Resurrection Bay, Alaska

Cabin bound By The Shores Of Resurrection Bay. Wintry Alaska At Its Best


By the shores of Resurrection Bay, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. March 15, 2013

I’ve spent the last three nights – with tonight being the fourth – in a lakeside cabin on the shores of a wintery & breathtakingly beautiful Resurrection Bay on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. A cabin in Alaska. A cliché? You betcha!, as that great Alaskan Sarah Palin has been known to utter.

Millers Landing at Lowell Point on Resurrection Bay, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 15th 2013.

Millers Landing (map-pointer-icon) at Lowell Point on the shores of Resurrection Bay, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 15, 2013.

Alaska || Sheer Natural Beauty
It goes without saying that for sheer natural beauty Alaska is one of the ultimate travel destinations. Over the past four days I’ve often found myself wondering if the 700,000 Alaskans that populate this vast, remote state, the biggest but least populated of the 50 U.S. states, take for granted all of this encompassing jaw-dropping beauty – these rugged mountains, glaciers & lakes. I’d imagine that one might do after a while and that just strikes me as nothing short of a travesty.

I’ve taken quite a few pictures already. Of course I have. Mostly of the water & mountains surrounding me. They are everywhere & there’s no escaping them, not until such time as the clouds roll in and envelop them. That has happened more than once over the last few days and what a glorious sight it has been from behind the glass of a cozy lakeside cabin.

Snow on Resurrection Bay, Lowell Point, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 14th 2013.

Snow falling on Resurrection Bay as seen from the Cloud 9 Cabin of Angel’s Rest on Resurrection Bay, Lowell Point, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 14, 2013.

But when they – the water & surrounding peaks – are visible then they put on quite the show.

The peaks across Resurrection Bay from Lowell Point, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 13th 2013.

The peaks across Resurrection Bay from Lowell Point, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 13th 2013.

Needless to say it’s quiet & isolated here, but not that quiet & not living-off-the-land isolated either. I’ve spent my time sitting in the cabin rocking chairs looking out the window trying to spot sea lions or seals in the bay, the waters of which feel like they are right on top of me at high tide.

A panorama from the edge of Resurrection Bay, Lowell Point, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 13th 2013.

A panorama from the edge of Resurrection Bay, Lowell Point, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 1, 2013.

Breaking Out
I’ve made a few trips away from the confines of the cabin, sliding around the on the snow-covered gravel roads – aside from the main roads not too many roads in Alaska seem to be paved. The supermarket in Seward, a town some 3 miles away along the edge of Resurrection Bay, has seen me a few times, although not yesterday when it was snowing such that I was quite happy to stay put (& warm) in the cabin. There’s been a few cozy cabin days.

The peaks across Resurrection Bay from Lowell Point, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 15th 2013.

The peaks across Resurrection Bay from Lowell Point, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 15, 2013.

Alaska || Seward’s Folly
For years, Alaska was viewed as a frozen wasteland, barren and unworthy of attention. So much so that at the time it was famously purchased from the Russians back in 1867 by Secretary of State William H. Seward, from whom Seward gets its name, the state was nicknamed “Seward’s Folly”. But all that changed when the state became one of the US’s most valuable assets in terms of minerals, especially gold & oil. Gold was first discovered in Alaska’s interior in 1886 & by the mid-20th century the state began to transform from simple wasteland into vast natural resource mine, with Seward leading the way – miners blazed trails from here to gold fields in central & western Alaska using a system of pack and sled trails, wagon roads & railroad beds eventually becoming the famous Iditarod Trail.

2013 Iditarod
I’ve tried to use the downtime to get some stuff done but of course with seemingly all the time in the world the to-do list just grows longer. One distraction was following the story of the 2013 Iditarod, the 1000-mile dog sledge race that is the most popular annual sporting event in Alaska. Yep. Not the NFL. Not the NBA. Not even the ice-heavy NHL. Nope. Dog sledging gets the pulse of Alaskans racing. The Iditarod ended on the day I arrived with none other than local musher (a person who drives, or travels with, a dog team) Mitch Seavey winning it for the second time. That’s big news in these quarters & I like the appropriateness of me being here at the same time.

