Thursday, October 2, 2014
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Me and a family member, we went to Alaska on my summer vacation. It was fun. I saw a mountain called Mountain McKinley. I saw a moose. And I caught a fish named Dolly Parton Trout, but we had to throw her back in the water. I did not see a bear. I had fun. The End.
What an unbelievable trip! I have over 1000 pictures to sort through. Here is a cliff note version. Nephew (G) and I landed in Anchorage at 11:50 PM, Friday night – 3: 00 AM CST. He dropped me off at The Millennium Hotel and then drove about two hours south to Cooper Landing where he would fish. Saturday morning I picked up my rent car and picked up my sister, who flew in from her place in Soldotna. We spent the day sight-seeing around Anchorage. The Millennium is the “landing strip” for the float planes. Float plans are a major form of transportation. We had dinner at the hotel and watched the planes land at sunset.
Sunday morning, as we were leaving The Millennium, we were told that the day was clear and if you drove to a certain place just outside Anchorage, one could see Denali Park, whose main feature is Mt. McKinley. The best descriptive word I have is “majestic.” From where we were standing, one could see the tallest peak in North America over 250 miles away.
We left Anchorage about 9:15 am and headed south on the Seward Highway with eventual landing place for the evening being Soldotna. The Seward Highway is the only road going south. It is about 100 miles of two-lane road, but it took us all day to get there. Every time I saw a sign with a camera, marking a photo opportunity, I pulled over to take photos. However, no artificial pictures, whether still or video, can do the country-side justice. The beauty of Alaska is indescribable. The Seward Highway takes you along Turnagain Arm and along Cook’s Inlet, both lined with incredible views of glaciers, water, wild life, rock formations, and mountains.
We stopped in Girdwood for brunch at the Alyska Hotel and then took the tram to the top of the slopes. Girdwood is a major ski area in the winter. However, on this beautiful day, with temperatures in the mid 50’s, and the sun shining brightly, there were idiots hang gliding off the “mountains.”
My sister and I spend the night in Soldotna and the following day toured around the Kenai area. This is now Monday night if you are trying keeping track of time. G met us in Soldotna and we drove around the area where she lives. This is where I saw the moose. After a fabulous dinner and say it was time to say good bye to my sister. However, as we dropped her off after dinner, there was a small hint of the Northern Lights visible. Just enough so I can say I did see the Northern Lights. G and I drove to the fishing lodge where he was staying in Cooper Landing. Tuesday, he and I were on the Kenai River at Dave’s Creek by 8:15 AM for my first fly fishing experience.
Talk about beginners’ luck. I caught a small Dolly Varden trout on my first cast. About 10 minutes later, I caught another one. Fishing laws at the area where we were fishing were catch and release. So within seconds of removing hook and taking pictures the fish was released into the water. Greg caught one fish. So after spending 7 hours fishing we caught three fish between the two of us. However, I also caught four leaves, three bushes, the ferry cable over the river and my little finger.
We left Cooper Landing at 4:15, drove back to Anchorage, had a great dinner and our plane left Anchorage at 11:50 PM, Tuesday, September 30. We landed in O’Hare at 8:30 am, Wednesday, October 1. I used to say if you went to Hell, you would have to go through DFW. Now I will say, if you go through Chicago O’Hare, you are in Hell. But we finally took off and had smooth flight to Houston. I arrived back in Bryan about six o’clock yesterday evening. I am still processing the trip and will post some pictures soon. What a wonderful opportunity. Bucket List Item – Visit Alaska. Check.