” who had been dip net fishing. To put this as nicely as possible, I have never seen so many large naked women. It was not a pretty sight. I have not discussed what Hollie’s experience was like and I really do not want to know.


Yesterday morning we decided to drive to Homer which is about 80 miles South of Soldotna. We weren’t sure if we would actually make it since there are so many places along the way which we had previously visited and wanted to see once again.

About 15 miles South of  Soldotna we headed out on a nicely paved loop road that promised great views of the Cook inlet. Too bad that we did not get to see them. At least not today. About 4 miles into the loop we had a blow out. No problem, we have a nice new spare. Too bad the hook on the rod that cranks the jacks just broke right off. At this this time, we are not too happy with Toyota since this is a brand new jack that came with our brand new truck. I was also kicking myself for not renewing the Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance that we had last year. So, we bite the bullet and I call Good Sam’s and explain that my policy has expired but ask if they can tell me who they *would* have sent had we had the policy. They were very nice and gave me the name and number. I called the guy and he was changing the tire within an hour of our call. Needless to say, I will be renewing the Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance.

Now, we have to have a new tire so we go back to Soldotna and buy one. We also need a new rod for the jack, but since there is no Toyota dealer here and that rod was pitiful, we plan to go to Walmart later tonight and buy a new and hopefully better jack or rod or whatever we think we need.

The strange thing about the negative things that have happened on this trip is that neither Hollie nor I have been too upset. Our attitude is shit happens and you just deal with it. While on the trip we have had the trailer furnace repaired, our house in Hattiesburg was struck by lightening and now we had this blow out. We just altered our plans and went out for our workout. The real frustration is that when we went back to the Recreation Center to shower---guess who was there? Yes, once again I had to shower with all those naked Native women. I don’t think I’ll be going back there.

We spent another night at our “second home” the Kenai Wal-mart parking lot. Today I will go the track and do a speed workout and then we’ll try to continue on to Homer.

Life is still good!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Soldotna, Alaska 5K


Last year Hollie and I did this race. We really liked the course and the “bang for you buck” that we got. This year was just as good as last year, even better for Hollie.This race is put on as a group effort of several area Rotary clubs and since they have so many sponsors and in kind donations, the entry fee is quite low. This year it was $30 for an individual and $50 for a family. For the $50, we got nice fabric drawstring bags, long sleeved shirts and tooth brushes. 

The post race goodies included hot dogs, hamburgers (with cheese, onions, lettuce and tomato if desired), soft drinks, coffee, chips, bagels, cream cheese, yogurt, bananas, and oranges. They had way more food than was needed and encouraged people to take leftovers.

The one place that they did lack was with the awards. There was a 5K and a 10-mile race and the awards consisted of 1st, 2nd, 3rd place ribbons for the top male and female in each race. People did not seem to mind that there were no age group awards.

This race was important to Hollie. In his day to day training, he alternates days of biking and days of walking and running and he has been increasing the running segments with the goal of running the entire distance in this race. The course is mostly downhill, with the first mile losing the most elevation. He was able to run the whole thing! He did not get the time he was hoping for, but this is the longest continuous run that he has done in over four years. As most of you know, he fell off a ladder and got an open fracture to his ankle area and now has steel plates and 12 screws in that area. Within 6 months of the injury, he was back to walking and worked his way up to becoming a competitive race walker. Race walking is easier for him because the technique requires much less foot flexion than does running. Anyway, I think he is pleased that he could do the continuous run, but disappointed with the time. I also think that if he does not have ankle pain in the next few days, he will really start to train to race 5Ks, rather than race walking.

As for me, I ran pretty well. I don’t have my running log with me and I can’t recall what I ran last year so I don’t know how today’s performance compares. Earlier in the year, I had set this as a goal race where I wanted to go below 26 minutes, but I just have not done the necessary training and I need to drop about 5 pounds. I’m pleased with my time of 26:55. The first downhill mile was 8:41, the second mile was 8:52 and I did 9:22 for the last 1.1.