Resurrection Bay, Lowell Point, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 14th 2013.

The snow abated towards the end of the day yesterday and eventually stopped altogether. When it did it was low tide in the bay so I ventured out on the rocks outside the cabin (I didn’t venture too far mind). The above picture was taken at 7:30 p.m. as the last of the days light was fading fast. It was blue. Very, very blue. Resurrection Bay, Lowell Point, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 14, 2013.

Closed
I’ve also looked at a few Alaskan wildlife DVDs, the entertainment options provided by the cabin. The DVDs on the bears – the grizzly, brown & black bears – were the best. Amazing creatures. This is bear country you see & were it summer then I’d definitely have made an effort to do a bit of bear spotting – organised bear spotting, a sort of Alaskan safari. But it’s not summer. It’s winter of course which means the bears are sleeping. A lot of Alaska sleeps this time of year – all the pleasure craft are moored in Seward harbour waiting out the cold; most of the tourist-orientated restaurants in the town have posted ‘Closed for the Season’ signs; all the hiking trails in the surrounding hills are off-limits; & the nearby Kenai Fjords National Park is closed with no access, except via dog sledge or snowmobile, to its famous Exit Glacier. But all of that is OK. Winter or no the scenery is still here. It’s everywhere. And that, really, is all that matters.

Boats in Seward Harbour, Seward, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 13th 2013.

Boats in Seward Harbour. Seward’s location, nestled between forested, snow-capped mountains on the shores of Resurrection Bay, is stunning. Not surprisingly it’s an outdoorsy kind of place – most of what to do revolves around the great outdoors & coming here in winter means a lot of places are closed and a lot of things you might want to do are shut down for the season. I knew that before getting here and so was quite content with sitting in my cabin letting the days pass. And they did. And unfortunately they passed quicker than I would have hoped. Seward, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 13, 2013.

The Founding Of Seward
In August of 1903, the steamer Santa Ana arrived in Resurrection Bay and Seward was founded by the Alaska Central Railway Company as the ocean terminus of the proposed rail road to the Alaskan interior. The chief founder of the city, a guy by the name of John Ballaine, described the ship’s entry into Resurrection Bay on a clam, clear day.

If there is such a place as heaven, I cannot imagine anyone admitted through its pearly gates with sentiments more joyous than I experienced that shining forenoon as we glided easily in those majestic scenes up to the timber-covered site I had chosen for the future terminal city – the future gateway into and out of Alaska’s great interior.

Alaska || To Plan
Alaska isn’t the kind of place one visits on a whim, especially this time of year. I’d done my pre-arrival homework so I knew it would be mostly closed for the season. That was fine with me – given a choice I’m an out of season kind of traveller – so I had plans of doing absolutely nothing for my 4 days & nights here in a cabin on the shores of Resurrection Bay. It was going to be, and was, a time to recoup after the stresses of 2 weeks in Hawaii (yes, I did just type that). And as it turned out everything about my time in a cabin on the shores of Resurrection Bay worked out exactly as planned, which is to say I had nothing planned for it at all.

A disused Alaska Railroad carriage at Lowell Point on the shores of Resurrection Bay, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 15th 2013.

A disused Alaska Railroad carriage at Lowell Point on the shores of Resurrection Bay, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. March 15, 2013.

Moving On
Doing nothing in Seward ends tomorrow when I’ll slide the snow off my hire car, de-ice its windscreen & drive, via first the Seward Highway & then the Stirling Highway, to Homer, another Kenai Peninsula town. Two nights I’ll spend there but not in a cabin unfortunately. I’ve no plans for Homer either. It’ll be more of the same, just in a different Kenai Peninsula location.


Resurrection Bay, Alaska || The Gallery

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