Thursday, July 18, 2013

Picture Credit: Alaskan Railroad

An Alaska Adventure
It's In the Details
It's fast approaching.

Did you know that more than a million people visit Alaska every year?

Next month, my husband and I will embark on an Alaskan cruise. Wow! It's a trip we've always wanted to take but easily put aside for simpler, less expensive vacations or, believe or not, yard work and house projects.

This year is different. We are going. Our tickets are purchased, and they are nonrefundable (not that we ever second-guessed our decision to go).

We are reading tour books rented from the library, scanning articles off the Internet, and listening to word-of-mouth advice to compile a great trip.

Without hesitation, we decided to couple the cruise with a few extra days both before and after the sail to extend our time in this faraway land. We thought as long as we are there, let's enjoy it and soak up the culture.

We live in Wisconsin and today we are topping 90 degrees with high humidity.
A pattern I tend to dislike.
On the other hand, the average temperature in Alaska in August is 63 degrees. Big change number one. One could easily consider it refreshing, and believe me, we do!

We heard about the rain - we have been told it can rain on the turn of a dime. So, a few weeks ago, we went out and bought Columbia rain gear. We are ready for the unexpected and will not allow the rain to deter our experience. Or, so we think...

Have you traveled to or otherwise? If you have, please pass along your experiences and advice. We are adventure seeking baby boomers, enough said, you get the picture.

In the days ahead, we will decide on our excursions. We have already ruled out the float plane trip to Kodiak Island. It was an opportunity to view grizzly bear during a salmon run. It was a bit out of our price range - say a couple thousand dollars worth but included a brown bag lunch :).

We are not all-day shoppers, breezing in and out of a line of touristy stores for trinkets. Instead, we look for biking, kayaking, zip lining adventures.... Share your experiences with us if you have put your fears aside and said yes to any of these activities - or others -while visiting Alaska.
Your feedback will help us in the decisions we have yet to make.

We arrive in Anchorage and are told to visit the Anchorage Museum to get a flavor of the culture, history, and people. Personally, I'm attracted to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. It's an eleven-mile bike/walking trail curling around Cook Inlet to Kincaid Park.We are told we might spot beluga whales offshore. Can you imagine!
Picture Credit: Earth Justice

Instead of renting a car or traveling by bus to the port city of Seward, we chose The Alaskan Railroad. We purchased two first-class 'Gold Star' tickets for the rail travel.
What attracted us were the double decked dome rail cars, the confirmed seats, and the priority seating in the lower level dining room showcasing original Alaska artwork along with a private outdoor viewing deck - the only one of its kind in the world.
Our intention was to start the trip off "right." Has anyone traveled by Alaskan Railroad or any railroad that left you with an impression you would like to share?

Picture Credit: Alaskan Travel

I hope you enjoy the Alaskan Adventure Posts that I will publish in the weeks to come.
Maybe I'll figure out how to upload a movie from my Galaxy smart phone.
You can count on pictures and a synopsis of the day's events for sure prefaced by our trip's preparations.
Next up, we must decide on our excursion choices; after all, the beauty and enjoyment of this trip will rest in the details.

Until then, enjoy the life we have been blessed to live.

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