Remembering Alaska

In actuality, it is hard to forget a place of such grandeur.

Coming into the land of the midnight sun

Anchorage Coming into the land of the midnight sun

This was how we were greeted as we landed in Anchorage, it was ten o’clock  at night. We thought we would have a hard time with it being so light, not when you realize where you are.

There had been a fire burning on the Kenai peninsula for a few days and our cab driver was quick to tell us that the smoke in the air was not normal. He assured us that we would be able to see things and that Alaska is generally clear all the time.

It did clear out for us as we got some rain which also helped the fire situation.

After checking into our hostel we had to go get some provisions at the local super Wall-mart, the only place open that time of day.

We spent the first few days taking in the museums and zoo, riding bikes and meeting people from all over.

One guy that made a great impression due to his enthusiasm for life was Rene from Austria.

IMG_0721That’s him prepping his motorbike for his journey from the northern most point of Alaska to Argentina. We ran across him at a turn out on the road to Seward as he had stopped to take a picture. He was breaking the bike in on some short jaunts before heading north and had spent the night camping in Seward. He had gotten rained on and was chilled but still very happy for his adventure (and to see us again). I gave him my contact information and am looking forward to hearing from him sometime. When he found out I was a pastor he hoped that he would not need my services in that capacity.

Our time in Seward was good. The Sea Life Museum is amazing, a must see. Our kayak adventure couldn’t have been better. Even though we had light rain, the water was pristine and I did get to see a bald eagle in flight. I just didn’t have my camera out as I was paddling.

100_1001100_0998Me and my Honey at Bridal Falls, its a bit fuzzy due to rain on the lens, but this was a beautiful place to just chill for a while.

Our hostel in Seward was a bit…let’s just say…aged. It was a place to lay our heads at night and served its purpose, but if we return to Seward, we will try the other hostel available.

100_1005It’s been two weeks since we returned from Alaska, but the memories of our time there will last for years to come. It is a place I will return to, God willing. I have to experience more of it…and yes, without socks!

Shalom!

Looking down 3rd street to Ressurection Bay, Seward Alaska

Reflections of our time in Alaska…

This will be the first in a series recapping my trip to Alaska with my Honey. Technically this was a trip for her 49th birthday. My 48th birthday trip was to Belize back in November. I’m glad to be sharing these adventures with her!

I’ve done a couple posts already about this trip, but as it draws to a close in just two days, I figured I’d do a cursory look back as we chill in our hotel room on this rainy day in Valdez.

This was the first hotel we’ve stayed in and only because Valdez does not have any hostels, plus we had a coupon for one night free! We did the Glacier and sea life cruise yesterday. Walked around and took in the museums today and now with the rain, we are taking time to relax from our adventure thus far.

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According to our Glacier hike guides, Logan and Killian-who we met the other day in McCarthy-Kinnecott, we have been having an epic tour of Alaska. Logan is a native so he knows what he’s talking about.
(I’ll post pics of that journey when I get home to my laptop, hence this being a series)

We have traveled the bulk of the central area of this magnificent state, learned its impressive and sometimes troubling history. I’ve fallen in love with how bike friendly it is here. Even talked with a guy last night after dinner who lives in Soldatna and has ridden most of the state. I’ve got a new bucket list item to accomplish soon!

We traveled the Denali Highway…this is real Alaska! Twenty or so cars the whole two hour trip and more mountains and vistas than you can imagine!

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We traveled into the heart of Denali on a bus and became part of the thirty percent group to actually see the entire mountain of Denali (aka Mt. McKinley). Only 30% of the 400,000 plus visitors a year actually get to experience this!

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We’ve met some incredible people on some incredible journeys as well! The students and families, the professionals and everyday people. The seventy year old woman who began backpacking in Chili and was now at the top of the world not knowing where to go next!

As we have traveled around just this small portion of this enormous frontier I have heard music in my ears, maybe just in my head, but I swear it was really in my ears! Coming through the trees, or off the ice, just in the car driving, or while in Anchorage riding a bike. Even now as I sit in a hotel room with the rain and the traffic outside…I hear it!

Is that what is referred to as when someplace calls to you? Am I hearing the ‘call to Alaska’? Its not in the plans for now…many new adventures await us at home still.

But I do know that I will be back to this place someday, God willing!

And yes, I’ve done this trip with no socks for at least 80% of the time…there’s no better way to travel or to live life!