Discovering Alaska, Part VI: Exploring Seward

Thursday morning, my cousin Jake and I had tentative plans to hike up Mount Marathon.

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See that tiny line going up that huge mountain? That’s the trail.

Every fourth of July, Seward hosts a mountain race where runners race a disntace of approximately 3.1 miles up and down the mountain. Dangerous? Yes. Sense of accomplishment? Hells yeah.

In 2012, one runner suffered a traumatic brain injury and another runner disappeared and was never found. I find the whole disappearing act to be a bit suspicious, as there are almost 1,000 entrants, and, according to my cousin, the missing runner’s husband nonchalantly left town the next day. Despite the terrain, it’s really not much more dangerous than Warrior Dash.

Unfortunately, a late night at The Pit took a toll on us. After sleeping in the next morning, we simply ran out of time. I was warned hiking to the top and back was a six hour trek, and Jake had to be to work for 3:00pm. Next time, Seward!

Instead, we met Amanda for breakfast at the Roadhouse. Everything looked so good on the breakfast menu that Mom and I decided to share two entrees.

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Citrus-cured gravlax on bagels with cream cheese, pickled onion and capers.

I made gravlax before and, though Dave loved it, I did not care for the recipe—the salmon was a little too sweet for my taste. Clearly I need to find a new recipe and remake it, because this gravlax was perfect!

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Crab sliders with crab cakes, bacon, egg, kale, and tomato on romano bread. Yum.

We headed into town for the day, as Amanda and her roommate Maggie were preparing for a weekend trip to a music festival called Salmon Stock and needed supplies.

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We hit up the local we-have-everything hardware store and then stopped at a thrift shop called Ray’s Reusables.

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Of course I wanted this knight-shaped wine bottle that we spotted at the thrift store, but there was no way I could fit it in my suitcase with all the other souvenirs. Sigh.

I was getting really thirsty as we shopped, and a smoothie sounded like a wonderful cure.

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This little coffee and smoothie shop was owned and run by one Cedar Bourgeois. How cool is that name?

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Since it was a one-woman operation, it was a little bit of a wait to get our drinks, but both of the smoothies we got to share were delicious. I particularly liked the one with chai tea and almond milk. Wish I would have taken a picture of the menu…or smoothies!

We went back to the hotel to regroup (which became a popular pastime for us in the middle of the week) while Amanda and Maggie headed to work, and then Mom, Dina, and I took the shuttle back into town.

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The shuttle left the hotel every hour on the hour and made three stops in town on the way back for pick-ups. The shuttle was a wonderful amenity at the Seward Windsong Lodge. Sure, we had to wait for specific times to go anywhere, but it saved tourists the expense of renting a car.

We decided to learn a bit more about the town where we were staying, so we visited the Seward Museum.

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The town library and museum had just relocated, and it was clear they were still getting their act together. The crooked signs were typed on computer paper in print that was even a little small for me (perfect eyesight here), and some of the artifacts seemed to be stretching a little towards “historical.”

However, I found a lot of the information really interesting. I loved reading about the Iditarod Trail, the history of the flag, the 1964 earthquake, and Mount Marathon.

I also thought it was pretty neat that they used a sliced log to document the town’s progress related to the tree’s growth.

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It’s the circle of life!

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And it rules us all.

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I would like to be a dog musher just so I can wear this sweet mukluks.

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Uggs ain’t got nothin’ on those.

When I started reading about Mount Marathon, guess whose picture I saw in the museum?

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Cedar Bourgeois—the Nature’s Nectar owner! I just loved how quaint and slow-moving Seward was. It was so much fun to see the same faces in random places around the city. Of course Amanda didn’t think anything of it since she was already aware, but I thought it was hilarious that one minute Cedar was handing me a smoothie, and the next, I was reading about her in a museum. Seward is a special place. And clearly Cedar is a beast: seventh consecutive winner of Mt. Marathon Women’s Race? Just…wow. (I wanted to say “You go, girl!” but I don’t think I could ever pull that off).

From one end of town, we decided to walk all the way back to the boat harbor on the other end to be picked up. The town of Seward also offered a free shuttle that drove in a circle all around town, but how could I turn down a walk in a beautiful place like this?

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Impossible.

We arrived at the harbor a little early for pick-up, so we bummed around in some of the souvenir shops and outside a little bit more.452451450

Intitially we had planned to dine in town until I remembered that Thursday was our last night at the hotel. I suggested the three of us spend our last night eating dinner on the deck, and Mom and Dina both agreed wholeheartedly.

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We ordered wine, enjoyed the glorious view, and savored life in the slow lane. I always get post-travel blues, and it definitely set in early in Seward. My heart was breaking to leave it behind so soon.

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I mean, would you want to leave?

For dinner, we ordered the coconut prawns for an appetizer which were served with mango chutney.

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One of my favorite things about the Resurrection Roadhouse is that they really work to impress all of your taste buds. You don’t just get duck wontons, you get duck wontons with tomato jam. You don’t just get coconut prawns, you get coconut prawns with mango chutney. The dips and sides are all so fresh and delicious tasting, you can tell they have brilliant minds working in the kitchen.

Our wonderful server also brought us out some ciabatta rolls to share, which I ended up dousing with some remaining mango chutney.

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I hate when people say you shouldn’t fill up on bread. I love filling up on good bread!

For my last supper, I ordered the halibut, which was served with crispy polenta, pesto, balsamic redution, and tomato jam (my love returns!).

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I kind of want to blow this picture up and frame it.

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I tried to get a little bite of everything at once: the tender, juicy halibut, robust pesto, sweet tomato jam, thick, sweet balsamic, and crispy polenta. It was the best last supper I could have hoped for.

The head chef Shawna (who we met and hung out with the night before) wanted to buy us dessert, but we were so full, we simply had to wait (ohhh, that’s why you’re not supposed to fill up on bread….). Mom and I decided to take a post-dinner walk, and Dina stayed at the bar and mingled with some country folk.

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Must.

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Keep.

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Taking.

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Pictures.

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Dina was waiting patiently for us when we got back to the Roadhouse, and guess who was sitting right behind her?

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The chef from Le Barn Appetit, where we dined for breakfast the day prior! I think Dina wanted to take him and his wife home with her as a souvenir of the trip.

At last, we were ready for dessert. The only one we hadn’t tried at this point: Tiramisu.

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I’m not a huge fan of tiramisu, but this was as good as I have ever tasted. I really liked the strawberries to balance out the powerful coffee taste.

We had another drink or two at the bar, and the bartender gladly let Mom take a picture in his domain.

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Over the shoulder action.

Then we made the trek back, and I tried not to think about the fact that we had to leave the next morning.

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Goodnight, Windflower!

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The stuffed puffin I bought for Aurelia stood in for my kitties as a cuddle buddy on our last night in Seward.

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2 thoughts on “Discovering Alaska, Part VI: Exploring Seward

  1. Pingback: Checking in from the Real World | Designs on Dinner

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