My birthday just so happened to fall on Thanksgiving this year. With a long weekend off of work and a possibility to take a vacation day or two, I was hungry to make a memorable trip. Kelly had been talking about visiting her sister in Alaska for the past few months, and could make the trip cheap by flying non-revenue / standby because of a relatives employment with a specific commercial airline.
I had never been to the state which proudly proclaims “The Last Frontier”. Even though I wouldn’t be there long enough to heli-ski or wander in the backcountry, I was up for adventure and wanted to see the highly touted state for myself.
Our drive down to Seward the day after Thanksgiving along the incredible Turnagain Arm.
Impossible to respect when driving the highway, the Bore Tide beneath the massive sheets of ice moves incredibly quick. My mind was blown as I had never seen anything like it; thus the video I recorded.
That winter wind has bite.
More of the Turnagain Arm, where the water can sometimes stretch four miles wide. The Kenai Mountains stand tall.
Stopping yet again to snap photos of the never dull view from the Seward Highway. (All of the pictures taken in this series were with either mine or Kelly’s cellphone camera).
Making it to Seward just in time for the sunset. The town of Seward is nearly dead this time of year and thats just the way I like it.
The longer I stay, the more I commit myself to making it back to Alaska for some summer backpacking. Perhaps one week backpacking, the other week taking a cruise to see fat Coastal Bears and Glaciers.
Morning sun. Our view right across the street from the hotel we stayed at the previous night.
Just about as high as the sun gets this time of year.
Good backpacking gear also makes good sleeping gear for long layovers at the airport.
Despite only spending three full days in the Last Frontier State, flying standby and waiting for nearly 12 hours in the Phoenix airport on our way home, going to the doctor the next day with a 103.8 degree temperature and being told I had influenza; it was still all worth it and its easy to say that Alaska left a lasting impression on me.
For now I’ll wait for our snowpack to climb so I can continue to dial in my ski touring setup, shred two world class ski resorts in my backyard, and plan more backpacking trips for the spring and summer.