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Alaska
July 2010
Alaska has always been near the top of my list of dream vacation destinations. This year, I finally made it there. After spending Canada Day in Vancouver, BC, we spent a week travelling by cruise ship to Seward, AK with stops at Ketchikan, Juneau, Hoonah, Skagway & Hubbard Glacier. Cruise ship is about the only way to visit most of these locations since most aren’t accessible by land. However, you don’t have to spend much time stuck on the ship since just about every day you’re in port at another city.

In the second week, we ventured into Alaska’s interior travelling by bus from Seward to Anchorage and by train from Anchorage to Talkeetna and to Denali National Park. After 2 nights in Denali, a bus took us to Fairbanks. This part of the tour was even better than the first. We got out of the touristy areas that cater to the cruise companies and got to see real life in Alaska.

After two weeks enjoying Alaska (and never seeing any darkness the entire time), we flew to Seattle and spent one day there before returning to Philadelphia and going back to a diet that doesn’t include salmon with almost every meal.

I took over 4,700 photos and saved about 1,300 of those photos. Approximately 600 of those are displayed here. They are arranged by day. I suggest starting with day one and working your way through in order to get the best feel for the trip. I also shot a few short video clips.

 

We were able to get very close to the face of Hubbard Glacier. You'd never know it since there are no man-made structures for comparison but the face of the glacier is 450 feet tall and 8 miles wide. The sound you hear is the rumbling of ice calving off of it and creating icebergs.

Our difficulty in getting a flight scheduled to the glacier allowed us some time to make a side trip to four time iditarod winner Jeff King's Husky Homestead. He provided a fascinating look at the sport of dog sledding. Here you see two of their training devices, a giant hamster wheel and a dog-powered carousel.

These two caribou were wandering along the Park Road in Denali National Park in Alaska. They were on the road avoiding mosquitos and causing a little bit of a traffic jam.

We went through so much effort and stress trying to schedule a flight to aglacier, but after a week of trying we managed to get there on the third try. After all that effort, I had to record our landing! The landing was bumpy, but not nearly what I expected considering we were landing on skis.

Ruth Glacier is like a little icy airport out in the middle of nowhere. The night we were there, there were many small flightseeing planes coming and going.

This isn't the most exciting video, but the lodge we stayed at in Denali was the Grande Denali Lodge. It's situated on the edge of a cliff 500 feet above the George Parks Highway. They have a 1 mile long, mostly unpaved, driveway that descends the 500 feet to the road. Everyone who drove us up and down it said they hate it. This was our last trip down in a Royal Celebrity tour bus.

 

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