We came off of Denali 2-weeks earlier than planned but rather than change our flights, we re-tooled ourselves and had an amazing Alaska adventure. When we first came off the mountain we were quite exhausted, dirty, hungry, and just out of sorts. So we spent our first two nights off the mountain in Talkeetna, which is a destination unto itself, outside of the mountaineering world. Then we rented a car in Anchorage and began a 1,000 mile road trip through south central Alaska. Alaska Road Trip Photos
First we visited the traditional visitors part of Denali National Park. What a treat!!!! Now we have a first-hand experience, of what most people mean, when they say they’ve visited Denali. By far the most memorable part of the park is visiting the kennels of the working sled dogs. But just seeing the mountain from a different perspective was worth the time and drive. It was also neat to see parts of the park that were not permanently encased in snow and ice. Denali National Park Photos
Next we booked last minute tickets and set sail aboard The Starr with Kayak Adventures Worldwide based in Seward, Alaska. Three-days living on a sailboat, stopping to get off and kayak next to calving glaciers, seals, whales and birds–it was like living in a national geographic photo shoot. Every night we anchored up somewhere new in an effort to be ready to explore someplace new the next day. Paddling around and through the ice is something we will not soon forget. Here are my Yelp reviews of the kayaking trip, a great BnB, a Thai restaurant, and the Seward Brewery. Kenai Fjords Photos
Taking the adventure down a notch, we visited Homer, Alaska next. Homer is where the Discovery Channel show “Alaska the Last Frontier” is filmed, so we visited the Kilcher Homestead Living Museum and got to meet Atz Kilcher. We stayed at two different BnB’s (Maria’s & Aloha) in Homer, both with amazing views of Kachemak Bay. There is something about the small towns in Alaska that appeals to our ideal of living.
Rounding off the trip, we spent a night at the Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood, Alaska. I would definitely like to go back and ski the mountain. It was here that we saw our only Alaska bear. We were running on a trail and almost back to the resort when we came across a bear cub climbing up a tree that was about 2 feet off the trail. We stopped, made some noise and slowly backed away. We tried our best to locate the cub’s mom, but with no luck. The little guy slowly down climbed and give us a look as if to say ‘sorry’. He wandered up the hill and we finished our run, looking back every few steps to see if we needed to pick up the pace. We were blessed to have the time and flexibility to enjoy just a small part of Alaska. We’ll be back to see the rest!