I don’t even know where to start. We did so many epic things while in Alaska. I haven’t even finished sorting the photos yet, but I am at least done with the ones from the first few days.
Our flight was relatively uneventful. There was a lot of turbulence due to thunderstorms everywhere across the country, but all of our flights were on time. I had one of the best burgers of my life at Modern Burger in the Phoenix Airport. I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time from the plane window. I learned not to look out a plane window while half asleep because it causes a lot of confusion.
The best part, though, was watching the sunset from the plane. Although it was a little trippy. It was dark when we left Phoenix, but we caught up with the sunset somewhere along the Pacific Coast. So, really, we got to watch the sunset rise. I’m too easily amused.
The airport ‘lost’ one of our bags. I use the quotes because they actually forgot to put it on the plane in Philly. We were promised it would be there around 2pm that day (it was 1:30 am Alaska Time). It was the bag that contained our hiking boots, though. Trinity and I spent that day rocking socks with flip flops. Hey. It was cold!
After getting some sleep, we headed out on our first day of adventuring. Our plan was to be in Seward for the 4th. So we headed down the Seward Highway, stopping at random scenic overlooks along the way. Daniel and I went in the car, and Trinity and Daniel’s parents drove the RV.
I stared out the window the whole time. Alaska really is beautiful.
Our first official stop of the day was at Portage Valley. We didn’t do much hiking because of the whole flip flop thing, but I did get to see my first glacier! I was pretty excited over this and made Daniel pose for a million photos.
I never realized that glaciers were such bright blue! This is apparently because glacial ice is so super compacted that it absorbs every wavelength of light except blue.
It was cold, drizzly, windy, and foggy. It was still beautiful, though. I can only imagine how gorgeous everything is when the sun is out! Everything we saw was just breathtaking.
After we were done exploring the Portage Valley area, we headed to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which was pretty amazing. It was definitely worth the price of admission.
We were able to see musk oxen, elk, reindeer, wood bison, grizzly bears, black bears, moose, a porcupine and an injured bald eagle. While I did get to see eagles and moose in the wild later in the trip, it was still pretty awesome to see them in this setting.
The scenery was just amazing, too. The whole area was spotted with ‘Ghost Forests.’ During the 1964 earthquake, parts of Alaska fell below sea level. Saltwater rushed into these areas, killing and preserving the trees. I happen to think they’re eerie and beautiful.
The highlight of the visit for Trinity was getting to pet an actual reindeer named Chuckles. The staff is working on socializing him, so he doesn’t negatively react to people. He was pretty awesome.
At this point, Daniel and I went back to Anchorage to pick up our ‘lost’ suitcase and pick up a few groceries (We cooked all but 3 meals in the RV) while Trinity and her Grandparents took the RV to our home for the night. Granite Creek Campground was basically the most beautiful (although also the most mosquito infested) place I had ever seen.
The hardest part of the trip was sleeping. This time of year in the Kenai Fjords area of Alaska, the sun only sets for a few hours each night. Between that and the time change, I had a hard time falling asleep and kept waking up super early.
This also meant it was basically never fully dark. So, I didn’t have a chance of seeing the Northern Lights. That just means I have to go back during peak aurora time, right?