Okay, I’ve lost some weight since the last time I flew anywhere. One of the motivating factors this time was our semi annual trip to Alaska hosting tours of our 49th state courtesy of Keloland TV and Holiday Vacations. I wanted to have some endurance for the walking and climbing that the journey offers if you’re willing to expend some energy and actually touch Alaska by hiking a trail or mountain path without fear of collapsing in a heap from exhaustion becoming easy fodder for hungry grizzlies and their cubs.
But the main motivating factor for shedding pounds was the satisfaction of knowing my ride aboard the jet plane we were leaving on would be less confining.
Well, you can imagine my disappointment upon sitting down in one of United’s “friendly skies” Airlines coach seats which has, along with every other major air carrier, decided that, in spite of the sad reality that Americans continue to become an ever expanding society, the seat room provided continues to shrink like George Costanzia coming out of the pool.
Anyway, it’s tight quarters for most everyone over munchkin size and after five hours curled up in a near fetal position, you dream about the olden days when flying was fun; a chance to dress up..sprawl out in the amplely spaced aft seats with your significant other..smokin’ cigarettes and drinking bloody mary’s enjoying the additional buzz alcohol provides at high altitudes.
But enough of that..the views from a window seat at over 35 thousand feet haven’t changed and are still spectacular..especially as our plane approached Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, which is nestled amidst the majestic Chugach Mountain range.
I don’t remember us being in Alaska this early in the year before. Even here in the South, we’re far enough North for the light of day to never really turn into the dark of night. It can be a bit disconcerting if you don’t take advantage of the black-out curtains in the hotel rooms which allow you to at least believe it is bedtime..even though in June..cars never have to turn on their headlights to navigate.
We also never tire of seeing the thousands of float planes who use the waters of Lake’s Hood and Spenard for a runway.
And, how could anyone grow complacent about traveling the hauntingly beautiful highway that meanders alongside Cook’s Inlet and “Turnagain Arm” on our way to the Alyeska Ski Resort where we not only ride the impressive tram to the mountain top..but dine on a fabulous meal at the Seven Glaciers four star restaurant which boasts one of the most spectacular views anywhere on the planet.
The view from where the tramway reaches the top.
Tomorrow, our terrific group of Keloland friends will climb aboard our comfortable coach and head to Denali National park in hopes of seeing all sorts of wildlife from Bears and Doll Sheep to Moose and Caribou ..and maybe..just maybe..Mt. McKinley..recently given the official name of Mt. Denali..will peek out from her usual cloak of clouds and give us a glimpse of the tallest peak in North America. If not we’ll understand. After a while here, you learn to graciously accept what this unique and precious part of America is willing to give.
I hope you’ll come with us on one of these adventures some time…you’d be amazed.