Alaska Adventures: Trail riding in Seward

As a city girl, I spend way too much time indoors and have never embraced many outdoorsy pursuits. One of my favorite aspects of our trip to Alaska was trying so many new things out in nature (including telling Mr. T: "Hey, we're in nature!" repeatedly). A highlight included taking a trail ride in Seward, a seaport in the Southeast part of the state. Somehow I managed to keep atop of a giant beast named Buddy, an arthritis horse of unknown heritage. Despite some haltered clomping, he and I got along, and I got to see a bit of Alaska up close and personal. 

We drove 90 minutes or so from our bed and breakfast in Moose Pass down to Seward. Every minute of the drive included amazing scenery like this, so much so that Mr. T gave me a hard time for not taking pictures every single second.
We took the Seward Highway again but sadly, didn't see another moose.
T was a bit internet deprived, so we went in search of free WIFI at Starbucks. So you know, the Starbucks in Seward is nestled in the Safeway and has no working WIFI as of last week. This is T's "I can't believe you're taking a picture of me in Safeway" face.
My fearless steed. 
We ambled around streams, over tiny hills and to the ocean.
Our guide told us to be on the lookout for bears, but we didn't see any.
I followed our friend Tom, who was on Chico. Apparently these horses maintain strict order. Whenever my horse Buddy tried to cut, Chico would sidle his way back in quickly. The two horses behind me were even feistier. 
A bald eagle nest!
Compared to the previous day's seven mile hike, I thought that our trail ride would be a breeze. That kind of thinking comes from someone who's spent all of 10 minutes riding a horse in the last 20 years. I didn't realize that you use the stirrups to hold most of your body weight up. Talk about sore legs the next day! 
I admit, I felt nerves bubble up while riding but my friend, Kristin, gave me a "how not to piss off a trail horse" 101 before we left, and I did okay. 
T and Deb (and some other ladies we didn't know).
So pretty!
We stopped and watched the ocean for awhile as the horses loaded up on the only snack grass allowed on the trail. One of our jobs on the ride was to NOT let them eat along the way. I did mostly okay except that Buddy is a champion walk-eater and would swipe bites of tall grass as we walked whenever possible
Our guide, Bree, grew up in Seward and started running her family's trail riding business. She kept a giant revolver strapped to her chest though sadly, no one got a picture of it.
Horsin' around. (Yeah, I said it.)
The two dots in the center of the photo are bald eagles!
In the beginning of the trip, seeing bald eagles really sent me squealing. I can't believe I got used to them by the end!
I learned that bald eagles hunt for approximately 20% of their diet, and scavenge the rest. Feel free to join me in calling them pretty vultures.
We totally forded that stream (and half a dozen more like it). Yeah, I totally got soaked from the knees down.
If you're ever in Seward, I'd highly recommend Bardy's.
An actual working outhouse.
We ate fish and chips at Ray's, a local favorite.
We both called home for Father's Day. 

Dandelions grow freakishly tall here.
I enjoyed the local art.
We found no shortage of kitschy tourist shops.
We sang several choruses of "Elvis needs boats" right about here.
The sight of our bed and breakfast.
The innkeepers told us that a bunch of sheep parade around this hill everyday but I never saw them!
Back at the Kingfisher in Cooper Landing for dinner.
Who doesn't love a giant rack?
The second outdoor patio at the Kingfisher doubled as the smoking section. Being from California, I didn't realize those still existed!
An awesome view all the way around.
T captioned this "I effing love this dessert!" You may get it if you've seen this photo
I think we were one of the few visitors in town NOT fishing.  Everyone around us in the restaurant seemed to be talking about the best fishing spots and bait, etc.
Squint hard and see if you can read that sign.
"Nightfall" at Tern Lake.
Next up: The cruise begins!


Alaska Adventures:
- Hello from Alaska!
- Bumming around Moose Pass and Cooper Landing

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