The Last Frontier and New Found Happiness
My Alaskan Cruise Adventure Part 1
After a tough few months, I was more than ready for our family vacation to Alaska. To be honest, I didn’t care where we were going, just as long as I could get out for a while. When I say get out, I don’t mean from where I am, but more of where my head was at.
The last few months I’ve spent my days and nights trying to figure out who I was, what I wanted from life, and where I wanted to be. I was scared of the change awaiting me and I wasn’t sure if I was making any of the right decisions. Especially the biggest one of all- moving back home to Chicago.
I didn’t know how much this trip was going to change my entire mood and mindset! I packed my bags in an anxious state as I haven’t even unpacked from my move from Indiana yet and my stuff was sprawled out all over my room. I wanted to get on the plane and leave all of my worries behind. So I did just that! I replaced my computer with a journal and new book!
I spent 10 days exploring mostly vacant land and water. I experienced things I never thought I would experience in my life. And I smiled so much! Here I was worry free, just enjoying what was happening around me.
So before I get into all of the amazing adventures from the trip, I am going to say without hesitation that anyone reading this blog should add Alaska to your bucket list. While it’s not a typical vacation to lay out and get the perfect tan, it’s the perfect vacation to start over. I think everyone needs that at least a few times in their life. To leave everything behind and be reminded of how beautiful and inspirational the world can be. As Mark Twain said “A man who keeps company with glaciers comes to feel tolerably insignificant by and by.”
This place was not what I was expecting considering it was a rainforest. Yes, rainforest in Alaska. Am I the only one who didn’t pay attention in Geography or what?! MIND BLOWN! We were informed that there is about 30 days out of the year that it DOESN’T rain! While this might scare you away, it was hands down one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
We took a little boat ride to look for wildlife and went to a small island owned by a Indian Tribe. We were met by some members of the tribe and they built a campfire for us, cooked us up some reindeer sausage and smores, and told us some badass stories about living in the area.
On our way back we ran into Orcas! Killer Whales! I also learned they are not actually whales, but part of the dolphin family. They were given the name Killer Whale, because they are typically found going after other whales. So, really they were called Whale Killers and people started to mix this up over the years. They have no animals that prey on them! These animals were 20 feet from us. I kinda went crazy seeing this!
Icy Strait Point, Alaska
This location was very different to me, but very beautiful nonetheless! It is a privately owned tourist location known for its wildlife! Here we got to see two baby brown bears wrestling one another and humpback whales! They also have the world’s largest zipline, but if you know me you know I hate heights. I said hell no to that excursion. If you want to experience some really badass nature, this is a must! And the locals were awesome people apart of another Indian Tribe and are a huge basketball town! Go Dawgs!
Probably the most well known area in Alaska and one of the best days of my life. I will never forget it. At this stop we took two helicopters to the top of a 2,000 foot deep glacier and went dog sledding. Words do this no justice, just check out the photos below and know that I haven't smiled that big in I don’t know how long.
One small little town with a whole lot of history! And some damn good Spruce Tip Beer. We took a train ride through the mountains and learned all about the Gold Rush that went on around these parts. The locals are insanely nice, very old school, but big time adventurers. They said most people’s weekends are spent camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, and everything else in between. I can understand why with views like this. Back to the beer, the Spruce Tip Beer has more Vitamin C then a glass of Orange Juice. So yes you should start your day off with one of these if you go!
I don’t even know where to start. Look at these photos! The face of this glacier is up to 400 feet tall and more than 6 miles wide. The cruise captain circled around this for over an hour, and we didn’t leave the balcony until we finally pulled away. We couldn’t stop staring at this amazing chunk of ice. Which typing that sounds super dumb, but my gosh was it so beautiful!
Our cruise ended here, but we stayed an extra two days to explore the city. We did an 11 mile bike ride and beer tour, totally worth it! These Alaskans are some damn good beer makers. This city is the most populated in the state, with almost half of the entire state's population living there. Much different than the other stops, yet just as beautiful! Surrounded by the mountains and ocean, you can’t go wrong in this city.
Alaska is a life changing place to experience and I hope these words and photos have convinced you of just that. The views, the people, the wildlife, and everything in between puts a smile on your face and windburn on your cheeks.
Now go and experience this magical place for yourself! If you’ve been, or end up taking a trip here, share your experiences with me below. I would love to see what others have done and saw!
Good Vibes and Alaskan Adventures Await You All,