One Thousand Miles of Alaska

Man with luggage.

Literally.

Actually, 1,015 miles, to be exact. That’s how much Alaskan ground we covered in our short 5-day jaunt through the great state of Alaska.

When our friend Frank told us that he would be working in Alaska this summer, texts started flying. Bjork and I, along with our friend Joe, did not waste any time planning a reunion “to visit Frank” in Alaska. You know how that is, right? Your friend goes somewhere awesome and it is a requirement that you go visit? That was this. From the start, it was destined to be the ultimate adventure – Rendezvous in the Midnight Sun, we called it.

Bjork and I are high school sweethearts (if that term doesn’t make you gag a little bit, you are rock solid), and Frank and Joe are two of our high school friends, so the high-school level inside jokeage on this trip was out of control. We’re talking sore-abs level laughter. It has been a long time since I laughed that hard.

And that’s really the best part about Alaska, for me – the time spent laughing and adventuring (slash misadventuring) with friends.

Man and woman smiling.

But we also did really see a lot of Alaska.

Like, more than a thousand miles’ worth.

I cannot be a minimalist in this moment, so this post is just a blast of pictures from our journey through Alaska. Mostly because I like to document, and because this is a blog, and because sometimes it’s fun to see what other people are doing in the world. Please, all of you, go start blogs and post your vacation pictures. I promise to look at all of them. This is a thing for me.

At the bottom of this post, I will list out a few favorite places that we hit up for those who might be planning their own Alaskan trek.

And for the rest of you, may these pictures prove to you that even short trips are worth the time and energy, that old friends are hilarious, that Alaska is sparkling with magic.

Woman standing next to a white vehicle.

View of mountains out of a car window.

First stop: Seward!

If I could only go back to one place in Alaska, it would be Seward, hands-down. As much as I love the mountainous wonder that is everywhere in Alaska, it is the mountainous wonder + crystal clear blue ocean that really puts stars in my eyes.

Also, humpback whales and puffins and orcas in the wild … that doesn’t hurt, either.

Two men standing next to a white vehicle.

Bird flying over water near boats.

Two men next to a window sitting at a table.Man and woman on a dock.

Man drinking out of a cup.

Three cups and a view of the ocean with mountains.

Three people near boats.

Animal in the blue water next to a boat.

Steaming coffee cup.

Table with plates of breakfast food.


Two men and a woman on a boat.

Number one most amazing experience of my life. Or at least REALLY high up there, along with road-tripping through Big Sur and motorcycling across the island to Moalboal when we lived in the Philippines.

My love for this little 6-hour, 100-mile, glacier-viewing cruise was just unstoppable.

Woman with binoculars.

Water and cliffs.

Man looking out at the ocean.

Man and woman wearing sunglasses smiling.

Ocean water and mountains.

Woman wearing sunglasses on a boat.

Woman kissing a man's cheek.

Bowl of food with a spoon.

Woman with a coffee cup.

Oh, and by the way, I GOT A TATTOO.

Arm reaching for a coffee cup.

Three people wearing sunglasses.

Two people sitting on rocks looking out at the water.


Man and woman smiling on a rocky cliff.

Oh, you know, just casually hiking to look at a glacier.

Man standing on a rocky sidewalk in the mountains.

Two men wearing sunglasses on a rocky path.

Mountain view from a car window.


Man driving a car.

13 hours on a school bus national park tour = 13 grizzly bear and cub sightings, dozens of caribou in a “nursery herd,” one moose mama and baby, many mountain-climbing curly-horned dall sheep, and views that I cannot figure out how to make look NOT fake.

This place is on a whole ‘nother level.

Man wearing a hat looking at grassy mountains.

The bus situation:

View of grasses, mountains, and the sky.

People getting on to a bus.

Three people in front of a bus.

Four people smiling in front of mountains.

Moose mama:

Trees and mountains.

Man smiling with sunglasses in front of mountains.

Two men laughing.

Woman using binoculars.

Man wearing a hat looking out a bus window.

Man and woman smiling.

SO MUCH WILDNERNESS.

It is remote beyond remote.

Grassy and snowy mountains.

Men laughing.

Woman standing in tall grasses.

Mountains and blue sky.

Man and woman standing in front of a sign.

Three men smiling.

Mountains and grassy hills.

Mountains and grassy hills with a small bridge over a river.

After 13 hours on a school bus with nothing but trail mix and pretzel crisps, we grabbed pizza and beers at the little place next to our cabin. I have never tasted cheap, greasy pizza that was as delicious in all my life.

Pizza on a pan.

White car in front of a small cafe.

Three people smiling.

Sunset in the distance.

What an adventure. It was everything a Rendezvous in the (literal) Midnight Sun should be.