This was a really nice race---well organized, good course, great post race goodies and the weather was ideal with the temperature 51 degrees at the 9:30 am start. That’s unreal, considering it is the middle of July.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Electrical Problems in Threes

Bad things happen in threes? If so, I’ve very quickly run through my threes and all of them have to do with electrical problems. The first problem I only found out yesterday was probably electrical in nature. Some time between leaving Hattiesburg (where we certainly did not need our trailer furnace) and arriving in Alaska (where we really do need a working furnace) our furnace quit working properly. Robert S. can relate to how difficult it sometimes is to get parts and service here in Alaska. This is especially true when limited because of needing repair under warranty. Yesterday we took the trailer to a guy here in Soldatna. He worked on it for almost 5 hours and was not able to get it to work properly. Sometimes it would come on and then cycle off to not come on again. Sometimes it would not go on at all. And sometimes it would go on and stay on forever. Anyway, he has a call into the manufacturer to discuss possible fixes, but his recommendations is to replace it with a new one.

Electrical problem #2 happened last week at a campground when we had to use our heavy duty extension cord with adaptor to connect to the power source at the campground. We saw that we were not getting full power and discovered that the extension cord and plug were both hot. The owner of the campground loaned us a cord and everything worked fine, so I assume that the problem was our cord.

Problem #3 I learned about when my friend who is watering my plants and checking on our Hattiesburg house called to tell us about what she had found. When she went in the house to do a walk through, she saw that a power outlet in the carpet floor of the living room had “exploded” and parts of it were all over the room. She also noted that a motion sensor light was broken in pieces all over the patio. She was so rattled that she did not think to check if power was on in the house. So I called a neighbor across the street who has a key. She went over and checked and sure enough all power was off. She said that a couple of weeks ago, there had been a huge lightening strike in the area and she had observed Comcast replacing a big “box” between our house and a neighbor. I then called that neighbor and he told me that their AC had gone out during that storm and they had to have it repaired, but did not make the connection that it was due to lightening.

I just spoke to our son who was at our house with his electrical engineer father-in-law. They were doing a walk through and said all the breakers had been tripped, but power was back on when they reset them. They checked some of the appliances, but could not tell anything other than the TVs were probably fried. We have called our insurance to alert them and we’ll deal with whatever when we get home.

Otherwise, we are in Soldatna/Kenai, AK hanging out at the library as we wait for the rain to clear out. Without the furnace working, it’s a bit cold in the trailer. Yesterday we worked out on treadmills at the Kenai Community Center and then used their showers. The charge was $5 for the two of us. We’ll probably do that again today and then go to Soldatna HS this evening to register for Saturday’s 5K. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get the furnace fixed and then head on down to Homer for a few days. If we can get the furnace working, we can save quite a bit of money staying in state parks, forest service campgrounds, Walmarts, or other stores. Otherwise we have to choose to be cold or pay for a CG with electric so we can use our space heater. I’d prefer to go on the cheap and use the gas furnace.

Even with all these issues, we are having great time. Although I complain about the cold and rain, when it is sunny this is such a beautiful place. The people are so nice and you certainly can’t beat the scenery or the wildlife viewing possibilities. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Boon docking in Soldatna

The term boon docking or dry camping means that we are somewhere without electric, water or sewer. We are cheap and we like to do this whenever possible. Here in Alaska, it is very easy because there are dump stations where we can empty our gray and black water tanks and fill up our water tank. For us, this works well except that right now our gas furnace is not working. When the night temperature is 38-45, it is a little difficult to force myself out of bed in the morning. As long as I'm under my two blankets, it's OK. Anyway, the furnace is still under warranty and we have an appointment to get it checked out tomorrow.

