Seward (and Whittier and wasilla & all over)

We’ve had a fun-filled visit with friends who joined us from Arizona. We all gathered in Wasilla (a place most of us have heard of) at the home of Dan & Val who relocated to Alaska from Arizona years ago.

Teresa, Joe, Janie, Alison, Rick, Dan & Val

Dan & Val are the real deal, living a busy and full Alaskan life. Every summer they graciously put up (with!) lots of visitors from the lower 48, who get to enjoy a variety of Alaskan meat and fish from their personally stocked freezer. Dan can build, fix or restore anything, including airplanes. (If you’ve met his aunt Janie, you can see how this kind of competence runs in the family.) He’s driven the Alcan Highway 33 times.

Dan & Val built an airplane hangar by a runway, then built their home inside it. They also keep a boat down at the coast in Seward.

Not surprisingly, Dan & Val are also excellent hiking and fishing guides.

We picked our own veggies (they grow big ones up here), wild blueberries, and a new one for us, salmon berries.
A hike to the lake at Hatcher Pass and the former Independence Gold Mine, under restoration by the state of Alaska.

Fresh and saltwater fishing were also featured heavily in our schedule.

Top: Heading to the river; 2nd Row: Val’s advice on flies, Dan helping with lures, and a 20” grin (I mean rainbow trout); Bottom: the Little Susitna River (Rick claims he caught 6 pink salmon upriver here, but there were no witnesses.)

Thanks to Janie we enjoyed a fishing charter when we visited Seward.

Seward is a beautiful port city with campsites right along the waterfront.
It was cool and choppy. All of us caught fish. 2 & 1/2 of us were seasick.

We detoured to Whittier after we left Seward.

Prince William Sound

Smaller than Valdez, Whittier is another seaport on the Prince William Sound.

It was spawning time for Pink Salmon on Second Salmon Creek.
The salmon would never make it up this waterfall, even if they could get this far.

Guess we can’t leave out the excitement we had on the drive back to Wasilla. We were sideswiped on the interstate by an unlicensed, uninsured and unemployed driver who tried but didn’t get away. There were no injuries and our van still runs.

It sounds cliche, but it could’ve been far worse. Alaska may have bears, but like everywhere else, it’s the highways that can really get you.

Thanks to Dan’s very professional safety inspection, we’re confidently on our way.....

Created By
alison blakeslee