Saturday, June 6, 2009

Alaska '09

My sophomore year of college, I lived in apartment that housed 4 girls. Three of us were from Eagle River, Alaska (take a wild guess guess which one wasn't). Christy is the only one of my roomates that year who (so far) has moved back to Alaska. And since this post we've been planning what we call Alaska 09.

Since Brant and I got separated on the flights out there, I arrived about 12 hours in Anchorage ahead of him on Sunday at midnight (it was still daylight out!).

Monday, June 1

Monday morning while waiting for Brant's flight to arrive, Christy took me to a local nature park with trails for a mid morning hike (pictured above). This was just the beginning of our trip with fabulous scenary!

(I haven't resized any of these photos- you can get the full effect by clicking on them)

After we picked Brant up at noon from the airport, the first thing that he wanted to see was the float planes at the near local airport. Truth is- this boy had the biggest smile on his face watching these planes as well as our entire time in Alaska :) We figured out that we could spend next summer in Alaska - Brant as a float plane tour guide and me... doing something else!

(This is for Dene (if she still reads this blog). I promise I'm not a creeper - Christy just pointed out your families house on the way up the mountain that evening :)

A short local hike Monday evening... the lens on my camera wasn't strong enough to catch Mt. McKinley in the back.

Tuesday June 2

The next morning our four hour train ride left for Seward at 6:45am (its so much easier to get up early in the morning when its light all night long). The awesome scenary from our seat on the train.

A shot of our train from where we where sitting in the last cabin (passing a glacier in the mountain).

Pretty reflection shot of the mountain...

The train was really fun - they encourage passengers to get up and walk around, sit in the upper level bubble seats (I don't know if that's what they are really called, but here I am demonstrating looking like a cheeseball). They also had an entire cabin for the restuarant that they served breakfast in along with a cabin they called the Tiki Room - complete with a palm tree and snacks.

After arriving in Seward. Christy and Derrick skipped the train ride, but drove down from Anchorage with the camping gear and met us here.

After the train ride and on the ride to the campsite, we headed to see a glacier- so cool (literally!) I was impressed by Christy - she made the almost two mile hike to the glacier and back being 8 months pregnant!

I've never seen anything like this glacier before...we were huddling for warmth :)

Then it was on to the campground!

As if hot dawgs and s'mores weren't enough, Brant and Derrick topped off the campire by roasting twinkies.

These are the times I wished I had a better lens on my camera.... can you guess what that is...? It's a moose! A wild moose and her baby about 30 feet from our campsite! They just came up and stolled on by us. Of course my camera was giving me fits at this exact moment so I couldn't get a better photo of them.

You probably can't tell (it just looks like the sky in the background), but this campsite was right off the beach. Again, props to Christy for camping while being 8 months pregnant (no complaints at all!). She would have made a great pioneer!

Wednesday June 3

We came to Alaska a little premature for peak fish season, but Derrick and Brant still tried anyways. They got up at 4am for their first trip to the river, then went back again around 11am. (no luck on catching any salmon that day, but lots of smiles and good times) .

My favorite part about camping in Alaska is that you don't need flashlights- its light enough all through the night that you don't have to worry about laterns or taking a flashlight with you when you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night!

After Brant and Derrick were done fishing the sky was so clear that we could see the nearby mountains without a problem.

This is how tractors are used in Alaska. No boat ramp needed- just call the tractor to come pull you out of the ocean! (seriously, thats how it works)

We wanted to take Christy and Derrick out to dinner on our last night there- and we were hoping for something very Alaskan. I don't think it could get any more authentic than "Mooses Tooth". This was a very popular place that all of the locals go to- even on a Wednesday evening, there was a wait and the place was super busy until about 11pm (when we took this photo... notice again how light it is outside! Amazing!)

Ah, the sun sets on Alaska '09 (our flight left first thing the next morning).

Thanks for a super neat trip Christy and Derrick! We've already started planning for Alaska 2-10!

P.S. And thanks so much for that huge box of salmon you sent home with us!! We grilled the first couple ones the evening we got home :)


Ted;Nancy said...

First is WHAT an awesome trip, wish I could travel like that :). Second is you make a great cheese ball Kristen! Third I didn't know you liked hotdogs now :). Don’t you just love the feel of Alaska someday I'll make it back there.


B and K said...

You can experience all this too - all you need to do is get out of your hotel room once in awhile on your Alaskan trips :)

bradenandjen said...

I've always wanted to go to Alaska! Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun! You should share that salmon, too, so you don't get sick of it!

Wilson's said...

We had a blast with you! And can't wait for your visit next year. Plan for a longer trip though. :)
p.s. my pics are comming to you soon!

The Caldwell's said...

Wow, it's so beautiful there! Someday TJ and I will go there...
Glad you had a blast!!

Linsey said...

It looks like you guys had an amazing time. No wonder you want to go back! Alaska is definitely on my list of places I want to visit in my lifetime.

Dene said...

Glad to see my house made it up there with all the other beautiful secenery photos of Alaska :) I'm so glad you got to go to AK! I just wish Mike and I could have been there with you guys! Especially for Moose's Tooth!

J+S said...

This looks amazing. Did you get to see the northern lights?

Andrea - said...

So fun!!! Thanks for sharing. I've always wanted to see a blue glacier--I hear they are blue because they are oxygen deprived....