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Williwaw Campground to Trail River Campground, Alaska

30 August 2010 - Monday

It was another chilly night last night. Not quite freezing, but close enough.  Overcast skies greeted us again, too. After breakfast it was dog walk time. We headed out on the "Trail of Blue Ice", a nice wide gravel walking path next to the campground. 

Trail of Blue Ice, Chugach National Forest, Alaska
Trail of Blue Ice walking trail at Williwaw Campground

Headed west on the trail as we'd done the east route yesterday. I heard a noise up ahead, around a bend. My intuitive sense told me to shorten the leash and keep Tazz close. Sure'nuff ... around the corner was mama black bear scooting her two cubs up a tree! We did an abrupt 180 and decided that the east route wasn't so bad yesterday. It would make for a good walk this morning too!

Chugach National Forest, Alaska
Creek with a bridge over on the Trail of Blue Ice

Came across a wasp hive. It the biggest I've seen ... about 10" across.  A friend tells me he's seen them up to 2 feet wide; maybe that's just another Alaskan tall tale which would have us all believing everything is bigger and better in Alaska.

Wasp hive in Chugach National Forest, Alaska
Wasp hive near Williwaw Campground

Back at camp we debated whether to stay another night or move along. We had already decided to not drive to Homer but thought Seward could be interesting. Yup, decided to hitch up and head out. There were patches of blue overhead as we turned south onto the Seward Highway. 

The scenery in this area reminded us of home. The Lower Mainland of British Columbia around Squamish, Whistler & Pemberton is very similar. North Vancouver Island is also much the same. 

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Southbound near Turnagain Pass on the Seward Highway - N60 47.474 W149 12.400

Even the clouds are the same at home ... just hanging around the mountaintops and threatening to rain. 

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Southbound on the Seward Highway near Spokane Creek - N60 44.927 W149 15.186

First decision of the day was whether to turn north on the Hope Highway to visit the town of Hope. We stopped at the rest area at the junction of the Seward & Hope Highway and poked around a bit while debating next steps. There are numerous trails in the area; some look to be the old highway. The bridge across Canyon Creek is certainly impressive.

Canyon Creek on Seward Highway, Alaska
Stop at Canyon Creek rest area at the junction of the Hope Highway

Decided to continue south, towards Seward.

Sign pointing to Kenai, Homer & Soldotna, Alaska
Approaching the junction of the Seward Highway with the Sterling Highway

Sign pointing to Kenai, Homer & Soldotna, Alaska
Straight through to Seward and a right turn towards Homer

Sign to Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords, Alaska
Exit Glacier is apparently a popular stop

Tern Lake is supposed to be a good bird watching spot.  We didn't realize until we were passed the turnoff that there are no good pull-offs alongside the lake on the Seward Highway. To access the pull-off and rest area, turn right at the junction!

Lake at Junction of Highways 1 & 3, Alaska
Tern Lake viewed from the Seward Highway

The drive along Upper Trail Lake was nice. The Moose Pass area was quaint. We could imagine ourselves living in one of the cottages and homes visible from the highway.

Just south of Moose Pass is the Trail River USFS Campground.  Drove in to take a look. We were a little "peopled-out" from yesterday and today the busy highway was a bit too much for our blood pressure so hoped the campground was quiet. It was. Only a handful of sites were occupied, all by the lakeshore. So we checked out the nice sites in the woods. Found a site we liked and decided to stay the night even though it was early in the day.

Later in the afternoon I headed out with my camera to shoot the flora & fauna. 

Dwarf Dogwood, Cornus canadensis, Alaska
Dwarf Dogwood at Trail River in Alaska

This area is "coastal" and there are numerous fungi in the forest.
The variety of mushrooms captured my interest.

I'm no expert so don't know what these are. If you know, send me an email please.

Mushrooms/Fungus on Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Mushrooms/Fungus on Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Mushrooms/Fungus on Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

I do know what this "weed" was ... a flower-less fireweed in brilliant fall colours! 

Mushrooms/Fungus on Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Colourful fireweed plant in the fall

Also saw evidence of moose in the area ... 

Moose Droppings, Alaska
Moose droppings near Trail River in Alaska

The day stayed dampish and overcast. The campground had level & large sites that were all well-maintained by the campground host. Our site was deep and roomy.

Campsite at Trail River, Alaska
Campsite 20 at Trail River USFS Campground

We enjoyed a quiet evening around the campfire. It was good to be off the busy road and take time to regroup. Weren't sure what we'd do tomorrow. Maybe stay here. Maybe drive to Seward. Maybe kayak on Kenai Lake. Oh, the pressure of making decisions!

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