Friday, July 10, 2009
I just spent 10 days in Alaska.What a wonderful experience! We traveled with a group of 20 friends of our friend and RU football tailgating buddy, Ron T.
The land portion of our trip started in Fairbanks. We boarded the McKinley Express a domed train and headed to Denali National Park. The train took us past forests of white and black and arctic spruce. When we arrived in Denali we took a 19 mile nature tour into the park. We had hoped to see Mt McKinley or more commonly called Denali but the clouds covered the peaks. We did get to see Caribou, two moose and hare on our trip.
The next day we got back on the train and headed to Anchorage. We stayed overnight here. Darkness is very short this time of year in Alaska. Sunset around midnight and sun rise around 4am.
The next morning, after a tour of Anchorage we headed past the Portage Glacier ( in the photo above) to Whittier where our ship the Carnival Spirit was docked. What amazing views from our stateroom's balcony. The first day at sea at 6am we were in front of the Harvard glacier. I stood on my balcony and could hear the pieces of ice from the glacier falling into the bay. What a gorgeous blue the glacier was.
On our southward journey down the inner passage we had some of the best weather one could have in Alaska in July- sunny in the 70's.We stopped in Sitka- where we visited the Russian Orthodox Church and the Raptor Center; Juneau- where we took a whale watching trip and saw more than 10 different humpback whales ; Skagway - where I took a horseback ride on the Chilkoot trail in the Tongass National forest and Ketchican where we visited the Totem Museum. The last day at sea the weather turned to cloudy and damp but that didn't stop the Orca whale from swimming alongside our ship. What a sight!
We disembarked in Vancouver and boarded an Air Canada flight home.
Today I kept thinking about this once in a lifetime trip. It is hard to explain the emotion I felt looking at the incredible scenery and wildlife of our 49th state. It was wonderful seeing God's creation - the mountains, glaciers and wildlife of Alaska.
Every Day is a Blessing!