Alaska – the trip where everyday started out wrong but was made wonderful by the amazing Alaskan people

Alaska

Alaskan people are the most friendly and wonderful people in the world!!!

Day 1 – Anchorage to Seward – Wildlife Cruise Kenai Fjords National Park

The bad: Upon checking in at the cruise ship office, we were informed our cruise was down for the day due to mechanical problem

The good: Free upgrade to a longer duration cruise including buffet lunch (Alaskan grilled salmon & prime rib). So glad we got this upgrade because this cruise brought us further out to the open water. We got to see wonderful wildlife and amazing glaciers.

The good didn’t stop there. Upon checking in at our hotel, we were also given free upgrade to a better room, just because the cool guy there felt like doing so 🙂

Orca family

Orca family

Harbor Seals

Harbor Seals

Humpback whale tale

Humpback whale tail

Day 2 – Harding Icefield trekking – Coastal Classic Alaska train

The bad: It was raining nonstop during our 5-hr hike to Harding icefield. The weather at high elevation was so bad that we had to cut our trekking short when we were only a few feet away from the Hill top.

Icy and windy at high elevation - Harding Icefield

Icy and windy at high elevation – Harding Icefield

The good: Experiencing the kindness of Alaskan people: the guy who gave us a free ride to the train station, the kind bus driver who gave everybody free rides to the nearby Safeway, the man at the train station who took care of our luggage, friendly staff on board the Coastal Classic train from Seward to Anchorage. And of course, we experienced one of the most beautiful train ride in the world.

Coastal Classic train - Alaska

Coastal Classic train – Alaska

 Day 3: Road trip from Anchorage to Hatcher Pass to Talkeetna to Denali

The bad: Hatcher pass closed indefinitely.

The good: Talkeetna is such a cute little colorful village. So glad, we made a stop there. Our little cabin near Denali national park far exceeded our expectation in all areas. Couldn’t ask for a better place to stay near Denali.

Razor Back cabin panorama - Mountain Morning hostel

Razor Back cabin panorama – Mountain Morning hostel

Day 4: Exploring Denali on an 11-hr bus ride

Denali bus stop

The bad: Upon checking in at 9:45am, we were informed our bus to Kantishna had left for the day at 7:45am and it was the only bus that would go all the way to Kantishna

The good: The kind people took pity on us and agreed to book us on stand by for the tour to Wonder lake, departing at 10:15am. The Wonder lake was only 1 hr shorter than the Kantishna route. So, technically, we didn’t miss a whole lot. Tip: you have better odds at seeing wildlife by taking longer route such as Wonder lake or Kantishna. The part after the second visitor center is where the good stuff really start. And, we saw amazing wildlife living in their natural, undisturbed (hopefully) environment. And, have I mentioned “snow in June”?

Beautiful Denali

Beautiful Denali

Moose

Moose

Grizzly bears - it's rare to see a bear couple since they only get together once for 1 week every 4 years

Grizzly bears – it’s rare to see a bear couple since they only get together once for 1 week every 4 years

Dall sheep

Dall sheep

Caribou

Caribou

Day 5: Road trip from Denali to Matanuska Glacier via amazing Glenn highway

The bad: On the way to Matanuska glacier, we met with at least 5 roadwork sites and were delayed by almost 1 hour. We almost missed the check-in time for the glacier walk. Also, a small rock chipped our windshield. Imagine the horror that we felt since we didn’t get the insurance coverage.

The good: After raining nonstop for 5 days, the sky finally cleared for us, revealing its deepest blue color. Glenn highway looked even more amazing under the great weather. We were also technically given a private glacier walk on Matanuska glacier, given we were the only 2 people in the group.

The goodness didn’t stop there. When trying to pay for parking at Anchorage downtown, a gentleman, upon seeing our clumsiness at handling the parking machine, has kindly covered our parking fee. Have I already mentioned Alaskan people are awesome??? Last bu not least, Alaskan king crab at Bridge seafood restaurant is DELISHHHHHHHH!!!

Glenn Highway

Glenn Highway

Glacier walk under the blue sky

Glacier walk under the blue sky

Day 6: Alyeska Gondola and leaving Anchorage

The bad: This might be number 1 in my top ten bad day list. We started out by getting stuck in a dip while backing out of our Airbnb host. What a horror!!! After half an hour of digging and lifting the car, we managed to free ourselves, not forgetting to damage a few flower bushes during the process. The “good” luck didn’t end there. While waiting to board our plane, hubby realized we left our camera in the rental car. With only 50 min left till take-off, we ran back to the rental office just to discover the car was already sent back to the car shop.

The good: The staff at AVIS was so kind to drive us to the car shop. We managed to retrieve the camera, made it through security check point after cutting in front of a few kind passengers, got an upgrade to First class and boarded our plane with time to spare. Perfect ending to an eventful trip.

And not forget to mention, while driving to the airport, a Moose made its appearance right in front of our car. Had we not got stuck in the dip for 30 minutes, we would have not been able to witness it.

We got Moose, we got Moose

We got Moose, we got Moose

 

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