The first part of the tour around Alaska started by heading south from Anchorage towards the Kenai Fjords. After a late pick up of the RV the drive south into the mountains and along side the Turnagain Arm looking for Beluga Whales in the choppy seas was a challenge and to no avail. Portage would be the first of many RV parks that would be used on this trip and Portage Valley Cabins and RV Park was in a fantastic location with a lake and forest on the edges of the park. Once the RV was plugged and plumbed in it was time to food and to enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Glancing out of the window i saw something swimming in the lake and immediately thought it was an Otter. Shoes and coat on i crept out of the RV with my camera heading towards the edge of the Lake. Looking through the camera i was even happier with the animal i saw, a Beaver. It swam around the lake staying a certain distance from the shore and slapping its tail against the surface of the water each time it felt threatened and disappearing below. This was a great start to the wildlife spotting.
Waking to grey skies that were skirting the tops of the mountains made the area look completely different from the late evening sun of the previous day. Packing up the RV we headed across the main road at Portage to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre. This centre is a non-profit organisation that is 'dedicated to preserving Alaskan wildlife through, conservation, education and quality animal care.' It was a real opportunity to see some of the larger mammals in large enclosures that replicated their natural environment. Orphaned and injured Black Bear, Porcupine and Moose were all snuffling around their enclosures in search of food that had been scattered about.
Whilst looking at the resident Bald Eagle, Adonis, I glanced up into one of the dead trees and sat near the top was a wild Bald Eagle. This majestic bird was not looking too impressed with the drizzle that had set in.
Stopping at a car park for a bite to eat with a river nearby it gave an opportunity to look for Salmon. Luckily enough there was a viewing platform that looked over the shallow stony river and through the crystal clear glacier water there were Pink Salmon and the bright red Sockeyes.
It was now time to head south to Seward travelling through Chugach National Forest over the mountains. This now felt like we were in the wilderness that Alaska was famous for and made me wonder how we would spot a Bear in this vast landscape.
Heading down towards the coast and Seward, the clouds broke and we were greeted with blue skies and a superb view across Resurrection bay. Looking out across the bay there was a an object bobbing up and down in the waves.......a seal........a sealion........no it was one of the animals i have wanted to see.........a Sea Otter. A distance view but great to see.
Time to head back out of Seward to the RV park at Stoney Creek. Another RV park with great views of the surrounding forest and mountains. A great first couple of days out and about in this enormous state.