. The saddest thing I've learned about Seward is the devastation the town's fisheries suffered in result of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. I guess the supreme court recently ruled on the final settlement which amounted to $500,000,000 (One weeks profit for Exxon), $4.5 billion short of what the suit was seeking. The supreme courts ruling provides each employee of the fisheries a total of about $15,000 in compensation for damages, a small fraction of their permanently expired annual income.
Haley and I hiked the Harding Ice Field Trail above Exit Glacier which was stunning, the clouds cleared away in the later part of the day just in time. It was a pretty challenging vertical hike, a good amount of mud and snow. It took us a little less than 3 hours to get to the top, taking our time to shoot photos and take in the view and a little less than an hour to come back down. After finishing we quickly picked up some food and walked another couple of miles down the coast and crossed an icy river to setup camp for a morning low-tide hike down a beach of skipping stones to Caine's Head on Ressurection Bay. We saw lots of starfish and other small creatures clinging to the beach as the tide went out.
After returning for the hike we headed for Homer, AK where we were able to take a water taxi to Kachemak Bay State Park and hike down to Gweningk Glacier Lake. The Island had sort of a prehistoric feel about it. They've installed these big man powered tram systems for the river crossings over there where you pull yourself across a zip line inside of a steel cage with a hope bound between two pulleys. The views at the lake were spectacular.
After working 21 days strait, 12 hours per day on average I have a little more than a week's vacation. I've spent the last four days in Seward, a little fishing town located on Resurrection Bay. I drove down on the first of July and stopped off near Whittier in the Chugach National Forest for a quick hike, this was the sunniest day I'd seen in weeks. The drive between Anchorage and Seward is about two and half hours, it took me about 4 hours stopping here and there, including the hike. I was able to take a back door tour of the Sea Life Center here in town, normally a $30 entree fee, with my couch surfing friend Celeste who works at the King Crab hatchery next door. Their research there is geared toward developing a means of stocking crabs in order to sustain the fishing operations. It takes a King Crab around 9 years to reach ideal maturity, so the idea is to raise the crabs during their most vunerable stages in holding tanks, while providing diet and conditions that will not prohibit the crabs from developing the behaviors/metabolism that they need to survive in the open sea