Here’s a list of our stops:

  • Seward, Alaska – HIGHLY recommend. The drive from Anchorage to Seward is totally magical.
  • Kenai Fjords Tours – HIGHLY recommend. The 6-hour tour was perfect for us. In addition to the landscape – fjords, glaciers, mountains, and ocean – we saw humpback whales (many), orcas (many), puffins (many, and so adorable), and seals and otters in the harbor.
  • Seward Brewing Company (Seward)- that picture of the halibut curry up there? yeah. good, good food.
  • Smoke Shack (Seward) – yummy for breakfast.
  • Exit Glacier – a nice lil’ hike.
  • Last Frontier Brewing Company (Wasilla area) – a good stop on the way from Anchorage to Denali. Surprisingly good pizza and burgers.
  • McKinley Creekside Cabins and Cafe – an easy and comfy place to stay close to the entrance of Denali National Park.
  • Denali National Park – yes, yes, and yes. If I did it again, I think I would go for the medium-long bus ride instead of the long-long one, because my favorite stop was about halfway – Eielson Visitor Center. Please note that if you are nervous about bus rides over steep cliff drop-offs on one way dirt “roads,” you may need to struggle through for a hot minute. (HI.) But you will make it and it will be so worth it.
  • Panorama Pizza Pub – so basic, so good. Still trying to figure out why it was so good, actually. I think it had something to do with 13 hours on a school bus in the wilderness.

Okay, so who’s been to Alaska? Experienced any of the same, or something different? Tell, tell, tell! ♡

If you’d like to see/read more, I have some videos on my personal Instagram account – @lindsaymostrom – including one of the bus tour that will probably make you sick. Whee! Enjoy!


More Travel Pictures and Posts:

Man standing in front of a donut truck.

Austin Vibes


Woman looking out at mountains.

Europe Trip


Pink drink with a black straw.

Girls’ Weekend Getaway: Scottsdale, Arizona


Woman with hands over her mouth.

West Coast Road Trip (San Fran To Seattle)


Notes on clothes pins.

New Orleans In The Summer


Man standing next to a red vehicle.

Charleston

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136 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kit

    Wow this looks so amazing!! What a dreamy trip! Where is your green jacket from? I love it!!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Meg

      Agreed on the jacket! SO CUTE. Going to Alaska in August and will definitely have a need for cute layers! Any outfit suggestions would be appreciate (including where you got that killer burgundy vest)

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Yes! Let’s talk outfits. I majorly layered up for this trip. So I would layer every day – a fitted long-sleeve shirt, and then a thicker, warmer thing over top such as the purple vest (Athleta) or a purple sweater-jacket (also Athleta), and then I’d finish with the green jacket which was pretty thin, but water resistant (Target, just got it this spring so I think it’s still there). It covered all bases and I was almost never too hot or too cold since I could shed or add layers throughout the day. Hope you have a great trip Meg!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Meg

        Thank you!! Looks like you had an awesome time. Love seeing happy faces and adventuring – good for you guys!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    It is so wonderful to see smiles and joy from you! I went to Alaska years ago and practically followed this same exact itinerary- Seward, Kenai, and Denali. Totally magical. We took the train and the views were the most breathtaking scenes I have ever ever experienced. So great to live it again through you!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Your pictures are so lovely! I have an aunt who works in Alaska through the summer – I’ve been scheming up a trip to visit her!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Lena

    I’m a new reader and I love your post! You are such a talented writer and every one of your pictures are amazing!! Even simple vacation picture that usual look pretty goofy snap shot like when most people do them! But every one of yours looks like you know what your doing with a camera in hand!! ( or whoever held it 😊)

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Fantastic photo’s of a drool worthy trip! My dream trip is the Simplon Orient Express but it’s like $17,000 a night for the train bit. Hmmmm. Not gonna happen unless my blog takes off really quickly. So I guess I’ll have to enjoy life’s other simpler pleasure for now like Perry’s Ice Cream. (local company)

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kristy

    Stunning trip! Love your tattoo… elegant and a lovely, gentle tribute… Best Wishes.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These are gorgeous. I’ve got to get my butt back to travelling like this.

    My family and I went on an Alaskan cruise a couple of summers back. Though we didn’t have as much say as to where we went exactly, the stops the ship made and excursions we did enjoy were amazing. Zip lining in Skagway was hands-down my favorite.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Meredith

    I spent the summer in Fairbanks in 2003. Denali National Park was amazing! The school bus tour situation has not changed, although we definitely weren’t on it for 12 hours. Moose! Lynx! All the beauty everywhere!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Anna

    Did you take all of these pictures with your phone?! (I think you mentioned in an older post that you use your iPhone 7+ for a lot of your pics!) If you did… these pictures are UH-MAZE-ING! Seriously considering upgrading to the + for this reason.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jacquelyn Phelps

