Traveling to a place not many have been and seeing an animal not found in the continental US!
Prudhoe Bay Travel Blog› entry 16 of 18 › view all entries
Tuesday, we would be going to the "Ends of the Earth" or "Top of the World", by our standards anyways. We had booked this specific cruise/land tour for this reason, to go above the Artic Circle! I was really hoping to come face to face with a Polar Bear, so you will have to read on to see what happened! This was exciting to us, even though we were told not to expect much with the accommodations there. Of course the hotel in Anchorage (Captain Cook) was beautiful on the inside, including the public bathroom! The only not so good thing was being awoke 3 times by housekeeping ( 8am, 8:15 & again at 9). Not sure why she was so persistant! We decided to have lunch in the hotel.
When we arrived at the Anchorage airport after noon, there were some flight attendants quietly picketing. Not sure why though. The process went quickly, except I forget to put my contact lens solution in a see-thru bag. We left for Prudhoe Bay around 2pm. Of course Mount McKinley wasn't visible through the cloudy sky, but there was some awesome scenery anyways. It soon turned to mountains covered in white as I thought, If we crashed now, we would really be in trouble. I was looking for a Polar bear with my naked eye, but no such luck. Maybe when we land. We arrived safely at 3:30 in a small airport and boarded our Princess busand met our male guide, Greg.
At 5pm, we all (about 50 of us) met in a room and attended a talk about wild animals of the Artic and watched a video about the oil fields and how they live and to keep hydrated.
We were let out by the frozen Artic Ocean though. Chris gave us Polar bear instructions if one happened to show up. Get in a group and put out our arms to look big! Chris would honk the horn if one was seen. He said none were in our imediate area at this time or else we would not be allowed off the bus if there was. We got off and trudged through the snow. To the left was Prudhoe Bay, Beaufort Bay was on the right and not a polar bear in sight! We were here about 20 minutes in the 20 degree weather but it didn't feel that cold except for my feet. Thank goodness I bought that coat in Ketchikan! haha One girl posed for a picture as an ice skater, some of us made or attempted to make snow angels in the frozen hard snow.
We had dinner which was a buffet for $20 that included caribou stew, vegetables, chicken with currey, scalloped potatoes, salad, ice cream and cakes. It was pretty good. We then gathered in the same room (where we watched the video) and listened to Robert, an Inupiaq native speak on hunting seals, their blubber and how tasty it is! He has also hunted Muskox, Beluga whales & 5 caribou. He also worked 12 hour night shifts, making the cookies for breakfast. We went back to our room & watched the finale of "Dancing with the Stars" and saw Kristi Yamaguchi win.
Still not adjusting well to day- night, it was 10:45pm and we decided to walk around, go outside, take pictures of geese and the parking lot. It seemed colder, and we took a silly picture of my breath. Saw that the trucks had their engines plugged in, to keep them warm so they would start. Some guys in a truck waved at us, to my excitement and then back inside we went. We then talked to Jim the main guy that ran the inn. We got some hot chocolate from the buffet and we were the only ones walking around. Everyone seemed to have went to bed, including the workers. Back in the room, it took 2 of us to get the blind down since it was still light outside at midnight. This will make for a difficult time sleeping...
Word for the day was Tasty!