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

Blondie’s Big Adventures

Eating, chasing a tennis ball and swimming. These are the things that our yellow Labrador Retriever Blondie loves to do more than anything. When we are on an RV trip we often go out of our way to find a place for her to run and swim.

Blondie dives into the creek
Blondie dives into the creek
Blondie returns with the tennis ball
Blondie returns with the tennis ball
Blondie swimming in Lake Erie
Blondie swimming in Lake Ontario
Blondie in Lake Superior
Blondie in Lake Superior
Blondie playing chuck-it on Long Beach, Washington
Blondie goes after the ball on Long Beach Peninsula, Washington
Blondie is one happy dog swimming in Haines, Alaska
Blondie is one happy dog swimming in Haines, Alaska

We’re not wandering at the moment. These are just a few photos showing Blondie on the move doing what she loves.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: On The Move

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 36: Fresh Crabs for Dinner

Day 36: Thursday, June 20, 2013

One of the things on my list of things to do in Alaska was to eat some fresh crabs right from the dock. Thanks to Joyce, the great owner of the Oceanside RV Park where we are staying, I crossed that off my list on Thursday night.

I went for an early morning walk around the harbor and then hoping to see some more Bald Eagles, we drove a few miles down the road to Chilcoot Lake in Chilcoot State Park and along Mud Bay Road to the seafood cannery.

Then we went down to the dock to help clean today’s catch of 38 Dungeness Crabs.

A trip to the Hammer Museum sounded like a fun way to spend the afternoon before dinner.

Finally, it was time to eat!

Joyce, the owner of Oceanside RV Park, often puts on a crab boil or salmon bake for her guests. Joyce organizes everything, teaches everyone how to clean them, and then cooks them. Everyone brought a covered dish and paid for however many crabs they wanted. After we ate our fill of our six crabs we picked the rest and froze it for later in the trip.

Joyce is one of the hardest working RV park owners we have ever seen and goes out of her way to make you feel at home. If you are going to Haines, Oceanside RV Park is the only place to stay. This is NOT a paid advertisement! She doesn’t even know I’m posting this.

Day 35: Laid back in Haines, Alaska

Day 35: Wednesday, June 19, 2013

We didn’t have to travel far to see the sights today. Back at the campground, people emerged from their RV’s with coffee cups in hand in search of birds, whales, and vessels passing by. Someone shouted “Whale” and started pointing. Binoculars and spotting scopes came out and we all watched to see where they are. Far across the water we watched three whales as they spouted and breached.

Later, we drove along Mud Bay to a cannery to get some smoked salmon. No work was being done so we decided to come back another day to watch them at work. The local IGA had just received it’s weekly shipment so after we stocked up there we spent the rest of the day enjoying the views from our campground.

Have I mentioned how hot it is here? After traveling through Canada wearing sweatshirts, jeans and wool socks for days, we arrived in Alaska and had to change into short sleeves and shorts. Many people in the campground sat in their chairs sunbathing.

Blondie finally got to go swimming when we took her down to the beach.

Whale watching during cocktail hour and waiting for a storm to come in – it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.