Our great Alaska road trip is about to begin, but we decided to drive down to Seward for a shakedown. The weather was supposed to be nice, and we were ready for a change of scenery. It may feel like spring and early summer, but that is just a date on a calendar... and a lot of wishful thinking on our part. You see, the sun was out, and suddenly we had summer ideas. The trees are budding out, and the grass is starting to green up, so it must be spring. Right?
We topped up the fuel, propane and water tanks, then stopped for a few grocery items. With empty holding tanks and sunshine, we hit the road. What could go wrong?
Seward is roughly 100 miles (about a three-hour drive) from Anchorage. We take our time and make a few stops along the way. Tern Lake is a favorite stop. We love watching the birds. Two swans nearby were building their nest.
Seward is one of our favorite places to start our summer road trips because it is relatively close to Anchorage. We love to walk the docks and check out the boats. We chose Seward for this trip was because the weather was supposed to be partly sunny. That seems thin, but it has been raining since I arrived from Unalakleet. I was ready for something different. Oh, and we wanted to visit the Alaska Sealife Center.
We realized, once again that we were a bit over ambitious as far as the season was concerned. Snow. Yes, it was snowing, before we even arrived at Turnagain Pass. The temperature went from 51 to 36 degrees. We got lucky. It turned to heavy rain. Our duallys do not like ice and snow berms. Billy Horton’s song lyrics, “When it’s springtime in Alaska, it’s 40 below,” spilled out of my brain. The last time we were at Seward was on spring break in early April. We escaped to Seward when we were slammed with heavy snow just outside of Tok.
Alaska weather is always interesting. The weather reports are much better than in years past, but when the seasons change, it is unpredictable. The best way to plan for Alaska is to count on some cold temperatures. Having an RV designed for winter camping makes the RV-lifestyle much more enjoyable. We camp year-round in Alaska. While I prefer the sun and beaches, I also love the quiet, uncrowded charm of winter camping. Here are a few things that we love about our camper that makes Alaska so enjoyable year-round:
While I love traveling around Alaska in the spring, we did discover one challenge that is off-putting. For some reason, people think that camping is only for the high summer months. The state and national park campgrounds are barred and closed until the end of May and sometimes into June! So, finding places to stay in the offseason can be quite challenging for people like us who do not need full-service amenities. This brings us full circle to Seward. The city campgrounds are open year-round. They have both dry camping spots and sites with electricity. To sweeten the deal, their winter rates are half-price. They recently increased their fees. Dry camping is $20. Campsites with electricity are $40. These prices are valid as of 2018. We tend to use electricity hook-ups in the winter months or when we need to top up the batteries. Seward’s reasonable camping rates make it a popular place for us. We spend most of our time boondocking, but there are times when having the power is very nice!
We are off to explore Seward. The sun is out this morning, and it looks like we made an excellent decision to do our shake-down road trip to Seward.
writes for Iris Blume Publishing. She is an Alaskan who has a love for traveling and writing. Join her as she rediscovers and shares her home state.
Where are we now?