Yesterday we were in the Soldatna Mcdonalds and we met a couple from TN. The guy was a retired elementary principal and the woman was a retired nurse. Their travel routes, interests and places where they had stayed and planned to visit were very similar to ours so we spent over an hour discussing things. We plan to meet up with them next week.It is really interesting and fun to meet people our age who are having as much fun and who are as free spirited as we are or are becoming.

Since we are not at a campground (we stayed last night in the Fred Meyer parking lot with 40-50 close friends) we tried to find a place to shower. I read that the Soldatna Sports Center (a Hockey facility) had free showers. So, we parked there and did our workouts along the very nice asphalt trail that connecst Soldatna and Kenai When we got back to the building, we were told that they were getting ready to close because staff was attending a meeting. I had also read that there was a car wash and laundry that also had showers that cost $3.50 for 10 minutes. We went there and the female owner was there and not only did they have very clean showers with very hot water, but she also had a paperback book exchange. We'll be going back there after today's workout and I'll then post a picture of the place.

We will be in this area at least until Saturday when we will do a 5K race. It is sponsored by the Rotary and the entry fee is $50 for a family. Last year we entered our grandchildren and we ended up with 5 long sleeve shirts and 5 pair of socks. Quite a bang for the buck!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Meeting Up With Friends

Our friends Janie and Mason Honeycutt, along with two of their friends are also here in Alaska. Janie is a running friend from Houston. She and I used to train together during our lunch/conference periods when we were coaching at schools that were about 1.5 mile apart. We also ran the Boston Marathon together in the late 1970s.We have been staying in contact and hoped to meet up with them at some point. This morning they called and we made arrangements to meet them at The Moose is Loose Bakery in Soldatna. We visited for about an hour and then they continued on to Seward and we are still in Soldatna. Hollie is now our for a bike ride and I've been spending some time in a very nice outdoor store where I found a camp sleeping pad that would work very well for my time on the ground in the Grand Canyon. I'll think about it and maybe go back and buy.

We are once again staying the night at the Real Alaska campground where this morning we had another visit by the moose and her calves. I tried for more pictures, but they made it into the woods before I could get close enough. They'll probably be back tonight.

Tomorrow we will try to get the furnace repaired and then we will stay in this area at least until Saturday when we will run a 5K race.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

July 4-7

I've not had reliable internet service and I've gotten lazy about updating this blog. So, I will work my way backwards as I update.

We are now in a campground near Sterling, AK. We checked in last, set up our trailer and then drove about 15 miles to Soldatna and Kenai. When we got back to the CG Hollie went for a bike ride and I did a 3 mile run. Later in the evening, we discovered that something was wrong with our electrical connection. Luckily, the owner of the CG had just returned from fishing and he was able to determine that our problem was with our extension cord. He loaned us one and that took care of everything. Later in the evening when I was walking around, I saw a moose and two young grazing on grass and trees in the CG. They were just waltzing among all the campsites as if we were not even present. Everyone was taking pictures, but we all kept our distance as the Mother moose was huge and she could have done some serious damage to any of us who were silly enough to get too close. They defend themselves by stomping the threat. They stayed in the area throughout the evening and I did get some great pictures.

Thursday, July 5 we were still in Seward where the weather was not good. We had rain all day with temperatures in the 50-55 range. I waited around for a long time, hoping it would clear so I could run. It really never did and I gave up and went back to the HS track and ran 4 miles. I did the track so that if I was too cold or the rain got harder, I could bail. All the time I was running, even though it was very cloudy and raining, I could hear several helicopters flying around Mount Marathon. I later heard that they were searching for a guy who had disappeared during the previous day's Mount Marathon race. This is a 3-3.5 mile race that goes straight up and down a mountain. I don't have all the details, but this guy has not been found. He is 66 years old and it had taken him 3 hours to get to the top of the mountain. He was dressed in shorts and shirt and with the low temperatures and the rain, he was probably in trouble at that point. The last person to see him was the last timer at the top. The timer walked down toward him and chatted. He said he was OK and would probably finish in an hour and a half. The time continued on down the mountain and that is the last that anyone saw of him. As of this afternoon (3 days later) he has not been found. If you are interested in learning more about this race and the missing guy, just do a search for "mount marathon missing runne"r and you will find details.

