Kenai Peninsula


The train trip from Denali to Anchorage was uneventful. Most of the jokes our train guide told we had already heard on the trip to Denali! We were still feeling the joy of our day with “the mountain” so we were able to enjoy the ride. Arriving in Anchorage in the late afternoon we started our trip to Seward. Stopping in Girdwood we had a healthy dinner at Subway and then went to a favorite nearby shop for some Dreyer’s ice cream. So here’s the line-up of flavors for this stop: 1 waffle cone with Glacier; 1 dish of chocolate, a dish with Glacier and Alaskan Blueberry, a dish with Black Cherry and Glacier, a dish with Alaskan Wildberry and Huckleberry, and a dish with Alaskan Wildberry and Chocolate. So those of you who know us can guess who had what! Remember, Pat and Fred’s daughter Jill and her 4 (almost 5) year old daughter Aida were part of the group.

Our tummy’s were full and happy and then we headed to Seward. Jill pulled her car off the road as we started onto the Kenai Peninsula and Pat pulled off behind her, I thought we had another car issue. It seems that there is a tradition for those traveling onto the peninsula for the first time. So I was escorted up to the “Welcome to the Kenai Peninsula” sign for a picture. Even though it was cloudy and raining, the evening light was just enough to see some of the beauty of the amazing Kenai Mountains. Around Moose Pass the light faded to dark with a drizzle of rain. About 9:30 pm we drove into Seward and to the house where we were staying. We slept well, in spite of the gusty winds occasionally driving rain into our windows. Even though we have had quite a few rainy days, each one seems to bring a treasure. We saw a beautiful rainbow as we drove along Turnagain Bay:

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Magical sunlight pouring out of the clouds in Seward made a journey across the bay toward our house on the hill.

Down the hill from our house was St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. On the National Register of Historic Places, St. Peter’s was built in 1904. A Dutch artist Jan Van Emple painted a scene of the resurrection on the reredos (wall behind the altar) in the 1920’s. A picture of that painting is here. 

This painting of the resurrection is remarkable because it is set against the Seward Bay and includes both Anglo and Native American adults and children. I wish I knew more about the artist and the painting.

Hoping the church was unlocked so we could see the painting we stopped there on our way out of town. A sign announcing the time of Sunday services was outside, but we were unable to get inside.

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St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Seward, AK

Driving across the Kenai Peninsula, seeing the dark beauty of the mountains formed by volcanic action against the brilliant greens of the trees, was a journey I will never forget. The name Kenai in Athabascan means “flat land”. Once you leave the steep mountains of the central peninsula the land flattens out as it approaches Cook inlet where the Kenai River empties into a rocky seashore. Conoco Phillips operates a huge liquified natural gas facility and pipeline in Kenai which exports its product via tankers. The facility has been in operation for 50 years.

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Marathon Mountain in Seward – every year a race up the mountain is held!

Staying in a cabin on Daniel’s Lake we are only a few miles from where Jill, Aida and Jeremy live. Yesterday all the girls went for a spa day at a favorite place nearby. Our masseuse, Dawn, gently worked out the travel kinks in each of us. The rest of us waited our turn playing games and resting.

Aida and Oma (Pat) playing “the penny game”

Our lovely day ended with my first “moose sighting”! A female and two young, but mostly grown calves were grazing near the highway. We carefully approached and Jill took these pictures.

Momma and the kids eating dinner!

Today the sun is out and who knows what adventures await us!

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