So as many of you know, I went up to visit my mom in Anchorage last week. We'd been planning the trip to see each other for months, but of course with my luck I got very ill before the trip came around (I developed a respiratory cold and conjunctivitis). I sucked it up, tried to get better as best I could before I flew, and then made the nearly 7 hours flight from Arizona to Alaska for my mom.
Despite how completely ill I was (and still am), I managed to have a good time! I took my medications and off we went, exploring different parts in and around Anchorage (including Talkeetna, Seward, and a few other places). Everything in Alaska is so beautiful, and just before I left they had some termination dust--so all of the mountain tops were covered in snow and it was truly lovely to see. Incredibly beautiful!
Our first full day of travel together, mom and I drove North to Talkeetna and explored there. We saw Mount McKinley from a ways away, and also explored the little shops around there.
We ate that day at the Denali Brewing Company & Twister Creek Restaurant. I had their chili and the smoked provolone wedges--they hit the spot and tasted fantastic after a day of exploring!
Supposedly, most people who travel to Alaska only sometimes get to see Mount McKinley because of the weather and how frequently it can change at that altitude. I've been told that I am now a part of the 30% Club, which refers to how only 30% of travelers who meant to see the mountain actually do.
As I mentioned before, Talkeetna is filled with darling little mom & pop stores.
I took this photo just across the street from the brewery my mom and I had a late lunch at.
After a day of adventuring in Talkeetna, we stopped by Hatcher's Pass for a bit to enjoy its beauty.
I love how incredibly blue the water is. You can really see the difference when it's not as bright and sunny outside, and this photo (although edited) wasn't enhanced by a lot as far as the water is concerned.
Yes, it's definitely blue!!!
After spending the day up North, we ventured back down to Anchorage. That next morning, mom and I ran a few errands and I found this lovely bicycle outside of the Anchorage Post Office.
Anchorage has a lot of character and charm--something I love about Alaska!
Once we were done with all of our errands, we drove up Flattop Mountain.
It was beautiful (and chilly) up there--the views were breathtaking, but in all honesty, the photos do it no justice. The crispness of the air was overwhelming to me, and unlike anything we have in Phoenix.
Later that day, we headed down Turnagain Arm to Portage Glacier. We stopped at Moose Flats and explored a bit all around in that area. The fall foliage was incredibly beautiful!
One thing I learned about Portage is that the town was destroyed back in the 60's during a major earthquake; this devastation caused the ground to sink and separate nearly 6 feet! All that remains are these houses that were abandoned and have over time become consumed by the land.
But of course, with desolation comes beauty. I mean, just look at this waterfront. Incredible!
As we passed through Portage, we saw quite an abundance of wildlife!
Later that night, when we returned to Anchorage, my mom said the locals knew that in and around Earthquake park is where you are most likely to see a moose. I had never seen one in real life before this day, and oh man did I get to see a moose!!
A gigantic, beautiful Bull Moose emerged from the trees that were set back just outside of the airport as my mom and I were driving down the road. Word must have gotten out fast around town, because within what felt like 1 minute, there were 10 other cars turning onto the road and pulling off to the side to take photos. Photographers emerged from their cars with incredible, expensive telephoto lenses and other equipment. From what I was told, seeing a Bull Moose with a full rack is unheard of in Anchorage. So not only did I get to see a moose--I got to see the prized moose everyone wants!
SO FREAKING COOL!
Oh, and why is my photo shaky? Well, he walked right on up to our car and that is me with my hand out the window trying to take a photo--but my hands were shaking partly because it was so cold out, but mostly because I was startled by how big he was I was shaking from nerves haha
And then there was Seward. The drive down the Seward was breathtaking--and the boat ride we took out to the Gulf of Alaska was so cool (literally). The boat ride itself was a blast, though, since the swells were pretty great and our captain drove the boat really fast in and around the gulf.
The areas on the boat we saw were filled with both glacier and ocean water. The rocks and cliffs were immense in size, and we saw quite a few mountain goats and bald eagles on or around them.
Overall, the trip was great! I got to spend time with mom (although I was super sick), and saw some amazing sights in and around Anchorage. Next time I visit Alaska, though, I'd like to go to Fairbanks.
Have you ever been to Alaska?