Hi everyone! Noelle here. This week I’m going to share a tiny piece of my summer vacation in Alaska. I vacationed in Alaska for 2 weeks from the end of June into July. I went with my family and we did a land and cruise deal. A lot of people questioned why I’d want to go to Alaska in the summer (“Isn’t it going to be cold?”). Well, it was absolutely gorgeous and the high temperatures ranged from the high 60’s to the low 80’s and, for me, that’s perfect. We were also there when there is a great deal of sunshine as the sun would set at around 12:20 something AM and rise about 3 hours later at around 3:30 something AM. That definitely took some getting used to. We were able to take in the gorgeous sights on the cruise (as well as seeing seals, whales, dolphins and sea otters!), as well as all the great excursions at the ports we stopped at (Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway). We did zip-lining and salmon fishing, a train ride up the summit in Skagway, visited some absolutely beautiful gardens (and you wouldn’t believe the size of their vegetable plants up there), went on a whale watch, visited a salmon hatchery, shopping and so much more! We also visited Mendenhall Glacier and cruised through Glacier Bay and it’s impossible to describe how beautiful everything was. Then there was the land portion. We got off the cruise and took a glass covered train ride to Talkeetna. On the train ride we were about to see Dall sheep, a moose (my favorite!) and more gorgeous scenery. At Talkeetna we walked around the tiny town and went to the Sun Dog Kennels where we learned all about this family’s history with the Iditarod, as well as got to take a ride with the dogs as part of their training and meet the new puppies! This was one of my favorite things we did while in Alaska. Then we went to a lodge near Mt. McKinley (they call it Denali), which is the tallest mountain in North America. There we went white water rafting and experienced an earthquake and the whole area turned smokey from the nearby fires. We also visited the Denali National Park where we took a tour on a bus that included more beautiful views and listening to a native Athabascan share her family’s heritage. We then hiked on one of their trails there. After Denali, we headed to our last destination of Fairbanks where we took a paddlewheel boat tour that also included another stop where we learned more about the Athabascans, their history and culture.
I am of course leaving out a ton of information (I learned a LOT about Alaska), but wouldn’t want to bore you! I also struggled with the pictures to choose and put on our Pinterest board as I had taken over 1,000 photos while we were there! Hopefully the photos inspire you to visit Alaska one day, because it was one item on my bucket list and I’d love to go back time and time again.