That takes me to July 4 which was a very important day in Seward. It was the 100th anniversary of the founding of the town as well as the 85th running of the Mount Marathon race described above. This year's event had a field of 375 men and 375 women in separate races. There was also a race for kids 7-17 that covered half the distance. This is one of the most difficult races in the world, although it is over a relatively short distance. The race gains 3000 feet in elevation and has an average incline of 38 degrees with 60 degrees at some points.There is one path to the top, but several ways of coming down. Whatever route is taken is muddy, rocky and filled with roots. At the top, there is a snow field and some racers chose to slide down the snow field, rather than taking one of the other routes.One of the down routes consists of a scramble or drop off a cliff area. One of the men fell and sustained a serious head injury and a broken leg.

The oldest female participant was 72 and the oldest male was 84. They both finished the race. Many of the finishers had bloody scrapes and cuts, especially on their hands. Most people wear gloves, but those who do not risk injury. Some wear knee pads and most wear gaiters.

Between the male and female races, there is a typical "small town" parade. We also sampled pie and coffee and BBQ chicken dinners sold by a couple of the churches.

That brings me up to date, with the exception of what we did today. This morning we took a 19 mile drive on a gravel road that went to several campgrounds and boat launches as well as wade fishing areas. There were some excellent views of the a lake with mountains in the background. After the drive, we did our workouts. I ran 5 miles mostly downhill and with the wind behind me---5 miles out and had Hollie pick me up.

This evening we went to a Masonic Lodge fish fry. The cost was $15 and it was all you care to eat. The fish was halibut, salmon and cod. We also had fries and cheese biscuit, as well as cole slaw and beans. Both the slaw and beans were very tasty and different from any I have previously eaten. The slaw consisted of cabbage, apples, red pepper, onion and raisins. The bean dish contained limas, black, pinto, and butter beans with onion and a tasty sauce. While we were eating we met two women from MS. One was from Madison and she has been coming to AK for the past 19 years, The other was from Gulfport.

We really like this campground and we will stay a total of three nights. Then we need to find an RV place to repair our furnace. We really like staying in forest service, state or national campgrounds, but we need the furnace since most of these places do not have electricity for our space heater.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Seward, AK

After staying three nights at a Forest Service campground about 25 miles out of Seward, we are now at the Stony Creek RV Park about 5 miles out of town. It is nice to be able to get a shower and have internet service. 

We have been on the road since June 9 and it has not been difficult to get in my usual running, but it has been difficult to train. Finally, the past two weeks have been good for training. I have done 3 speed workouts and 2 long runs of 7 miles for total weekly mileage of 29.75 and 31.75. Two of the speed sessions were good, with each being at an 8:40 pace. The other one was just not good. Today I found the Seward HS track and did 1 mile, .75, .5, and .25 at that pace with a .25 walk between each speed segment.

The temperature was 51 degrees when I started the workout at about 11:00 am. I wore long tights, and a LS shirt, wind breaker and gloves for the WU. I then changed to a SS shirt for the speed part of the workout. With a light wind, I was dressed just right. As I was finishing the workout, a mist rolled in and I could not see the mountain that runners will be going up and down tomorrow. This is the Mount Marathon which is only 3-3.5 miles in distance by gains 3000 feet elevation up to the halfway point. Then, the runners, walkers, crawlers have to come back down. The weather forecast for tomorrow is 90% chance of rain and temps of about 50. I wanted to get lots of pictures, but we may be watching it form the comfort of our truck.

We had originally planned to stay in Seward for a week, but decided to only stay 4 nights. There is so much in Alaska that we want to see and experience so we will shorten our stay here. We really wanted to be here for the Seward July 4th run, parade and other festivities. The town is packed with people!