    My husband was stationed at Ft Wainwright in Fairbanks, AK for 4 years. The summers are filled with friends, cookouts, fishing, warm sun, laughter, parties, traveling, etc. The winters were filled with keeping warm, snow, extreme cold temperatures, darkness, worries about keeping the car warm, the house warm and yourself warm. It was a great learning experience and a good test of my fortitude. In the Winter, we saw dog sleds packing supplies at the Sam’s Club in Fairbanks, female moose with 3 babies in our front and back yard, cars running while people were grocery shopping to keep the engines from freezing, extreme high prices on basic food staples and gasoline, bush planes flew in and out of the small runway in our backyard, trees leaning sideways, enormous bull moose crossing Badger Road on the back gate of Ft Wainwright and the biggest halibut and salmon I’ve ever seen in my life. We saw a porcupine trying to jump off a bridge in Delta Junction….not sure why??? We saw glaciers gallop and recede. We saw herds of reindeer and caribou so thick they obscured the tundra. We traveled up to the Arctic Circle in the Winter….which I wouldn’t recommend. Alaska test your survival skills, and I couldn’t believe how lucky I’d been living in the lower 48 where everything is instant, fast and relatively easy to possess. Although, even Alaska is changing. People burning fossil fuels and irresponsible use of resources are having a detrimental effect on the wildlife and landscape. It is sad, but I would definitely do it again. Travel the AlCan (Alaskan Canadian Highway) next time! That is an experience! lol lol

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Heather Kenney

    I absolutely love Alaska! I’ve had the privilege of visiting 3 times and would go back tomorrow if I could. For me, Alaska is a truly spiritual place. Thanks for sharing your trips and life! I always enjoy your posts.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    my friend and i vacationed in alaska a few years ago and accidentally snuck up on a bear! we were hiking in denali and heard some rustling in the brush as we came around a bend. we stopped dead in our tracks when we saw a bear about 20′ ahead of us. luckily the bear was busy nosing around for berries and didn’t seem to notice or care about us so we turned around and got out of there quickly, loudly singing made up songs on the way back down to avoid sneaking up on any more bears! glad you had such an amazing trip!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    The pictures are AMAZING! I love the otter in the marina, and the food, and oh, the mountains:) Glad I’m not the only one that packs like that;P Living vicariously through your vacation photos, thanks for sharing!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I agree, Alaska is an unbelievable trip and so worth it! Incredible wilderness, solitude and potentially the cleanest, purest air that has ever entered my lungs. I’m so glad you had some fun, belly laugh adventure time 🙂
    I’m also so impressed with how quickly you got this post up! I just posted a Bali recap and I took that trip 6 months ago 🙈, it’s so hard to choose photos for a post, you inspired me though.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yay Alaska! I have lived in Fairbanks by way of my husband being in the Army for a year now and am so glad you loved Alaska! Next time you come you should visit Talkeetna. I have a feeling you’d love it! Hurray for the Land of the Midnight Sun!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kimberly

    I’ve lived in Alaska my entire life and love it here! Every season, every bend in the road begs for adventure. I’m so glad you came and enjoyed your trip. I love seeing my home state through another’s eyes. You paint it so beautifully the magic really pops through your pictures.

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Susan

    I went to Alaska on a 7-day cruise in 1988, and it was unforgettable. Unfortunately I’ve never been to Denali, but would love to go. If you would like to see about our travels, go to rovingstones.com. That has everything except our Med cruise that we returned from in early may.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Josefine

    Wow thats some amazing photos!! Seems lite a wonderful journey… but the best part was that beautiful tattoo on your right arm. Thanks for sharing this. Really wich I couls visit Alaska but its a looong trip from Sweden where I live 🙂

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Loved this! Thanks for sharing! Love how you’re all just ‘oh and BTW – I got a tattoo!’ You’re photos are 🙌🙌 on point! 😍

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you, thank you for this post!
    Seriously, I had a bit of a rough day today, and I’ve been wanting/needing to go on vacation for a few YEARS now, but it just hasn’t been possible yet, so I’m patiently waiting. Vacationing vicariously through your pictures was a great pick-me-up.
    The FJORDS ommmmmgg. I wish I was on that tour with you guys!
    The Denali national park pictures are unreal, they remind me a lot of pictures I’ve seen of Pakistan’s northern areas. If I ever go to Alaska, I think that’d be first on the list.
    I love your cafe pictures. Seriously, I have a major thing for coffee/cafe pictures. Like borderline I-might-need-an-intervention major. I think I bookmark every single one I see on IG.
    These pictures and your bright, happy smiles allowed me to escape for just a little while. Seeing you guys happy makes me happy. I pray that you are well and happy and healing.
    Take care!

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Nicole

    Gorgeous! Simply gorgeous! The remoteness of the Alaskan wilderness reminds me a little bit of the Scottish Highlands, though I think Alaska is far more majestic (don’t tell my Scottish husband I said that!). Love the tattoo by the way! ❤

  22. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Robin

    I’m so glad you had such a great time! Alaska is an amazing place. Way back at the dawn of time (1971), I spent six weeks there camping, hiking and canoeing, after traveling through Canada. It’s an experience that’s impossible to forget. I keep toying with the idea of going back but I’m afraid of some of the changes I’d find after so much time has passed, especially concerning the environment. But I’m sorely tempted to return. I might even get to see Denali this time since it was completely socked in by fog during the week I was there. Just my luck…

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I hear you Robin. Some friends said that they had been to the same glaciers just a few years ago, and comparing pictures showed just how far they have receded. 💔 But I hope you can make it back, maybe you’ll even get some sun? 🙂 It’s such a glorious place!