Driving south on the Seward Highway

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The Seward Highway headed south out of Anchorage is kind of like Alaska’s version of California’s Highway 1; it’s a spectacular squiggle of a road that tightly hugs the coastline along Turnagain Arm, and it lured me to pull off the road seemingly every 10 minutes so I could marvel at the incredible views of the Chugach Mountains. My favorite stops were Bird Point Trailhead, where I saw bald eagles loitering around on a small patch of land way out on the water, and Beluga Point, a rocky outcrop with a sensational mountain view. (And, no, I didn’t see any belugas, although the lookout is, reportedly, a great place for spotting them. But I imagined seeing them. And they were pretty awesome.) The wind picked up throughout the day, and I really had to hang on to that little yellow gnat of a car to keep from blowing off the highway. When I drove back up to Anchorage late in the never-ending light of day, I didn’t make as many stops, but I did return to Bird Point a second time to see if I could catch a view of the tidal bore, the twice daily breaking wave that rolls through the Cook Inlet’s two appendages (Turnagain Arm and Knik Arm) at speeds of 6 to 24 miles — and the only place in America where tidal bores regularly appear. I showed up in time for the 6:34 p.m. wave (scientists can chart its arrival based on the moon’s phase and the tides in Anchorage) but found myself waiting in brutally cold wind for what turned out to be a tiny ridge of slow-moving water that I could just barely see in the distance. But the view was beautiful (come on, when is the view not beautiful in Alaska?) and I met some really cool Iowans-turned-Alaskans who gave me great insights into several of the areas I’d soon be headed to.  And, seriously, every pitstop is a worthy one in Alaska. (And I’m not just saying that because it’s 2:25 a.m. and I’m buzzing on night sun, I swear.)

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3 Responses to Driving south on the Seward Highway

  1. Nathan says:

    Loving the updates, Jenny, and the pics. Keep ’em coming!

  2. Katie says:

    I remember seeing two guys attempt to surf the tidal bore, one successfully. It’s a bit anticlimactic but still unlike anything you can see in the lower U.S. Your pics are great and I remember driving this exact stretch of road.

  3. Jathan says:

    Some of these open road pics you’re taking would look great on the cover of the Verge premiere issue. I mean, wow! The vistas you’re seeing are spectacular!!!

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