Back in October, I fell in love with Alaska. When schedules aligned, I was able to go back, this time with my friend, Hannah. It’s been a while since I’ve had a real vacation… meaning no looking at my laptop or checking my emails. Whenever I get mentally burnt out, nature therapy has yet to let me down. So I took a two-pronged approach to planning our 6 days out…
- I want to be physically exhausted every day because when I’m physically exhausted, my mind relaxes.
- I want to see as much of Alaska as I can on an intimate level.
We arrive in Anchorage. My great-aunt lives in Anchorage and owns a sushi restaurant called Dami. Much sushi was had. We unwind and wait for the sunset… which happened at 11:03PM.
We head to Whittier, AK. Daunting little town with a strange charm. There are just about 200 residents in the whole city with the majority living in one 14-story building.
We kick-off the trip with a kayak around the Prince William Sound Passage Canal. It’s about 7 miles round trip and takes about 4 hours.
We spent the night in Girdwood (known for it’s killer ski mountain) in the most charming hostel.
One of the things I really wanted to do was do some sight-seeing of Alaska’s diverse terrain. But with Alaska being so vast, I wanted to do sight-seeing on steroids. So picture this — a backcountry ATV tour covering 50 miles with the destination being the Knik Glaciers. Every 5 mins there was a new smell (wild flowers were in full bloom!), new sights, different river crossings.
Then we spent the evening in Palmer, AK at my favorite place in town. Back in October, I stayed in an Airbnb which undoubtedly elevated my whole Alaska trip on a “local” level.
One of the things on my bucket list has been to go ice climbing. We met up with Hannah’s friend, Shannon (who is absolutely the kindest soul), who joined us on this first-timer’s adventure. It started with “here’s how to use your ice pick” to “we’re going to rapell you down this 150 foot glacier crevasse.” Hands down one of the coolest experiences. There’s no better way to experience the Matanuska Glaciers than to be inside it.
We head to Seward, AK to join Shannon and her group of friends at their favorite spot for Memorial Day weekend. We took a 30 minute water taxi by the Kenai Fjords to get to our cabin. What a way to wind down.
I ended up following someone hiking, and I have to say, Alaskans take the meaning of “hiking” to a whole new level. It was easily the hardest hike I’ve ever done, but did provide one helluva view.
We flew out this evening, but had a good chunk of the morning and afternoon to say our goodbyes. There was a lot of writing, drawing, reading, and sadly, packing.
To all the new friends and adventures:
Thank you for sharing Alaska’s beauty with us. I miss you all already!