Last week I got back from my amazing trip to Alaska, and wanted to share it with y’all. I can’t believe how beautiful Alaska is, and how proud the Alaskans are of their heritage and culture. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope I get to visit Alaska again.
We visited Anchorage and Fairbanks, each for two full days. I wish we could have stayed longer but for the amount of time we did stay, I feel like we explored a lot and managed to get the feel of the cities. Speaking to native Alaskans and those who moved there was enlightening: each resident of Alaska we spoke to had such a passion for their home that I found moving, but not surprising: Alaska is fiercely beautiful and full of rich, epic history. I found myself wanting to stay for weeks, not days.
We drove through the Chugach State Park and the Denali National Park. Driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks and back again, we witnessed some spectacular sights we won’t quickly forget:
Our motivation for visiting Alaska, besides incurable wanderlust, was our desire to see the aurora borealis. We stayed in Fairbanks for the express purpose and spent sleepless nights searching the skies. We didn’t see a full-blown aurora, much to our intense disappointment (it’s no picnic to drive 3+ hours in the dark early morning hours on a snowy road, then wait in a cold car, all to no avail!) but we did see a strange phenomenon that may have been a “red aurora,” described here. Take a look:
I thought it was an intense moonrise until my friend pointed out that the moon was behind us. It was breathtaking!
Other fun things we did included swimming in the hot springs at the Chena Resort and visiting its Ice Museum. Here’s a photo of my friend and me in the hot springs:
The temperature outside the springs was -15 but the water was above 100, so the windy air made icicles on my hair while the water made us feel like we were in a very sulfuric bath! Definitely an experience I want to repeat.
This Ice Museum actually doubles as an unofficial hotel: resort visitors who have a regular room can opt to stay in the museum for a night and sleep in one of the hand-carved ice beds. I would have loved to do that!
Next on my travel wish list is Iceland, but more likely is probably Canada. My friend and I are planning a road trip for next winter!