I recently went to Alaska to do research for a new series I am developing. It was a quick trip but we managed to pack quite a bit of sightseeing into one short week.
Day 1 – drive from Lake Tahoe to Reno and then fly from Reno to Anchorage. We spent the night at the Alyeska resort in Girdwood Alaska. The Alyeska resort is a ski resort in the winter, and while it did snow on the mountain during our stay, it didn’t snow nearly enough to open the slopes. We did however manage to see our first moose of the trip on the side of the road in Girdwood which was all kinds of fun.
Day 2 – On our first full day in Alaska we decided to make the 250 mile roundtrip journey to Seward. Seward is located on the Gulf of Alaska and is known for its fishing. It is a small town with good food and a wonderful view. While we were in Seward we stopped off at Kenai Fjords National Park, which is really best enjoyed during the summer, but we did manage to get a photo of the sign. My husband Ken and I are trying to get photos of the signs of all of the national parks. So far we have 45 parks out of 52. After this trip we still need one in Florida: Dry Tortugas, five in Alaska: Lake Clark, Gates of the Arctic, Glacier Bay, Katmai, Kobuk Valley, and the one in the Virgin Islands.
Day 3 – we drove from Anchorage to Valdez, about 300 miles over the Glenn Highway to the Richardson Highway. We saw a lot of really beautiful country along the way although it rained for the entire trip.
Day 4: We hung out in Valdez which is the approximate location where I imagine my fictional town of Moosehead Alaska to be located. The town in nestled on the gulf but it is also surrounded by tall majestic mountains. In a word it is breathtaking. The food was excellent, the locals friendly and very helpful in answering my questions, and best off all, there are hundreds of bunnies running around everywhere. The story is that about 20 years ago one of the locals got each of their four children a bunny for Easter. The rabbits didn’t work out as pets so they let them go. Of course they did what bunnies do best – multiply, and now they are everywhere.
Day 5: We drove from Valdez to Fairbanks via the Richardson Highway. We managed to not only see a mama and baby moose, but we came across two different groups of Caribou on the side of the road. I got a photo of the moose but not the caribou. The little buggers were too quick and headed for the trees before I could get my camera out. This trip is about 365 miles a very, very, beautiful.
We also visited the town of North Pole Alaska on day 5. It is Christmas everyday in North Pole. I’m not sure I’d want to have Christmas every day but it was an adorable town. I especially liked the red and white stripped candy cane lampposts.
Another highlight of day 5 was that I got a chance to see the northern lights. I tried to take a photo but it just came out dark. It was an awesome experience that I would never have had if one of my awesome fans who lives in the area didn’t message me to go outside and look up. Thank you Amy.
Day 6: We made the 358 mile journey from Fairbanks to Anchorage. By the time we arrived in Anchorage we had driven over a twelve hundred miles and seen some of the most beautiful country anywhere. It was truly an awesome trip and I can’t wait to have time to get a start on my Alaska series. It was rainy and foggy for the first part of the trip on day 6 but the sun did come out in time for us to have a cold one outdoors at the Denali Brewing Company in Talkeetna.
Day 7: We flew to Reno and then drove home to Tahoe where a very happy Echo was at the door to greet me. Next up for us is a trip back to the San Juan Islands in November to do some follow up research for the Whales and Tails series. I will of course post photos along the way.
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