I’ll be honest: we knew almost nothing about Seward when we decided to move here.
On our trip from Homer back to Anchorage, we dropped by¹ and did a drive-through of the town (that didn’t take long). I also met the team at the facility where I hoped to work, and I liked the place and the people instantly. Seward also had a good word-of-mouth buzz, both from tourists we talked to at Denali and locals that we met in Anchorage and other places. The latter carries extra weight—when an Alaskan tells you they like something within their state, you should pay attention.
That being said, the wise thing would’ve been to spend a little more time in Seward before moving all of our belongings cross country, committing long-term to a job, and moving to this tiny, remote town. But that’s how we roll, man.
Before moving to Alaska, we spent two weeks bouncing around Texas, visiting family. That meant going from central to south Texas and then back again. We may be relocating to the biggest state in the Union, but Texas is no slouch, so this meant a lot of time on the road.
It was on one of those drives, on a rural stretch of U.S. Highway 183 from Refugio to Gonzales, that we had a very pleasant discovery—Goliad State Park and the Mission Espíritu Santo.
Riding on the Denali National Park shuttle in search of wildlife was usually an all-day affair. We had plenty of time to meditate on the scenery and get to know our neighbors as the bus lurched along at 10 miles an hour.
Our contemplations, however, were often interrupted by urgent, single-syllable cries of “Moose!” or “Stop!” that brought the bus to a jolting halt.
You’d think it would be easy to spot Denali, North America’s tallest peak. It is, after all, over 20,000 feet tall. In reality, the mountain formerly known as Mount McKinley is notoriously elusive. It makes its own, constantly changing weather and is usually cloud-covered, so the odds of seeing it are fairly low. In a single day, there’s about a 33% chance of seeing the mountain in its entirety, and odds aren’t that much better that you’ll even get a glimpse of it.
That’s why Dale and I spent ten nights camping in Denali National Park and Preserve, a long time to spend in a single campground.