Alaska Road Tripin’ 2013

For those of you that wonder what teachers do during the summer here is a little taste of the first part of my summer.  Two days after school let out I flew to Anchorage, AK to meet my sister, Rima and my parents who were driving from the connected lower 48 up to Alaska.  I got to enjoy spending time with them and friends Pat and Rick Adams. Before Rima started work I talked her into a sea kayaking adventure (it didn’t take too much convincing). We took a water taxi from Miller’s Landing across Resurrection Bay to Kayaker’s Cove.  From the Cove we spent a relaxing day paddling around observing the beautiful scenery and all the sea life this water deprived Colorado Resident could ask for.  I don’t have any shots of the wildlife since I kept the camera in a dry bag while paddling because of being paranoid about damaging Dave’s camera. But just for the record we saw a humpback whale and her calf, sea otters, sea lions, porpoises, lots of fish and birds as well as beach life.

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Ahhh, I love the water.  We then met Mom and Dad for dinner.  They had been enjoying a tour of the fjords, glaciers and sealife in the area as well but they were in a motorized rather than self propelled version. Rima and I then stuck around Seward for another day of exploring which included the Sea Life Center, delicious chai tea, hiking in two places including up to Exit Glacier and the sighting of our first moose.

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The next few days were a great combination of exploring and relaxing.  Dad and Rick went fishing for salmon on the Kenai River.  Dad even brought one back for us to enjoy!! Yum! And yes, I did each as much seafood as possible throughout this trip. Mom, Pat and I drove up to Denali Nat’l Park and I got to spend time with the sled dogs.  I really wanted to take one home but had to content myself with petting as many as possible and letting them lick my fingers that were conveniently still smelling of beef jerky. We also enjoyed a short hike in the park.  We weren’t really there at the right time for wildlife viewing but still managed some caribou and a moose on the way back to the cabin. Back at the Adam’s cabin we were treated to an abundance of time to view a mother and baby moose as well as a bull moose at different times.  Dad and I were both in the water in the kayak and canoe when we saw one of them and were lucky we all came out unscathed.  A pair of beaver also seemed to be setting up residence in the area and kept trying to scare the moose away with tail slaps.

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All too soon we had to part ways.  Rima had to start work, Dad flew back to Wa to go to work and Mom and I soon said our goodbyes as well and started our road trip to WA. In spite of road construction, smoke from wild fires and long hours in the truck we had a great time.  We continued the moose sightings and added brown and black bears, bison, porcupine, deer, elk, caribou, mountain sheep and even a lynx to the wildlife sighting list.

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We stopped for some beautiful hikes and enjoyed Jasper National Park. We survived the heat and avoided severe flash floods. Our only trouble at the border crossings is that they wouldn’t let tomatoes and peppers purchased in AK back into the US. We never ran out of gas thanks to a large tank in the truck and found some tasty treats along the way.

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Two particularly beautiful stops included the Five Fingers Lakes in Jasper and these amazing falls. Be sure to check out the Alaska photo album for more pictures. A couple of weeks away with family was just the break I needed to recover from another busy school year.

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*Click here for full Alaska Photo Album*