Last month hubby and I spent a fortnight in Alaska. Alaska is one place in the world, which is still a real wilderness. It is beautiful.
Thirteen Things About Alaska and Our Holiday
1. Alaska is the largest state of the USA, but is sparsely populated.
2. We visited Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier National Park and Whittier, all places with limited connection by road. During the summer though, tourists flock to these towns via ferry and cruise ships.
3. Ketchikan is known for its rain but during our two visits (we cruised up from Vancouver to Whittier and back down to Vancouver) we had sunshine. It’s also called the salmon capital of the world, although Mr. Munro would dispute that fact since his fishing trip was a bust.
4. In Ketchikan, we wandered along Creek Street, the previous red-light district of the town and checked out the salmon returning to spawn. Lots of the salmon had died already and seagulls picked over their carcasses.
5. From Ketchikan, we did a float plane flight to Neets Bay. There is a salmon hatchery there and it’s a favored place for the black bears to fish.
6. Our next stop was Juneau and the excursion I was looking forward to most. Here we did a helicopter ride to the top of Mendenhall Glacier and went dog-sledding. We had so much fun and now I’m obsessed by all-things dog-sledding.
7. Skagway is another frontier town and it has its roots in the Klondike goldrush. The boardwalks and wide streets were full of tourists. During the summer, the locals must become tired of wandering tourists who stop in the middle of the street, right in front of vehicles.
8. Glacier National Park is 3.3 million acres of mountains, glaciers, rain forest, fjords and wild coast line. It’s pristine and beautiful. We saw a glacier calving, sea otters and seals. Breathed in lots of fresh air!
9. Whittier was the turnaround point for the cruise where some passengers left and others joined. Whittier is a city but the population as at 2014 was a mere 217.
10. From Whittier, we went on a bus tour. A tunnel (the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel) connects Whittier with the Portage Glacier Highway. The tunnel is 2.5 miles long and is used by both rail and road vehicles. Access to the one-way tunnel is run by a strict schedule on the hour from Whittier and the half-hour from Bear Valley.
11. We visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This 200-acre center provides refuge for orphaned, injured and ill animals—ones that are unable to survive in the wild. They also release animals such as elk and bison back into the wild. We saw bears, porcupine (the cutest things), elk, wood bison, a wolf, an eagle and musk-ox. I really enjoyed our visit here.
12. On our return to Skagway, we hired a car and drove up to the Yukon. The fall colors were starting to show, and once we drove above the mist and clouds that covered the mountains, we had gorgeous weather. This is a shot taken not far from Carcross.
13. One of the highlights for me was seeing all the different animals. Whales and otters, seals and salmon, black bears and brown bears, eagles and the husky dogs. A part of me would love to visit during the winter, just to see how cold it really gets. If you haven’t had a chance to visit Alaska, do put it on your bucket list. As the biggest state, there is heaps to explore and they have good local beer.