After a quick 6 hour and fifteen minute flight, we were suprised that the great city of the Last Frontier was expecting us! We went to Alaska in July, so we had maximum daylight. At 3:00am we could read a newspaper while sitting outside!
After a couple of restful days at a bed & breakfast in Anchorage, we headed south to Seward. We stopped along the way at Alyeska, a great ski town and home to Tommy Moe, an Olympic Skier. We also saw many Dahl Sheep here along the highway. A little further down the highway we found Portage Glacier. Portage Glacier was nice, but we think it's so popular only because it's the easiest to get to.
We arrived in Seward in time for the Mt. Marathon mountain race, a grueling foot race up the side of the mountain and back down again. We found the neatest little B&B, it was a two room cabin. We were bored one night, so at about 11:00pm, we set out for Exit Glacier. The next day we took a ride into Resurection Bay, but the weather was so bad we had to turn back
After Seward, we started the long trek to Mt. McKinley. There are no words to describe the 640 Million acre park. Perhaps the closest word known is Denali, which is the local word for 'The Big One'!
We planned to see the Alaska Oil Feilds, so, from Denali, we took a 'short-cut' (yeah right!) to Fairbanks. We started out on a route to take us through Hatcher's Pass and if it weren't for a sign promising Rudolph and Donner, we would have turned back. Well, OK, we did want to stop and see KA7USA, a well known HAM with a ski resort at the top of a mountian! (Sorry we missed you Jim.)
We made it to Fairbanks. It's a good thing we didn't get lost because the only road sign was a bit confusing! We met up with a couple of other people to set out for Prudhoe Bay, we knew we in for a long trip when we stopped to read this sign! It turned out that Coldfoot was only HALFWAY to Prudhoe bay! We saw about 350 miles of the Alaska Pipeline, although, most of it was underground as we passed through the Brooks Mountian Range.
We weren't very far outside of Fairbanks when we found out why the mosquito is the Alaska State Bird :) It seems as though they're worse at the Arctic Circle. Against our better judgement, (we really like Inns and hotels) we stayed at a construction camp in ColdFoot. After this much needed night's sleep, we continued our journey north stopping along the way, seeing things like fireweed.
When we finally made it to the top of the world, we thought we'd better get our feet wet in the Arctic Ocean!
Rather than endure the two day drive on the lovely Dalton Highway, (a gravel consrtuction road), we decided to fly back to Fairbanks.
After a couple more airplane rides, we found ourselves in Gustavus. Imagine, if you will, Gilliagin's Island. This place was the best! You could be anywhere you wanted to go, (not that there was anyplace to go!), in about 10 minutes. Nobody had licence plates or insurance on their cars, and absolutley everybody knew each other! We did find our way to Glacier Bay one afternoon, it was a fantastic boat ride and we were able to see some humpback whales and killer whales! Oh yeah, the calving glaciers were cool too. (Only a couple of not-so-good pictures of the whales, on account of some lady with big hair!)
One of the most enjoyable days we had was when we charter a fishing boat. It was just Sarah and Me and Captain Jamie! Sarah caught the biggest Salmon!
Well, we have a lot more pictures and did a whole bunch more fun stuff, but you'll have to go yourself to experience it! Who knows, maybe we'll see you there in the winter for the Aurora Borialis (Northern Lights).