Thursday, January 28, 2010

January in Seward

We’ve had folks wondering what Seward is like in winter so we’ve promised a few photos. Our opening photo is from Lowell Point, a familiar place to our paddlers.

Seward hosts some great events in January including the annual Polar Bear fund raiser.

If leaping into frigid water not your thing … how about turkey bowling. Yup that’s a turkey that’s being tossed.

We’re starting to see some sun making the cross country skiing on Bear Lake even better.

Backcountry skiing has been excellent.

Moonrise over the mountains. The ski down was superb.

While I was skiing Kat was fishing. Dolly Varden for dinner.

Paddling is wonderful any time of year. Gunnar and Anna out for a sunset paddle.


Paddling the Exumas

The Exumas are the Alaska of the Bahamas. October was the month our friends and fellow kayak company owners Steve and Ronda (Adventure Kayaking) could break free for some fun exploring.

Steve and Ronda base in Vero Beach, Florida and when not paddling on Indian Lagoon head to the Everglades and the Bahamas. Kat and I had paddled with them before but this time we all wanted to explore the islands between Georgetown and Staniel Cay.

Warm water and white sand beaches are a winning combination. We loaded up the kayaks and headed out. The sails helped with 14 days of food and a week of water. We were able to refill water mid trip.

This was a gourmet trip. Kat and I gained weight on a camping trip … not an easy thing to do. We’re all good cooks but Steve and Ronda went all out. Shrimp, scallops and lobster were just some of the main courses we enjoyed.

Along the way we encountered some new friends. Both Ronda and Kat took a liking to the friendly iguanas that shared their island with us.

Weather was occasionally rough by Bahamas standards. It didn't stop our group from enjoying each and every day.

Warm water makes even challenging conditions fun.

We were sad to leave our new friends but excited about returning home to an Alaskan winter.

John & Kat

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fall Adventures of John & Kat

Fall – kayak seasons wrapped up. It’s time to soak up the diminishing heat of the sun and camp one more time before snow. One trip on our short list is a combo hike/paddle from Cooper landing to Seward via Kenai Lake and the Lost Lake trail.

The yellow red colors are rich. The air smells of fall, pungent with seasons' end. We check the weather and decide to begin with the Lost Lake hike.

The snow lines working down but the air has warmth mid day. We’re the only ones hiking the trail that day. Not a marmot, porcupine or bear in sight. Kat checked.

The trail is about 15 miles long. It has some elevation gain/loss at the beginning and end, with the middle 8 or so miles cruising a high plateau. Lost Lake is in the middle and as you can see quite beautiful.

Since we started at the Primrose end of the trail we finish in Seward with an overview of Resurrection Bay. Made even better by late afternoon light.

Next morning comes early with packing and a drive to Cooper Landing. By mid day we are paddling. Sunny and flat, by mid afternoon its an Alaska heat wave (almost 60f). We couldn’t have asked for a better day to end September. We split the distance and camp about half way down Kenai Lake.

We find one of the few remote picnic tables I’ve encountered, perched in a perfect spot. We pitch our tent and settle in for the evening.

The Sunset is spectacular...

As is the moonrise... Three days of reprieve from winters awaking. We toast fall and the wildness of Alaska.

John & Kat