Saturday, October 4, 2014

Alaskan Adventure 2014

Well this post has been a bit of a long time coming. My husband and I had the wonderful privilege to go to Alaska again this year (my in-laws live up there - it's pretty awesome having family in such a neat location!). We went during the week of Labor Day, and I took SO many pictures that finding the time to go through them all and get them edited has been tough, especially with trying to catch up with work and find time to maintain my crazy running schedule (I did 3 races and was in a wedding, all hours away from home during the month of September). Needless to say, September was crazy, but I am happy to say that I am now getting this post up! Since it's been a month, I'm not going to go into as much detail as I probably would've had I written this days after the trip....but as is always the case anyways, my pictures tell the story better than I ever could!

Our trip was split into a few "mini" trips you could say. We arrived in Anchorage on Saturday evening and then headed to Valdez on Sunday morning (with lots of stops along the way to take pictures), spending Sunday night through mid-day Tuesday there (and attempting to fish for Silver Salmon - without much luck). After driving back to Eagle River on Tuesday afternoon, I had a little bit of time to fit a run in on Wednesday morning before we headed up to Denali National Park on Wednesday afternoon. We stayed in Denali Wednesday night through mid-day on Friday before getting home late Friday night, spending some time with family on Saturday morning and then heading home! It was busy, but packed full of lot of fun adventures and, as always, some incredible scenery. This was my 3rd time up to Alaska, and the views definitely don't get old (plus the state is so big, there's new things to do and see every time!).

So without further ado, here are many, many photos:
(Note - since I have SO many photos, I'm posting them as smaller images. However, you can click on them and they'll enlarge).

SATURDAY: We had GREAT weather all week (a first for me!) which made the plane ride coming in pretty spectacular:

After never having much luck seeing wildlife the past few times I've been to Alaska, we saw a ton this year, starting with five Moose right behind the Airport:

SUNDAY: Sunday was spent sightseeing as we made the drive northeast to the fishing town of Valdez, located on Prince William Sound.

Matanuska Glacier
We stopped at the Trans-Alaska Pipeline along the way.
We managed to get some sunbathing in when we stopped for lunch :) !

Worthington Glacier

Entering this canyon means you're almost to Valdez!
Bridal Veil Falls
We made it!

MONDAY & TUESDAY: We spent Monday and Tuesday morning fishing for Silver Salmon. We didn't have much luck catching Silvers, but it was a gorgeous sunny day on the water (very rare for Valdez) and the views were outstanding. We did catch some Rock Fish for fun, but released them.

I'm kind of in love with this picture :)

These were the Rock Fish that we caught for fun.

We had a pretty spectacular experience with some Porpoises swimming around our boat.

I caught a "jack" Salmon - but we released him since he wasn't very big.

WEDNESDAY: In the morning I went for a run on a bike path that runs along the highway towards Anchorage. Then in the afternoon we headed north to Denali National Park.

View from where we had dinner.
Eating ice cream on Wednesday night (while it was quite cold out actually).

THURSDAY: Thursday we did an all-day bus tour of Denali National Park and saw TONS of wildlife along with Denali (also known as Mt. McKinley - North America's tallest peak at 20,237'). I've been wanting to see Denali the last few visits, but it is often covered in clouds and not visible. Only 1/3 of visitors to Denali National Park see any part of the mountain, so we got extremely lucky that it was visible the entire day!

First sight of Denali!!!

Dall Sheep

A bear and two cubs.
There's a moose out there if you look really closely.
This was my first time seeing a bull moose in the wild!
Another Bear!

Getting closer to Denali!

Close-up of Denali.
This was our turn-around point for the tour.

FRIDAY: On Friday we did a jeep tour involving a lot of scary mud...I was glad I wasn't driving! It was a lot of fun though:

So overall this was an awesome trip (as always)! The other two times I went to Alaska were in July, but this trip in September by far had the best weather, which I found interesting! I also saw the most wildlife I've ever seen which was amazing. I'm honestly not sure it would even be possible to have a better day in Denali National Park - being able to see the mountain (and the ENTIRE mountain) for the whole day and we saw SO much wildlife - you just can't beat that! Thanks again to my in-laws for being such great hosts - I definitely appreciate it!

P.S. If anyone is interested in seeing more pictures of Alaska, check out my blog post from last years trip. Also, all of my landscape images and a few of the wildlife images are avaialble for purchase on my website:

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