S: ALASKAN ADVENTURE 2011
FC: ALASKA 2011
1: Mom and Dad, Thank you so much for taking us to Alaska to celebrate your 25th anniversary with you! We had an awesome time. There were so many fun memories made and beautiful sights taken in that we could never capture them all in just this book, so these are just a few of the highlights of our vacation. Happy Anniversary and Merry Christmas! Love, Ryan, Sara, Dana, and Bryan
2: After meeting in Seattle on Friday morning, we drove up to Vancouver. We found our ship, the Radiance of the Seas, and began exploring immediately. The first day we played mini golf, watched the scenery go by from the helipad, and ate supper at the Windjammer.
5: We enjoyed a full day on the ship while cruising along the inside passage. Mom, Bryan, and Sara hurried around the ship scrambling to win the photo scavenger hunt. We also played games, line danced, and ate supper at the Brazilian Samba Grill. We stuffed ourselves with nine delicious meats and chocolate for dessert! To top it off, we watched a pod of dolphins play in the ship's wake!
7: Ketchikan Dad, Mom, Ryan and Sara hiked the Deer Mountain trail while Bryan and Dana explored the town. Unfortunately, the rainy weather didn't allow for much of a view. We visited the Southwest Alaska Discovery Center to get out of the rain.
8: Icy Strait Point and Hoonah We visited a salmon cannery museum and walked along the beach. | A humpback whale captivated everyone's attention as we walked. We shared a lunch of halibut and chips, seafood chowder, and chili.
11: Juneau We took a shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier and, after shopping in town, relaxed with a couple drinks at the Red Dog Saloon.
12: Skagway We hiked past Lower Dewey Lake to Upper Dewey Lake. It was a 6 mile hike with 3,100 ft elevation gain. The difficult climb was celebrated with ice cream upon returning to town. Afterwards, we played Rook and chess back on the ship.
14: Hubbard Glacier We cruised by the glacier in the morning.
15: In the afternoon, we played volleyball and rock climbed.
16: Exit Glacier | As we made our way to Anchorage, we stopped for two spectacular hikes.
17: Byron Glacier
18: Independence Mine
19: Den and Susie spent the day with us. We hiked around Independence Mine where gold had been mined until 1951. We also hiked to Gold Cord Lake above the mine and got a great view of the valley.
20: With Den as our experienced river guide, we rafted down the Nenana River from the Denali Highway back to the Parks Highway. Along the way we saw several beaver and a caribou.
23: Talkeetna We used the showers and laundry at the Roadhouse and ate pizza at the Mountain High Pizza Pie. While we waited for the laundry to finish, we visited the gift shops and a local museum. We camped at Eagle River for the night.
24: We stopped to hike the Skyline Trail on our way to Kasilof. A cow and her calf were grazing on the side of the road as we neared Gerald and Bonnie's cabin. Gerald gave us a tour of their land, and we camped by the cabin for the night.
26: Kasilof and Homer Bonnie took us to the beach at low tide and we skipped rocks on the mud. Bryan stepped too close to the mud and sunk in. We drove down to Homer for the afternoon and walked down the spit. Gerald grilled steaks for supper and we roasted marshmallows over the fire.
28: We drove through the town of Hope, and then hiked up the Summit Creek Trail. After our fill of exploring, we camped at the Granite Creek campground in Chugach National Forest. The rain chased us indoors once again as we played The Game of Things into the evening.
31: On our way back to Anchorage, we visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. In an effort to summit a mountain, we hiked the Rainbow Peak Trail. Although stopping short of the top, we spotted sheep with the binoculars and saw an amazing view of the Turnagain Arm. The perfect ending to our Alaskan Adventure!