From Girdwood, we drove south to the Gulf of Alaska. Seward is a small port city and the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. On our previous visit, we took a six-hour guided cruise of the fjords…Calving glaciers, Otters, Porpoise, Orcas, Puffins, Humpbacks, Blue Whales, and lots of nesting birds, along the way. I say “last time,” because our luck finally ran out. There is a huge wildfire that sprung back to burning life when the winds cranked up from the North. This brought the smoke back to us in Seward.

The air quality was considered Unhealthy, and the locals were walking outside with surgical masks. The pic above shows the visibility. The cruise was canceled, and the cubs and grand cubs wisely chose to drive back to Anchorage, despite poor air there as well. They are scheduled to fly back home tomorrow PM… ahhh, the pitfalls of school and jobs!!! Since Mrs Bear recently retired, we stayed in Seward and board our cruise tomorrow for transport back to Vancouver.

The day was not a totally bust. I wandered out for a walk and came upon a local stream from the Gulf of Alaska, and caught the last salmon spawn of the season. These were the smaller silver salmon. I have a video that will be inserted when I have better connections. If you recall, the salmon that actually make it to spawn were called “the best of the best.” Watching this struggle, I saw what the ranger meant. Most of these fish struggled to make any headway because the water was so shallow. If they progressed, they hit the rapids. There were four layers of fast water through the rocks…Often a fish made it through a level or two, and then got sucked back down in the current on the next rapid. Nevertheless, some reached the top and more open water, at least as far as I could see. This occurs while humans fish at the mouth, and gulls and crows pick at the weaker fish. But the end result:

As we left port, I was able to shoot a few panos of the Seward coast. More as I shift to blogging about the cruise.

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