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Eric and Sandra's Trip to Alaska

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S: Eric and Sandra's Trip to Alaska August 10-31, 2011


1: ALASKA | ALASKA | ARRIVED 10 August 2011 | "The journey, not the arrival is what matters. " -T.S. Eliot

2: After we arrived in Anchorage, we picked up the RV, affectionately nicknamed Bessie, and we were on our way. We made it 40 miles to Wasilla, where the first stop was Wal-Mart. We spent the night in an RV park. August 11th, was the start of our grand adventure. We drove north on Parks Highway towards Denali. We were blessed with clear skies and beautiful views the entire way.

5: August 11, 2011

7: The Denali Highway 134 miles 15% paved, 85% gravel Driving on the Denali Highway is a must when visiting Alaska! Our 2nd night was spent on the shoulder of this gravel highway. Reindeer sausage and Alaskan Summer Ale, accompanied by beautiful views, made for a great meal.

8: August 12, 2011

9: There were so many treasures along the Denali Highway. We stopped at Alpine Creek Lodge and visited with some great people. They serve free coffee and the staff was very informative. We chatted with a guide that works a the lodge and a young helicopter pilot that was flying Alaska Fish and Game around. Further down the road, we were treated to the best berry pie at McClaren River Lodge at the base of the McClaren Glacier.

10: Pools of Life Hundreds of small lakes and ponds along the Denali Highway are reminders of ancient glaciers passing. As these glaciers receded they left behind blocks of slower melting ice that formed kettle holes or kettle lakes. Kettle lakes are a place for trumpeter swans, beavers, moose, caribou, and many other animals to call home.

12: Where the heck is | CHITINA? | We traveled south on the Richardson Highway and found ourselves in the small town of Chitina. We had no idea what we were in for. Our first meal out was a Digiorno's Pizza cooked in an oversized toaster oven at a place called Uncle Tom's Tavern. We spent hours hanging out with the locals, drinking Alaskan beer and hearing stories of how people arrived there.

13: We drove between rock walls so tight we barely got the RV through to reach the Copper River. During the spring melt the river is roaring. By August, you can drive out on the river bed and watch the fishermen at work. There are 2 methods the locals use: dipnet fishing and fish wheeling. | August 13, 2011 | Fish Wheel | Dipnet fishing is when fisherman float with the current while holding a net in the water. They then wait for the fish to swim into the net.

14: "Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going." -Paul Theroux | Bridal Veil falls | Mount Sanford Wrangell-St.Elias Mtns. | Worthington Glacier

15: Hiking in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park | Liberty Falls

16: August 13-16, 2011

17: Valdez | Valdez is a port located on Prince William Sound. When we arrived, we watched a bear and seagulls feast on salmon from the hatchery that thought they were swimming up stream. We then found our home for the next 3 nights at Bayside RV Park. We had yummy fish fry at the Alaskan Halibut House for dinner. We set up our salmon charter on Cap'n Patty Charters and what an amazing experience it was. Patty and Mike, along with their dog Faulkner, are retired Air Force, and enjoy sharing their love of Alaska with tourists.

19: Faulkner

20: Travel Day: Augiust 16, 2011 | Eric found planes, wherever we went, even if it was down a random dirt road.

21: Bertha Creek Our favorite campground! We could hear the babble of this waterfall from our campground. The scenery was amazing. Another majestic evening in Alaska!

23: August 17, 2011

24: August 18-20, 2011 | Homer Spit

25: We finally saw a moose!

26: Alaska Aviation Museum, Anchorage, A.K. | Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Portage, A.K. | After trading Bessie in for a Hyundai Sonata, it was Sandra's turn to drive. We explored the airport before we left Anchorage. On the way to Moose Pass we stopped at the Wildlife Center and learned a lot about animals native to Alaska.

27: We finally arrived in Moose Pass for the next segment of our adventure. Eric began his seaplane rating at Scenic Mountain Air. We enjoyed the hospitality and company of the staff. Trail Lake Lodge, the only restaurant in town, served us amazing dinner, many times during our stay. | August 21-August 30, 2011

28: Exit Glacier is a glacier derived from the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Mountains of Alaska. It received its name because it served as the exit for the first recorded crossing of the Harding Icefield in 1968. | The Port at Seward

31: Halibut Fishing | Seward , Alaska | Eric had a successful day of fishing while Sandra had a successful day of surviving!

32: Bear Glacier | Aialik Glacier | Harding Icefield | an iceberg

33: After Eric earned his seaplane license, he was able to take Sandra flying. These pictures are from different parts of the Kenai Fjords National Park. Flying over the area around Seward and Moose Pass was an amazing experience, made better by the fact that Eric was flying the plane!

34: Eric's Flying Adventures

35: The Port at Seward | Seward Airport

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