Sunday, October 9, 2011


A couple weeks ago, we celebrated Christina's graduation from Whitefield by going on a trip to Alaska. And, while this trip was not for me, or planned by me, I got to tag along, too... 
So, what did we do in Alaska? We started out with something crazy--we went to the town of Nome for about four hours. Nome is a coastal town near the arctic circle in northwest Alaska. If you've heard of it, it's probably been in connection to the Iditarod sled-dog race that finishes here. Unless you're a musher, the only way to get to Nome is by plane (or boat, I guess). It's an interesting, kind-of rough little town.

This is the Bering Sea, right behind the main street of Nome!  

Nome City Hall, and the End of the Iditarod Sled-Dog Race.

Nome's Airport is tiny. One room served for ticket counter, baggage claim, and boarding area. And note the sign on the counter. ALL ulu knives must be checked. Gotta remember stuff like that, since this door serves as the entrance to the TSA screening area.  

We spent most of our time in Anchorage. We used to live in Anchorage many years ago, so it was neat going back to places that we had been to a long time ago. I was about six when we left Alaska, so even here, many things felt new. 

We took a short hike in Arctic Valley, just outside Anchorage. It serves as a ski slope during the winter. The fall colors on the mountains were just lovely!

Looking over the ridge into the Eagle River Valley. Do you see the rainbow under the clouds?

Later in the trip, we headed up to the Fairbanks area. From Fairbanks it's just a couple hours to Denali National Park. The Park is partly closed down for the season, but we were able to drive a short ways inside. It was a little disappointing--we didn't see any wild life or Mt. McKinley (too cloudy), but I guess that's not uncommon! Someone told us that only fifteen percent of visitors see the mountain.

We may not have seen McKinley, but the vastness of Denali is still breath-taking!

We intended to head home on Thursday. We were flying standby, and it turned out to be a very bad time to leave Alaska on standby. Most of the flights were full or nearly full, while the standby list at times had 60-80 names on it. We tried to get on flights Wednesday and Thursday, but couldn't. By Friday we were pretty tired of hanging out at the airport, and things still didn't look good, so we took a break from trying to get home and just drove around the area some more. Back at the airport, things finally started to improve on Saturday, so by the wee hours of Sunday morning, we had all made it onto a flight. It was so good to be home!