Posts Tagged ‘Travel US Canada’

North to Alaska – Again and Again

March 18th, 2022

The scenery is unlike anywhere else we’ve been and we just can’t seem to get enough of it. Our second cruise to Alaska was a cruise tour with my parents in September of 2006. We began our adventure by flying from San Diego to Fairbanks, Alaska. This is the farthest north in Alaska that I’ve been. Flying north over the ice fields and across Canada into Alaska was breathtaking. From San Diego we flew to Seattle – then Seattle to Anchorage and then Anchorage to Fairbanks. It is alongside the Chena River and has a gorgeous outside deck with huge pots of flowers making it very colorful.

While in Fairbanks, part of our tour was The Riverboat Discovery Cruise. We boarded a paddlewheel boat on the Chena River and took a leisurely trip along the Chena and Tanana Rivers. We cruised alongside the house of the famous winner of the Iditarod Susan Butcher and watched her family explain about the sled dogs and their training. As we continued on down the river a bush pilot demonstrated take offs and landings from shore next to where we were cruising. We visited an Athabascan Indian Village and saw examples of their beautiful and intricate bead work and hand made parkas.

Another day we took a tour of the El Dorado Gold Mine and got to pan our own gold! We all did quite well and both Mom and I now have a beautiful gold necklace with a small cylinder holding “our” gold flakes. We enjoyed the train ride through the actual mine and the explanations of how life was working in the mines. We also enjoyed some delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies while we were waiting for our necklaces to be finished. As we left the mine and headed back down towards Fairbanks, we drove along the Alaska Pipeline.

The next morning we boarded a motor coach and headed south out of Fairbanks through some of the most beautiful and picturesque country I’ve seen. It was September when we visited Alaska this time, and so we were treated to some beautiful fall colors. As you looked out the window of the bus, you could not help but enjoy the scenery. There were rivers around every curve with rolling hills full of low green bushes and flowers. The Alaska fireweed, which blooms at the end of summer indicating that winter will be coming soon, was ending its blooming season; but there was enough left that we could still see and enjoy the bright magenta colored flowers.

As we drove south and got close to Denali National Park, we looked up on the side of the cliff wherewe saw herd of Dahl Sheep. The bus stopped on the road so that everyone could get pictures if they wanted.

The Princess Denali Lodge is also constructed out of logs and is an absolutely beautiful complex of buildings along the river in Denali National Park. Though you cannot see Mt. McKinley from this particular lodge, the views are stunning. The deck of the lodge overlooks the river below where you can go white water rafting if you care to.