Maybe a month ago (yah I’m really behind) I spent the weekend in Seward, AK. I’m working M-F, now, with less opportunity for long forays into my new backyard. Which makes me a little cranky but really appreciative of the times I do get away from Anchorage. Don’t get me wrong, Anchorage has cool stuff to see and do. But I’ve got the itch to get out. All the time.
Seward is under three hours away. The drive is glorious.
AK scant on towns with pre-1950’s charm (this is a young state, after all) Seward defies, hanging on to that little-town-by-the-sea quaintness, romance and character (while remaining a little rough on the edges.)
Spent the first day on a tour boat in Resurrection Bay. I’ll share that with you. But first, the context, a bit about the town itself.
- Population – 3016
- A fur trade post was est. there in 1793
- It’s the seventh most lucrative fishing center in the US
- For every 100 females there are 150 males. That’s probably part of the rough around the edges part.
- The famed Mt. Marathon race happens every 4th of July. Runners ascend the peak at 3,022′ in 1.6 miles and run back down. Fastest times are noted to be 33-40 minutes. Yow!
- Median household income is $44,306
- About 1/3 the city’s land is under the ocean
- Exxon gave them the funds for a Sea Life Center after they had the big boo boo
Squooshed under beautiful peaks, Resurrection Bay laps at the shore. Beautiful. But precarious. The 1964 earthquake claimed 11 lives. Petroleum-fed fires were a problem as well as a tsunamis. A NASA Astrophysics Website describes:
“Seward was the only town hit by tsunamis generated from both submarine landslide and tectonic sources. Within 45 seconds of the start of the earthquake, a 1-km-long section of waterfront began sliding seaward, and soon after, the town was inundated by ~10 m tall waves. About 30 minutes later, the tectonically-generated tsunami arrived with waves also about 10 m tall. Studies soon after the earthquake showed lowering of the ocean bottom of up to 34 m near the Seward waterfront, and led to the conclusion that submarine landslides generated the tsunamis that inundated the town immediately after the earthquake.”
34 meters! The little town museum was closed. A bummer. I wanted to visit and learn more about the town.My house-mate just informed me a crane, capable of picking up semi-trailers , went missing. Is it buried under the ocean floor?
Stayed in a fab B&B called Alaska Paddle Inn. Stay there if you visit. The views from the 2 rooms are what you see from the beach across the street. Lots of skiing in the “Cape,” the B&B host mentioned.
Flotsam on the shore:
Harbors intrigue me for the distance traveled by some of these vessels, people living on them, making a living from them. I like the variety of boats. (The more functional, working ones I like the best, not the fancy-pants yacht-like boats.)
I didn’t take a pic of the main street. Why do I always forget this?
There’s a delightful little coffee shop/art gallery I could spend a whole day in. Handy to remember for potential rain-soaked excursions to Seward. Local artisan’s work are showcased there, quite reasonably priced I’ll add. It’s called the Resurrect Art Coffee House. And the coffee…yum.
In the choir loft, a peak out the window:
A real treat, found while walking through town, a wee sign of spring that counterbalanced my swing from CA’s balmy winter to AK’s real winter, crocus along a home’s foundation.
Next post I’ll share what I saw out on the water.