I made a sort of half promise to myself before departing on this, our latest Keloland/Holiday Vacations tour to Alaska; quit complaining about the negative side of air travel these days. And, to be honest, the flights that brought us here to Anchorage, were just fine. We were an hour late leaving Denver because of mechanical issues but it was no biggie. I had a window seat this time which not only provides a place to lay my weary head as I try, without much success, to grab some sleep, but on this occasion I was able to watch a six hour sunset from 35 thousand feet. Through the miracle of a jetliner’s speed and the rotation of the earth, we left Denver at Dusk and arrived 5 and a half hours later at dusk in the land of the Midnight Sun.
Once again, we have a terrific group on the tour and have been paired up with a few familiar faces from Holiday Vacations. Our tour guide, Teresa, was our guide to Ireland last summer. Our motor coach driver, Todd was our Alaska driver two summers ago. He’s a real hoot and laughs at all my corny jokes. Another Holiday Vacations group..mostly made up of folks from Iowa, is making the same tour. Their guide, Dave, was our fearless leader last time in Alaska. It was really fun for Linda and me catching up with him too.
Saturday morning started out warm but rainy as we traveled South of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm. Suddenly the sun broke through revealing the ChugashMountain range in all its splendor. Our main stop for the day was Alaska’s premier ski area and a ride to the mountain tops aboard an aerial tramway that had my not-comfortable-with-heights wife more than a little nervous. But the ride was smooth and spectacular. Linda actually appeared to enjoy herself perhaps for no other reason than, once again, she has stood up to a major phobia and survived with her typical smile. No one could ask for a better travel companion.
Tomorrow we depart early for the journey to Denali National Park where on Monday we hope see lots of bears and moose and other wildlife that call this wilderness home. We’re especially hopeful that the sunshine will continue to follow our path allowing us a full view of the mighty MountMcKinley which tends to be enveloped in clouds about two thirds of the time.
Following are a few photos from the day with more to follow as our adventure continues.