Wandering Around America one state at a time – Alaska

State 2:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride! I will be featuring the states alphabetically and next up is

Alaska

Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959. The capital is Juneau and it is the only state capital that can only be reached by air, boat, or birth. The largest city is Anchorage.

We spent 50 glorious nights in Alaska in the summer of 2013.

I loved meeting so many wonderful Alaskans and hearing their stories. Wildlife, glaciers, boat trips, a flight seeing tour, eagles, halibut fishing, Denali National Park, taking the RV on the Alaska Ferry from Skagway to Haines, and a train ride on the Alaska Railroad are just a few of the amazing things we experienced while we were there. Our favorite place was Haines. The most exciting thing we did was take a flight-seeing tour from Talkeetna to see Mt. McKinley and land on Ruth Glacier. The farthest north we went was Coldfoot, north of the Arctic Circle.

Every day was memorable, every day was special, every day we saw something spectacular. Was it worth driving over 14,000 there and back? Absolutely!

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama

We Love Waterfront Camping

Our favorite places to camp are the campgrounds with a view. There’s nothing like waking up with a view outside the RV or sitting outside in the evening enjoying the scenery around us. We’ve enjoyed campgrounds with views of spectacular mountains, glaciers, forests, and all kinds of water.

For us, the best camping is beside a river, mountain stream, lake, or any body of water for that matter.

We enjoy watching the different water craft go by.

Sometimes we see wildlife.

Blondie loves it when she gets a chance to go swimming.

We love watching the sun rise and set over the water.

 

Favorite Alaska Memories

Although we left Tok, Alaska almost a month ago, our memories of Alaska will never leave us. Here, in no particular order, are a few photos of some of our favorite places and adventures.

Our favorite place was Oceanside RV Park in Haines, Alaska where we could sit and watch for whales, watch eagles fly by, and watch the ferries and cruise ships sail by.

Cocktail hour whale watching with Ted and Ruthy
Cocktail hour whale watching with Ted and Ruthy
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Deadliest Catch!
Deadliest Catch!

The most exciting and most memorable experience of the entire trip was the South Face McKinley flight-seeing tour and landing on Ruth Glacier with Talkeetna Air Taxi.

We went really close to Mt. McKinley
We went really close to Mt. McKinley
Loving every minute of our time on Ruth glacier
Loving every minute of our time on Ruth glacier

We loved all of the boat trips we took.

Whale Pectoral Fin on day trip to Juneau
Whale Pectoral Fin on day trip to Juneau
Stellar Sea Lions on day trip to Juneau
Stellar Sea Lions on day trip to Juneau
Seeing ice calving on Aialik Glacier on the Kenai Fjords trip from Seward
Seeing ice calving on Aialik Glacier on the Kenai Fjords trip from Seward
A pair of Orcas on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez
A pair of Orcas on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez
Sea Otters on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez
Sea Otters on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez

Driving to the Coldfoot, sixty miles north of the Artic Circle was a drive to remember.

Wandering Dawgs at the Arctic Circle
Wandering Dawgs at the Arctic Circle

Catching Halibut and watching the sunset in Ninilchik, Alaska.

Four of these fish are ours!
Four of these fish are ours!
Mount Redoubt Sunset
Mount Redoubt Sunset

Denali National Park.

Moose beside the road on the way out of the park
Moose beside the road on the way out of the park
Lukor liked it on top of his house
Lukor liked it on top of his house
Beautiful green valley at Polychrome Overlook
Beautiful green valley at Polychrome Overlook
Another group of Caribou up on a ridge
Another group of Caribou up on a ridge

Driving the Top of the World Highway, panning for gold, going for a train ride on the Alaska Railroad, watching for wildlife on the side of the road, seeing the Fireweed blooming everywhere, seeing glaciers off in the distance and up close are all highlights of the trip we will never forget.

Every day was memorable, every day was special, every day we saw something spectacular.

Day 82: Bear Sighting on our last day in Valdez

Day 82: Monday, August 5, 2013

Our original plan was to spend 3 nights in Valdez and then start heading back home. We liked it here so much we ended up spending 5 nights.

We couldn’t pass up our last chance for fish and chips so we had lunch at Old Town Burgers. My halibut and chips were delicious and Henry enjoyed his fish tacos.

Blondie and the salmon
Blondie and the salmon

We met a great group of folks on the boat yesterday who told us there was a mama bear with four cubs on the way to the fish hatchery. Of course we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see a bear so we took a drive back to the hatchery. We took Blondie down to the water and she wasn’t sure what to make of the fish.

As we drove back from the hatchery Henry spotted a black bear on our side of the road. We pulled over to the side of the road and watched the cub follow his mama back into the woods. With her cub safe and sound mama made several trips to retrieve dead fish from the creek bank to take back to the cubs. While this was all going on a Bald Eagle was preening on the top of one of the trees. After watching the bears for a long time we got ready to leave and saw a golden eagle fly overhead.

It was a great day to end our stay in Valdez. We will now begin our journey back home with one more night in Alaska before entering Canada to head south.

Day 81: Wildlife and Glacier Cruise from Valdez

Day 81: Sunday, August 4, 2013

The day was overcast with a chance of rain but it was our last opportunity to take a cruise so off we went on the Glacier Spirit with Stan Stephens Cruises. The boat had a nice, warm comfortable cabin and plenty of viewing areas outside. We left the Valdez Harbor about noon for our 6 hour cruise.

The scenery was breathtaking and there was plenty of wildlife. As we cruised close to shore we saw too many eagles to keep count. A pod of Dall Porpoise bow surfed for a while. They’re too fast to get a picture but beautiful to watch.

The highlight of the day was seeing a pod of Orcas with a calf.

The captain navigated through huge chunks of ice to get into Columbia Bay for a close up look at 10 mile wide Columbia Glacier.

The ride back to Valdez was just as spectacular.