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.
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.
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.
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.
Oh, and by the way, I GOT A TATTOO.
Oh, you know, just casually hiking to look at a glacier.
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.
The bus situation:
SO MUCH WILDNERNESS.
It is remote beyond remote.
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.
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:
West Coast Road Trip (San Fran to Seattle)
New Orleans in the Summer