Back in January when I booked my flights and most of my Alaska vacation itinerary, it seemed the trip was a long way out. Well, in about three weeks, I’ll be meeting up with a couple of dear friends I worked with in Yellowstone back in the day (the ’90s) for a week’s adventure in America’s Last Frontier.
I know we’re probably packing in too much in a short amount of time, but the basic itinerary is:
Plans in Anchorage
Visit to the Musk Ox Farm – It’s an Ice Age mammal still roaming! Native Alaskans call these wooly beasts “Oomingmak” which means “The Bearded One.” Bonus: I registered to receive Anchorage Groupons and scored discounted admission into the farm. It’s just a few bucks but every little bit helps!
Perhaps a stop in Wasilla, the land of Sarah Palin.
Yup, Seeing Denali
Overnight a couple of nights near Denali National Park with a motor coach tour into the park offered by Denali Park Resorts.
The place we’re staying has a kennel with sled dogs and I’m hoping for a tour.
Fairbanks, So Close to the Arctic Circle
Next stop, Fairbanks for a couple of nights.
The Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau suggested via Twitter (@insidealaska) to check out this amazing blog post written by an explorer who had an incredible time in Denali. They also suggested the Pump House Restaurant & Saloon for a nice dinner that locals enjoy.
A Twitter user suggested a visit to Poker Flat Rocket Range, the world’s only scientific rocket launching facility owned by a university. University of Alaska Geophysical Institute operates the facility under contract to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, which is part of the Goddard Space Flight Center. It’s home to scientific instruments designed to study the arctic atmosphere and ionosphere and site for launching sounding rockets.
Find a salmon feast! (Okay, I could eat salmon EVERYDAY, three times a day!) I’d really like to catch my fish but there isn’t enough time.
Return to Anchorage for a red-eye back to the mainland. I just realized my flight from Anchorage to Houston is just over 8 hours long. Eight hours! That’s longer than a flight from Florida to London! I considered upgrading to first-class for that leg but seats are already sold out. Bummer.
My Pre-Alaska Vacation Read
Another Twitter user suggested I read Coming into the Country by John McPhee. I promptly ordered it and absolutely love, love, love it! Accustom to scanning Internet content, reading a book with depth and bite is refreshing. It’s what literature is meant to be.
Have ya been to Alaska? What shouldn’t we miss?
How Many Bowls of Cabbage Soup?