Back from our Alaskan vacation adventure that included bear and moose sightings, calving glaciers, park ranger lectures, bicycling to ancient gardens, hikes along rain forested trails and helicoptering onto ice fields for a little dog mushing.
A trip to Alaska was a big deal for us. We had planned to go several years ago but that trip got waylaid. Getting ready for this one meant borrowing some lightweight ski parkas, packing clothes for multi temperature zones, cross country flying and customs clearance (not for Alaska but for the embarkation out of Vancouver).
Once on-board the cruise ship it took us a couple of days to transition to vacation mode but that first day at sea settled me down and slowed my pace. Doing a stretching class every morning at 7 AM set a great tone for the day and reminded me that starting my day with a little self care goes a long way.
A trip to Alaska is basically a trip to parks—national parks like Glacier Bay and Denali (home of the 20,000 foot tall Denali Mountain) and state parks like the Ketchikan rain forest. Everywhere we went, we were surrounded by natural beauty and the sounds and sights give you that perspective of how significant Mother Nature is in our world.
Park Rangers joined us all along the way and surrounded us with fascinating history. I had no idea that there was a mini ice age in the 1600s that extended the Margery Glacier 150 miles and kicked the Tlingit Indians from their native homes. Mt. Mckinley, the highest peak in North America was named Denali (or the High One) by the Athabascan Indians who lived in that area but when a reporter from Ohio was visiting that area around the turn of last century, he decided to name it for a presidential candidate who never visited the Park or had much affection for that area of the country. Even to this day, congressional delegates from Ohio block efforts to officially rename the Mountain so that they can maintain the presence of their favorite son at a place he didn’t care much about. Most everyone shakes their head at that comment when spoken by the Ranger.
This was one fun vacation and one that Sheila and I will treasure for a long time. Hope your summer holiday is just as special