July 21, 2021
This morning, we had free continental breakfast in the hotel and then had time to stroll through Seward.
Seward is located on Resurrection Bay, a fjord of the Gulf of Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula.
Then we boarded the shuttle with Daryl for the “Real Alaska Tour”.  First stop was the “Ididaride” Tour where we toured the dog sled racing home of the Seavey family who have won the Iditarod many times between the three generations. They raise and train sled dogs for their teams and for others.
We got to help with the dogs’ summer training as they pulled us in a big cart on a 2-mile track. It was so fun to see how excited they were to get hooked up and ready to go. Along the way on our dogsled ride, one of the employees takes a video as your sled goes by. You’d think at the end of the ride they would try to sell them to you like amusement parks and cruises, but no, they just Airdrop it to you for free or email it to you. What a deal!
After the ride we got to pet the dogs and take photos with them. Inside we learned a lot about the Iditarod and how they “dress” the dogs to protect them on the run.
Then we got to meet some puppies and hold them for more photos.
On the next part of our tour, we drove around Seward and learned more about:
  • The Iditarod
  • Benny Benson (an orphan who designed the territory flag of Alaska with the Big Dipper and North Star on it that was adopted as the state flag)
  • Jujiro Wada (a local musher and winter mail carrier who helped improve the southern section of the Seward to Nome trail and helped make Seward a gateway for trade and transportation)
  • A local 17-year old hero Lydia Jacoby who was on the US Olympic swim team in the 100m breast stroke. (Note: She won gold!)
Next stop was Exit Glacier, first a view from afar while in the bus, then we parked. Our driver, Daryl, took us on the 2-mile trek (round trip) to the glacier viewing area. One sign shows how far the glacier has receded since 2005.
Our tour’s final stop was at a salmon spawning place where they were swimming upstream and “jumping” up the waterfall.
We then headed back to the train depot where we got on our final ride of the tour back to Anchorage.  Just before boarding we ran into the couple from Lancaster, CA a 3rd time! They weren’t on our tour, they just happened to come to Seward on the same day. Had to get a photo of the five of us!
A conductor came through and asked for our tickets. Instead of a single punch, he used a star-shaped hole punch and punched out the Big Dipper and North Star like the Alaska flag. We arrived in Anchorage and spent our third and final night at the Anchorage Sheraton. Tomorrow we’re on our own and will head to Hope and Whittier then down the Sterling Highway. 
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