This is where I hope to share a bit about my process, my inner working and behind the scenes in addition to my latest work.
Fairbanks was our last stop and we spent two nights here and rented a car. All that said, I didn't take as many photographs in Fairbanks. Or I should say most photos i took were from my phone and can be found on Instagram at @theshutterbugeye Our first stop was a riverboat tour. It was fun and educational but I was honestly ready for the tours to be over at this point. Then we checked into our hotel and rented a car.
While in Fairbanks we ate at The Turtle Club for dinner. This was recommended by the cab driver that took my husband to pick up the rental car. She said it was not touristy and had great prime rib. She was right! I recommend it if you are in Fairbanks and have a car as it's a bit on the outskirts.
We also stopped by a point where you can see the Alaskan Pipeline. It was 9:30 at night but broad daylight. It was also neat to see the engineering of how it would handle an earthquake.
There was an antique car museum that was on the property of the lodge/resort. It had so many neat old cars as well as clothing for each period.
We drove up to North Pole Alaska but Santa wasn't home. We did meet some of his reindeer.
There were also some wild wetland areas for birds. Lots of sandhill cranes in the one spot. My walk through mosquito infested forest only led me to gulls.
We flew home from Fairbanks. This trip was really amazing and so varied. I'd highly recommend it, though if I could do it again, I'd likely have rented a car earlier and did the land portion more on our own. But the tours were nice too.
If you have been following and commenting, I will be posting about the textures next Monday. If you commented on all the posts, please comment on that one as well and leave your e-mail. I will then send you a link to the free texture pack.
After a night at Mt. McKinley lodge we woke up and caught our tour bus that took us up to Denali, farther north. The ride was scenic and we arrived at the Denali lodge in time for a quick lunch before our tour of the park. The tour of the park was nice. We made several stops and saw wildflowers, beautiful scenery, some historic sites and ended with a presentation from a native while standing at a point where you see miles in every direction surrounded by mountain ranges.
I wished that I had an extra day at Denali as I would have loved to explore more on my own, take more time to see wildlife and maybe go for a hike. Sadly, we were back in time for dinner and ate at a salmon bake restaurant which was tasty. The next morning we were on a bus to Fairbanks.
Pictures from inside Denali.
A quick throwback Thursday. Self portrait with mustache and textures.
The ship arrived in Whittier early that morning and we disembarked a little after 6am and immediately boarded our train. I saw a lot of wildlife and beautiful scenery from the train, but being a moving train, I took no photos. Animals included dall sheep, a moose laying in the forest, the back of a black bear though he was brown in color, swans with babies, and more common animals such as ducks.
The train took us North to Talkeetna, a cute little town not far from Mt. McKinnley. We ate lunch at the brewery where I enjoyed reindeer meatloaf. I also tried fireweed icecream. Below is fireweed, a common wildflower, which was growing everywhere. It was good and had a mild berry like flavor.
When we finished exploring Talkeetna, we took the shuttle bus to the Princess Mt. McKinley lodge where we ate dinner and spent the night. We also were lucky to see the peak of Mt. McKinley that evening.
More to come next week - Denali and Fairbanks! Then I'll share the texture pack.
Top left: Hanging glacier; Middle left: Glacier; Lower left: Blue iceburg; Center: Harbor Glacier calving; Top right: Harbor Glacier; Middle Right: Y shaped glacier; Lower right: Harbor Glacier viewed from front of ship as we approached.
This is the last day/night on the ship and in the later afternoon/evening is scenic cruising in College Fjord with more glaciers. Because it overlapped with dinner we went to the upper 14 level deck so we could bounce from side to side of the ship. It was cold and rainy out so I hid under cover and ran out to take photos and see what was there. I also ran to the front of the ship for a view of what was ahead.
There were a lot of different glaciers here but the star was Harbor Glacier at the end of the fjord. We spent quite a bit of time by Harbor Glacier and were able to see it calving several times, one of which I managed to photograph (see center photo).
This was a great finale to the sea portion of the trip. I'll be honest, at this point I was ready for something different as I had enough downtime on the ship. Next adventure is the train up to Talkeetna and a night at Mt. McKinley Lodge.
Don't forget to comment on every Alaska post if you want to receive the Alaska Glaciers Texture Pack at the end of my reviews.