miles traveled on train
miles walked

Currently: 65 degrees, cloudy, Seward, AK. Watching a lifetime documentary about Full House.

What’d We Do?

This morning we woke up at 5am, packed our bags and walked the 100 feet to the train station. As the train wove through Anchorage we saw the Alaska Range appear along the horizon and witnessed low-tide along the beaches of Turnagain Arm. The mountains along the route from Anchorage to Seward are extremely beautiful with their ragged peaks that look untouched.

Since we were taking the train just one-way, we decided to splurge and get the first class gold-star service, which meant we got to wear pins that told everyone else how much cooler we are than them. It also meant we got seats in a dome car and had breakfast included. If you’ve never dined aboard a train, I highly recommend it. Although I’m not as much of a train advocate as Kirsten and her family, it’s awesome to get a good meal, share a table with complete strangers and watch the scenery go by.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but aboard the train we managed to meet two guys who are connected to Kirsten’s dad. I’m not certain on how they met originally, but when Kir’s dad visited Alaska to chase trains last fall, the one man who works for the Alaska railroad helped them find the best photos and tipped them off to the train schedules.

We spent nearly the entire 4.5 hour ride in the open-air section of the car, snapping away at each new glacier or river view. Upon arriving in Seward we boarded a schoolbus and drove to downtown to find our hotel.

We found lunch across the street from the hotel at a sandwich shop overlooking Resurrection Bay. The bay is surrounded by awesome peaks and features rocky beaches with fish constantly jumping in and out of the water.

After lunch we walked to the Sealife Center where we had scheduled an experience to be up-close with puffins. When Kirsten and I started dating, we took a road trip to Maine and took a cruise out of Boothbay Harbor to see puffins. Since the birds are so small, they were hard to spot from the boat. Today we fixed that. We learned all about puffins and other seabirds, then entered their enclosure and spent about 30 minutes feeding the birds. Puffins are funny little birds, and apparently quite picky eaters. They had their favorite types of fish and would shake their heads disapprovingly if they didn’t like what we were offering.

After seeing seals, sea lions and other types of fish and marine life at the Sealife Center, we walked back to the hotel for a well-deserved nap.

For dinner we walked across town to a burrito place. I was hesitant to eat mexican in Alaska, but man was I wrong. This burrito place was delicious and featured a great selection of salsas.

Tomorrow we hit the bay for a long wildlife cruise.

Who We Met

We talked with a pilot and another local over dinner in an Anchorage bar last night who gave us tips for the rest of our trip, and encouraged us to exercise our morbid curiosity to see what can’t be unseen at the state fair next week.

This morning we had breakfast with a great couple from San Francisco who we traded stories with and seemed to share our interest in travel and adventure.

We met Kir’s dad’s friend who works for the Alaska Railroad and his friends who pointed out the most interesting scenery along the way.

What We Ate

Stuffed french toast and reindeer sausage aboard the train. Sandwiches with tons of avocado for lunch, and burritos and salsa for dinner.

What We Learned

Puffins are picky eaters. Uncle Jesse had dated Aunt Rebecca in real life previous to the show.

Wildlife We Saw

2 bald eagles. 2 moose. Lots of salmon attempting to swim upstream.

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