9 day journey thru Alaska

Alaska Travel Blog

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On the way to Seward...

We started off in Anchorage and on our first day took the early morning train to Seward. The train ride follows along side the Seward scenic hwy, considered one of the most beautiful byways in the US. Leaving Anchorage the train descends thru Anchorage Wildlife Refuge, aka Potters Marsh,  and Turnagain Arm, featuring the world's 2nd highest tides at over 30 feet, and passing by many rivers, lakes, and glaciers including  Spencer, Bartlett, and the amazing Portage Glacier. Along the way, we pass the town of Moose Pass, a small quaint village with a big crystal lake with small water planes stationed on it (I guess for modes of transportation), the water is so clear that you can see the reflection of the trees and mountains.

Seward, Alaska

After a 4.5 hour journey, we arrived in Seward, a small coastal town, the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Our first visit was to the Alaska Sea Life Center, a world-class marine research and rehabilitation facility. Here you find sea lions, beluga whales, many many many puffins, and other marine life. There is also a lookout point where you can get a view of the whole harbor and Resurrection Bay, and where you can see ships come and go as well as kayakers brave the freezing alaskan waters. This is also where the cruise ships dock.  It is the ending of august and it is soooo cold out, after living in Florida for so many years I can't help but shake from the chilly breeze and 55 F weather. We spend the night at Seward Windsong Lodge, which is a beautiful and cozy rustic lodge overlooking the Alaskan mountain range.

Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward
The next day we set out on a boat ride to Kenai Fjords National Park. Although it's very cold and it's drizzling, we brave the bad weather and sit on the top deck as we take many pictures of the mountains, fjords, glaciers and wildlife around us. From the boat we saw many sea gulls, a sea otter, sea lions sitting on the rocky cliffs, and some dall sheep on tops of the mountains. The sea was very choppy and b/c of the bad weather and 4-6ft waves, our boat could not get close enough to the glaciers in the water, we can only see them from far away. I have to say the scariest part was when the captain took us further out into the ocean and showed us what it's like to be on the show "that big catch" (scary).  In the afternoon, we set out on a hike thru kenai fjords national park but on foot with a guide. We hiked all the way up to Exit Glacier, it is so big that we look like ants standing next to it. This glacier was used by earlier explorers as an exit from the harding ice field. 

On to Talkeetna, Alaska and Mt. Mckinley...

The next day we take a ride to the town of Talkeetna, which I think is maybe the length of 1 mile, it is so small. There we take a 1 hour flight, over high mountain peaks and glacier-filled valleys. From the small 6 passenger plane, we see many glaciers, icefields, mountains, and the world's deepest gorge. Mt. Mckinley and Denali were beautiful to see. Around the lodge, we went on a trail thru the forest, there were signs posted beware of bears and we saw some bear tracks along the way!!!

Denali, Alaska

On to the Denali we go... early morning we set out on a bus tour of Denali National Park. Since this park is in such wilderness you can only get inside it past the national park ranger gates by either having a permit or being on a bus tour. The beauty of this place is just astounding, the mountains and canyons look beautiful with the changing of the season. We saw many moose, squirels, deer, you name it. But the best was the grizzly bears. We saw a mama bear and 2 cubs and once a huge grizzly crossed infront of the bus and stayed along the road growling at the bus. It was awesome!!! The bus stops numerous times along the way for views and photo opportunities. The next day, the weather being the coldes at 40F we took a Husky kennel tour. This is home to the huskies of iditarod racer Jeff King. These dogs are so excited and have so much energy for what they do, it was interesting to see how they live and get trained for their sled races.

Anchorage, Alaska

On our last day, back in Anchorage, we took a tour around the city, rented a car and drove along the seward scenic hwy, visiting the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This is a wildlife refuge for the animals native to alaska that for one reason or another cannot be returned to the wild, so they make this their home. I have to say this was the highlight of our trip, there many animals here to see in their natural habitat (not like a zoo) and all the proceeds from the admission ticket and gift shop purchases go to taking care of them. I even got to feed a deer. My alaska trip was amazing and I look forward to the day that I can revisit this beautiful state of wilderness.
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