Travel Journal

North to Alaska

(Wednesday 8 August 2018) by Karen O'Shea
North to Alaska :-)

My apologies for taking so long to post this blog, its been a little difficult in parts to pick up decent wifi in the back country of Alaska. Just as well I didnt come for the wifi then :-)

Seriously as I write this I cant believe Im actually here in Alaska the last frontier. I have to take a breath and realize it myself. Thinking back of all the documentaries me and dad watched, the Alaskan railroad, Alaska wildlife, ice road truckers and deadliest catchand here I amdoing what only some people can dream of. I guess Im pretty lucky. ;-)

Why Alaska?
I guess why I can why not travel as far as Im able and is possible, I can do lanzarote when Im getting the old hip done haha:-):-)

It took a hell of a long time to get her, flew from Dublin to Iceland, then onto Seattle and then eventually a third flight to anchorage. Flew with icelandair, they are kind of an expensive ryanair.. Even had trouble checking in in Dublin, for some reason I kept coming up as an American citizen!! :-(
Anyway the journey took about 26 hours from door to door, so yeah it was exhausting but not a big price to pay to be finally in Alaska.

Some facts about Alaska
Population of 750,000 people
3 million lakes
100,000 glaciers
Over 6,000 miles of coastline, thats more then the whole USA
Area 586,000 square miles, to put things in perspective its 21 times the size of ireland :-)

Russia sold it to the USA in 1867 cause they thought it was a waste of money a few years later the US discovered gold and oil, so happy days for uncle sam

Its illegal to shoot a mousse from a moving airplane..haha
Also you cannot bring your flamingo into a barbers shop..haha I will just leave that one with youhaha :-):-)

The sun doesnt set till about 11 pm ish, so its not dark for that long. Gets bright again about 4 ish, but its never truly dark. Way up north in Alaska it stays bright 24 hours a day for about 6 weeks of summer, but on the flip side it remains dark 24 hours a day for months over the winter. Dont think I could live like that. Must be depressing.:-(

Anchorage
Yeah I liked this city, its small and friendly. Wasnt sure what to expect here but it was more western and cheaper then I imagined. I thought they would really up the prices for tourists because the summer season is so short. They have pretty much the same shops as us, skechers, Pandora even claries accessories haha:-)

Took a stroll to the Alaskan railroad depot, now Im no train spotter but I did find this a WHOW place, to actually see the trains that still run on this mighty railroad from one end of the state to the other, how they ever succeeded in building the railway in such conditions is beyond me.

My travelling companions
Its a 13 night camping trip I am on, a guide from California, and 13 fellow travellers, from England, new Zealand, Denmark, a scot and me, all different ages, all different backgrounds but we are all after the same thing..adventure. :-)

Anchorage to Denali national Park
Today we hit the road and I couldnt wait to get started. It was a 5 hour drive to camp which was carlo creek around denali national park. It was an absolutely beautiful scenic drive. So much to see, mountains, rivers, lakes, glaciers, lots and lots of greenery, (if you want to pick your own Christmas tree..come to Alaska). The amount of quaint one horse towns we passed through was fun to see. We stopped off at Wasilla to get provisions for our camp, this is home to Sarah Palin, she was running for president back in the day, a little out there, but shir look in:-):-)

Carlo creek campsite was pretty nice, hot running water, toilets and fresh water to drink, what more could you ask for. The site was next to a river, with mountains in the background, pretty beautiful indeed. This was home for the next three nights which was pretty great cause that meant no packing everything up.

Denali National Park
Oh yeah I might mention, everything had to be bear proofed. All toiletries and food locked away in the trailer in case any bears came wondering, they have an amazing sense of smell. I did have to get up during the night to go to the loo (couldnt find my glasses) so continued anyway, wrestled out of my sleeping bag, find torch, shoes, jacket, then find azip on tent door..all while not trying to wake my roomie.eventually got out of the tent..now find toilet and not bears haha
Mission accomplishednow find my way back to the tent and do it all in reverse haha :-):-)

Today we took a trip into the park. This park is 6 million acres, thats 1/3 the size of Ireland. Denali national park boasts the big five animals. Bears, wolves, Caribou, Dali sheep and mousse. We did eventually spot the top five, it was really amazing to see them in their natural habitat. They are free to roam around as there are no fences here to keep them. In fairness it took us 8 hours on a bus to spot them all but it was worth it all. We didnt see Mount McKinley which is the biggest mountain in America, because it was so cloudy. This mountain is so big it produces its own weather system.

The following day we did some hiking around the park, which was good.
Got to see beavers hard at work, building some dams around the lakes. It was so wilderness here, I did think what it must be like to be lost out in the wilds and just hoping a plane would fly over and find you. :-(
Also saw a sled dog demonstration, how the Alaskan huskies pull the sleds around when it snows. Apparently the dogs hate summer and love to work in the winter when its -30 degrees. Whow!!! Some of them were pretty beautiful with lovely blue eyes.
Tried reindeer for the first time that evening for dinner.or REINBEER as it was called, as the reindeer sausages were boiled in alaskan beer haha :-):-) Sorry rudolph :-):-)

ok guys for now i must sign off, chat soon, north to alaska go north the rush is on :-):-) xx

 


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