Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Ford Fiesta Car Reliably Cruising Seward Highway
Reflections on a Lake, Along Seward Highway, Alaska
Before I started planning for our Alaska trip, I had no idea where to go. At first, I was looking at cruises since that is what the majority I know often talked about. A cruise to Alaska seemed ideal since it is not only easier, but also, cheaper. I won't have to make our own itinerary, hotel reservations, and rent a car. However, I didn't want to spend more time seeing Alaska from the ship, and very little time on land. I don't want to be limited in what I can do in National Parks. The hiker and explorer within me yearns to explore Alaska deeper! I would love to be inside exploring the blue glaciers, possibly seeing a lot more of Alaskan wildlife, and conquering some Alaskan slopes.
The first magazine I turned into for information was National Geographic. I would always frequent the nearby bookstore and start looking at places to hike and explore in Alaska. I came across National Geographic's Book on World's 50 Drives of a Lifetime. One of the 50 is Seward Highway!
Fireweeds and Glaciated Mountain, Seward Highway
Then, I learned about one of the world's best hikes, Harding Icefield, considered to be a giant staircase to Ice Age. Harding Icefield Trail can be accessed from the town of Seward.
Seward is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park where it has been shaped by glaciers, ocean storms and earthquakes.
Aialik Glacier Calving, Kenai Fjords National Park
(one of the outflowing tidewater galciers of Harding Icefield)
Leaving the bookstore, I knew then that we must not settle for a cruise. I must plan our own trip, which includes a drive on Seward Highway to stop wherever to enjoy every scenery along the highway that would inspire us to stop. The plan must also include a hike in Harding Icefield!
Hiking Harding Icefield Trail
While planning, I knew we must explore Kenai Fjords National Park to hopefully witness the dynamic interplay of ocean wildlife, mountains and glaciers, where ice worms, bears and whales have made this place their home.
Making the itinerary after that had been a lot easier using the National Geographic Book on Drives and Hikes of a Lifetime. After establishing the itinerary, I started making hotel reservations, which was the toughest part since I only finalized our itinerary about 5 months before the trip. Getting hotel accommodations in National Parks in the summer less than 6 months prior to arrival is very tough because rooms usually run out very fast. Thankfully, I was able to get accommodations in all places we wanted to explore.
Next to hotel, we needed a reliable car to help us cruise the wonders in Alaska. In Alaska, most of the cars you will see are high clearance vehicles, pick-ups and SUVs! No surprise, since our favorite road trip car at home is also a SUV for rugged terrains. We only use our sedan for our road-trip if we would be driving in all paved roads, and there would be a lot of hairpin turns such as in Big Sur because our sedan's engine is way more powerful for hairpin turns and climbing up on very windy mountain roads than our SUV.
Our Beloved Road-Trip Partners
Though it would be easier if we could drive either of our cars to Alaska, but it would not be practical. It would be easier and cheaper for us to just rent a car. Because we are not familiar what kind of roads we would be driving on in Alaska, we decided to play it safe by renting a SUV. However, when we got there, we also see several smaller cars on Alaskan road such as Ford Fiesta.
A Ford Fiesta? Let me bring you a little history of this small car. Ford Fiesta had been in the European and Asian market for quite a long time now. Ford Fiesta Car sales in UK begin in 1977, and you will find UK ford fiesta car parts anywhere there since that time. However, in US, the Ford Escort replaced the Ford Fiesta in 1981. As such there were no Ford Fiesta sold in US markets since then, not until 2010, when the 6th generation Ford Fiesta was introduced worldwide, not only in Europe and some selected parts of the world! In about a year since its re-introduction in US, Ford Fiesta Mark VI (but is called Mark VII in UK) is now happily cruising in the challenging Alaskan Roads.
Oxeye Daisy, Seward Highway
Would we try renting a Ford Fiesta on our next trip to Alaska? Hmmmm, why not? We found out from our trip that we did not really need SUV, for sedans are good enough in AK roads for National Parks exploring.
Posted by betchai at 9:25 AM