Puffins, Exit Glacier and a lot of clouds
Even though it had rained hard all night, in the morning it started to clear up and we did even see a bit of blue sky for a while. Since the weather conditions didn't seem stable we decided to go for a indoor-activity today.
Therefore we visited the Alaska SeaLife Center, located right at the coast in Seward. The center is really well done and shows off what Alaskas waters have to offer. We saw majestic King Crabs, lots and lots of different salmon, starfish and jellyfish (this time even alive!). But there weren't only fish there...
In a few big pens and watertanks we also had the chance to see a variety of sea birds, sea lions and seals. I especially loved the puffins, small penguin-like birds that love diving and are really adorable. Except for when people got to close to them, because then the puffins felt threatened and sent some poop their way. Luckily no one got hit ;)
The nice touch about the Center is that it doesn't seem all that commercial, as they usually do in Germany, instead they had a lot of information and educational material and tried to make people aware of how their actions might destroy the nature that is displayed in the various water tanks in the center.
When we got out of the SeaLife Center it was still not raining, so we decided to go for an excursion to Exit Glacier. The ride offered magnificent views of the mountains, still covered in clouds and fog.
A lot of Alaskas glaciers are tidewater glaciers and end in the ocean, but this one isn't – therefore it's possible to walk up really close to it, or even walk up onto the Harding icefield. Of course it started pouring again when we got to the trailhead. We didn't let that stop us though. We waited until the downpour slowed down and then made our way up the the glacier.
Exit Glacier is an approximately 6km long glacier just 15km outside of Seward, Alaska. The glacier is at the edge of the Harding Icefield which covers almost 800 square kilometers in the Kenai Mountains.
When we finally got back to the car we were all soaking wet, and it still continued to rain. As the road condition out to our campground got worse and it was possible for traffic to be shut down completely by the next morning, we decided to take down our camp and go home a bit earlier. In the end it didn't matter all that much, since we would have had to pack up early the next morning anyways, and this way we had the comfort of sleeping in a dry house and a real bed, so we took the opportunity.
On our way back we saw an eagle that looked like he really would have enjoyed some dry place also.