Wandering in the Last Frontier

We fell in love with Alaska nine years ago when we traveled from Georgia to Alaska and back towing our fifth wheel trailer. We’ve been wanting to return to the Last Frontier ever since.

Our wish finally came true at the end of August this year. This time we flew to Anchorage, took a tour bus to Seward and boarded the Viking Orion for a 10 day cruise ending in Vancouver. We returned to a few places we had visited by RV and saw some amazing new places. The scenery was stunning and there were many wildlife sightings.

These are just a few highlights of our journey.

Turnagain Arm between Seward and Anchorage
Brown Bear at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center on the Seward Highway in Portage, Alaska

Seward, Alaska
Leaving Valdez
Hubbard Glacier, Yakatat Bay
Humpback Whales bubble net feeding – Icy Strait Point, Alaska
Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau
Coastal Brown Bear, Haines
Sea Otter Cub on Mama’s stomach – Sitka, Alaska
Bald Eagle – Sitka, Alaska
Black Bear in Eagle Creek – Ketchikan
Inside Passage somewhere between Ketchikan, Alaska and Vancouver, British Columbia

Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 215 – Planes, Trains and Automobiles – and the places they take us.

The journey not the arrival matters

T. S. Eliot

John from Journeys with JohnBo has challenged us to focus on our journeys and the modes of transportation that got us there.

I am grateful for all the many places that planes, trains, automobiles, trucks, ships, boats, ferries, and buses have taken me. I have been fortunate to see most of the United States, several Canadian provinces, parts of Mexico, several European countries and several Caribbean countries.

For this challenge, I am focusing on our two journeys to Alaska. Our first visit to Alaska was in 2013 when we traveled from Georgia to Alaska and back towing our fifth wheel. Henry drove the truck 14,454 miles during our 106 days on the road.

We just returned from our long awaited second trip to Alaska. This time we flew to Anchorage and rode a bus to Seward to board the cruise ship Viking Orion for a 10 day cruise to Vancouver. We traveled in luxury and saw several new places we couldn’t visit by road.

Below you can see the two major modes of transportation from our two different Alaska journeys. Both journeys were spectacular with amazing landscapes and lots of wildlife.

While our truck was our main mode of transportation on our first Alaska adventure, we had to take a couple of ferries to get where we wanted to go.

There were places our truck couldn’t take us so we took a plane ride and landed on a glacier, took a ride on the Alaska Railroad, and took three amazing wildlife cruises.

This year, after two cancellations, we finally were able to take our Alaska cruise the end of August. Our journey involved planes, moving sidewalks in the airports, a beautiful ship, an Uber, sightseeing buses, a tender ride, two wildlife cruises, and lots of walking. It was wonderful seeing Alaska from the water. We really enjoyed returning to places we loved the first time as well as seeing places that were new to us.

Stay tuned for more from our latest Alaska adventure!

Many thanks to John of Journeys with Johnbo for his Lens-Artists Challenge #215 – Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 10: Onboard the Viking Sea

January 12 – 23, 2022

For twelve amazing days in January our home was the beautiful Viking Sea.

Our stateroom was spacious and comfortable. The private veranda was my favorite place to sit.

There were many different areas of the ship where we could sit and relax, take a swim, enjoy a cocktail, listen to music, or just stand at the railing and enjoy the view. There is also a Nordic Spa, Fitness area, hair and nail salon, a theater with live shows, two cinemas, and a promenade deck. The attention to detail was evident all around the ship.

We never went hungry or thirsty. The food and cocktails were all delicious and there was a very good selection of wines. There are three fine dining restaurants, several lounges, a buffet restaurant where in the morning we could order an omelet made just the way we like it and at lunch and dinner ask for a chef salad made to order. The gelato bar had a variety of flavors each day which went well with the fresh baked cookies. There are also a couple of restaurants for quick meals at breakfast and lunch.

We were spoiled the entire cruise. If we needed anything in our stateroom all we had to do was ask our room steward and he took care of it. The cruise ship staff were all friendly and attentive.

We are counting the days until our next cruise adventure.

Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 9: Tortola

January 23, 2022

Our last port – Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

The final excursion of our trip was a Catamaran Cruise on the Soul Rebel through Francis Drake Channel to Norman Island for snorkeling and beach time. The catamaran was docked in the harbor just a short walk from our cruise ship and was the only excursion of the trip that didn’t involve a ride in a bus or 4×4.

We couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather as we sailed through the turquoise waters of the British Virgin Islands. Our destination of Norman Island is one of the islands that is said to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stephenson’s novel “Treasure Island”. Our guides kept us entertained with stories about the island and pirates.

After dropping anchor near the rocky shore of Norman Island we entered the chilly water for snorkeling. Schools of colorful fish swam around the huge coral covered boulders. Huge sea urchins were scattered around on the boulders.

The bar was open with with drinks and delicious snacks when we returned to the boat. The small hand pies filled with spicy fillings called Patties were my favorite. I was too busy eating and drinking to take a picture.

Our next stop was Pirate’s Bight on Nelson Island where we got our toes in the beautiful white sand.

Back at the dock I did a little shopping before returning to the ship for our last night on board. We celebrated with some bubbly in the Explorer’s Lounge.

Earlier in the week we asked the guitarist Michael if he could play “Georgia on my Mind”. He told us he was in the process of learning it. Before performing it for the first time he said it took him 18 hours to get it right. He did a wonderful job and the highlight of the night was hearing him play it.

After watching the sunset we sailed overnight to San Juan, Puerto Rico where we disembarked early in the morning and said goodbye to the beautiful Caribbean.

Coming up – a wrap up and tour of the gorgeous Viking Sea.

Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 8: Philipsburg, St. Maarten

January 21-22, 2022

Our ship was docked in Philipsburg, St. Maarten for two nights. The first day in port we had another fun 4×4 adventure.

This time Henry got to drive a 4×4 Honda Talon from one side of St. Martin to the airport on the other side of the island. There were 6 couples from our ship and each couple had their own Talon. We lined up with a guide in the front and a guide in the back of the line. We had to all stay together as we followed our guide through the city of Philipsburg and around mountain roads with spectacular views of the island.

There were quite a few round-a-bouts and at each one the guide stopped traffic so we wouldn’t get separated. Henry loved driving the Talon!

We stopped at Sunset Beach by the Princess Juliana International Airport to watch the planes land and enjoy some beach time. There were lots of tourists enjoying the beautiful day.

The next day we enjoyed a leisurely day aboard the ship. I started the day with a cinnamon roll and ended the day watching another gorgeous sunset.

Stay tuned to see where our last Caribbean adventure takes us.