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After reading The Great Alone, I told my husband I wasn’t so sure we could go to Alaska. However, it WAS a place I had always wanted to see. I mean, after all, I would honestly love to travel EVERYWHERE on God’s green earth. And if possible, one trip per month would be just great. But in spite of my overwhelming fear of rebels, icebergs and wolves, we proceeded to plan a trip to Alaska, the last frontier. And boy, am I sure glad that we did.
Photo taken in the Tracy Arm Fjord
It’s a distant space where the earth meets the sky. A place where peace and serenity overflow from every waterfall and the silence of the forest screams to be heard. I can’t put into words the abundance of calm that lives in the land of Alaska, nor can I properly put into words how much I recommend each and every person visit this magnificent place.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty, what did we do, how did we do it and most importantly, when will YOU go to Alaska?
This photo was taken in Skagway
An Alaskan Cruise
We decided to go the cruise route to tour Alaska, there are some places that can only be reached by sea plane or ship so we figured the easiest way to see these lovely places would be by one of our favorite ways to travel, via Carnival. A ship overflowing with carnival melting cake (we had 7) and endless amounts of pizza, it was superb.
Photo by my lovely husband, Andrew Dalbey
Our first stop of the trip was Skagway. We had 12 hours at this port so figured it would be the best day to venture out on our own. We made our first stop at the Sippin' Sasquatch for some delicious local coffee and asked multiple locals where the best place to hike would be. They gave many recommendations and we found we were less than a quarter of a mile from the trail head.
This was Icy Lake on our 9-mile hike
We started our hike and were surprised to find that there were a few options on this particular trail. We ended up heading toward the lower Dewey lake and saw that Reid Falls and Icy Lake was to be found ahead. We continued to some of the most breathtaking landscapes I have ever seen. The waterfalls became the soundtrack of our day with a resounding sense of contentment and peace, this place was everything. My words can’t even do this hike justice, it was like popping in to heaven for a quick visit.
This photo was taken at Reid Falls on our 9-mile hike
Skagway ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip, the views were astounding and the moments spent soaking up nature are those that I return to as I’ve returned to the hustle and bustle of every day life back home.
Our next stop was Juneau and we had an excursion selected for this day to go whale watching. Little did I know that the excursion would include BOTTOMLESS coffee and donut holes. Now let me tell you something about cruise ship coffee, it is quite possibly the worst coffee I have ever had in my life, in fact I brought my own portable French press to avoid having it and to say that the excursion had bottomless coffee that was better than the cruise ship was an oasis in the dessert.
This photo was taken in Juneau on our whale watching excursion
We loaded up on coffee and donuts and it wasn’t long before we saw the steam pouring out of the ocean, signaling that a whale was about to flap his tale and dive down deep to feed. We saw so many whales, seals and bald eagles on this day. Alaska is a wild land filled with glimpses into nature unlike those I’ve ever seen. It's mystifying.
We also ventured out to see the Mendenhall Glacier on our excursion and just stood in utter silence as we stared at such a beautiful piece of the world. The act of standing and recognizing our smallness in comparison to the magnificence of the world was so humbling and gratifying, a reminder of how much beauty is present in every corner of this fabulous place.
Photo by Andrew Dalbey at Mendenhall Glacier
This town was overflowing with character and had so many cute little shops to explore right off the port. We only had a few hours here so it was the perfect place to buy some much needed Alaskan sweatshirts to act as memorabilia for this fantastic adventure. On our walk through town, we saw seals playing with each other, salmon skipping through the rivers and met so many welcoming smiles and colorful buildings. We hurried back to our ship after the few hours were up, filled up with local coffee and a sadness to be leaving such an amazing state.
Photo taken near the port of Ketchikan
Alaska is more than just a state, it's a far away land filled with serenity that is truly indescribable. The moments in this beautiful state are those that I will forever cherish. I promise you that I'll be ruminating on the euphoric state I found inside the edges of this life-altering place and until I do return, I'll forever cherish my Alaskan dreams.
This photo was taken of Lower Dewey Lake in Skagway
Though this is just a brief look into a wonderful week spent in this land of wonder, I'd be happy to go into more detail if you're curious about taking an Alaskan adventure yourself. I promise that you won't regret it.
Photo taken on a day at sea through Tracy Arm Fjord
Peace, love and White Hearth Coffee,