One more week and I’m boarding the plane to one of my favorite places in the world: Alaska! It’s been 4 years since I was there in the summer and I just can’t believe that I’m finally going back. Here are my 10 favorite reasons why I can’t wait to go back to Alaska:
1. I’m going to ride the Alaska Railroad
Probably one of the most famous railways in the world and I’m finally going to travel it. Or at least, a part of it – the section from Anchorage to Talkeetna. It’s been a long time since I was on a scenic train and I got a ticket in Goldstar class so this lady is going to sit back, relax and enjoy (and hopefully not fall asleep because of my jetlag…)
2. It’s salmon fishing time for the bears
Usually I travel to Alaska in pre-season, which is May or early June. By that time, the salmon runs haven’t started so it’s more difficult to see bears. Hopefully this time, I’ll get to see fishing bears, a long-time dream of mine would come true!
3. I’m going to hike up to Harding Icefield (again)
Or at least … attempt it. I’ve tried once before but because of the massive loads of ice on the track, we had to turn back before the end of the trail, where you have the magnificent views of the icefield. This time, I’m hoping the weather will be good enough so I can solo-hike up. I also wrote another blog about this, go here to read the full story.
4. The people
The Alaskan people rock. From my experience, everyone has their own story about why they (or their parents) came to Alaska. Especially in bars you get to hear the most amazing stories, from people escaping their life in the Lower 48 or people that want to try out a life in the wilderness. Those stories are the best. It’s a shame though that, generally speaking, the Alaskan men aren’t that handsome though. Lots of facial hair (big beards) and no teeth.
5. Their outdoor shops
I probably won’t have a lot of time for shopping but at least I want to visit REI and Sportsman Warehouse. Those shops are just plain heaven for an outdoor fanatic like me. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that with the poor exchange rate of the US Dollar vs. the Euro, it will to pretty expensive to buy something… although I can never say no to a cute t-shirt or jacket.
6. Driving new routes: the Denali Highway and McCarthy Road
Although this is my sixth time in Alaska, I still haven’t been everywhere. In fact, there are many new places I’m going to explore and two I’m particularly excited about are unpaved Denali Highway and McCarthy Road, which I’ve never driven before. I’m actually being driven those days, so extra time for me to sit back and enjoy!
7. Seeing lots of people I know from previous trips
Over the past couple of years I’ve gotten to know many people in Alaska and where possible, I’m trying to meet all of them. Most of them I haven’t seen in at least 4 years so it will be fun to catch up again.
8. I’m going ice-climbing
Finally, I’m hitting the ice vertically. I’ve attempted twice before but never made it but now it’s finally going to happen. Location for this is the Root Glacier in Kennicott, which you may also know from the Discovery tv series “Edge of Alaska.” I truly can’t wait … bring it on!
9. I’ll be doing a short roadtrip by myself
During the final days of my visit to Alaska, I’ll be roadtripping by myself for a coule of days, something I’m really looking forward to. Just me, my car and my music … cruising along the Alaskan highways. I’ll be spending my days on the Kenai Peninsula, one of the most stunning places in Alaska for driving. Click here to read a previous post about my passion for driving in Alaska.
10. The food
OK, Alaskan food is just like American but you know what, I actually like American food. Their huge portions, juicy burgers and breakfast bagels. I love muffins for lunch and fries with my sandwich. Basically, I’m just like a dumpster, you can give me anything that’s fat and unhealthy and I love it. I’ve already got a couple of (business) meetings scheduled at Snow City Cafe, my favorite place for breakfast or lunch in Anchorage. I’m also hoping to stop by the Hard Rock Cafe and other places I know from long ago. And their fresh salmon … you will never eat salmon anywhere else in the world as good as here. It will be hard to not gain any weight when in Alaska.
Want to tag along on my trip? Since it will be a business trip for the company I work for, I won’t share too much on we12travel social media, however I’ll do my best to post on my personal Twitter and Instagram every now and then.
More Alaska reading? You may like any of those:
– About my obsession with seeing Mount McKinley, North America’s highest
– 5 Really cool things to do in Alaska
– Winter in Alaska: the Iditarod!
Thanks for sharing!