Thank you Mom and Dad for coming to visit! We had such a great time. We each caught a King salmon to help load my cooler. Dad caught 2, but that native had to go back. He caught the first 2 fish of the day really quick. Then my mom caught one and as I grabbed my pole to reel in, I had one! Yes, we both had fish on and they were jumping and crossing lines, it’s was unreal. We eventually landed both in the boat. So fun! So, dad caught the most, mom caught the biggest and I had the most fun watching them both enjoy the paradise I’ve been living in.
We had a wonderful Father’s Day evening at a friend’s lodge on the Kenai River. Pegge and her parents, Dick and Stephanie hosted a wonderful evening. My mom evening had a moose burger. (Oh, I forgot to tell you, she also ate bear! My bear, which is honestly the best game meat I’ve eaten. Well done Corey!)
We went on the Kenai Fjord tour and had the best trip ever! Even the staff and captain saw things they didn’t usually, or ever, see. Orcas (killer whales), humpbacks swimming near each other. A black bear on the beach! Right next to the glacier! What?! Obviously the glacier and we had a humpback whale breech over and over again by the boat for at least 20 mins straight. We actually had to leave the breeching whale to stay on time. The captain said he’s never left a breechjng whale. The weather was great and the seas were calm. Such a perfect day and the cabins we stayed in were perfect.
We took a ferry from Whittier to Valdez. Well, I’m sorry but, the 2 mile, one-way tunnel to Whittier is cool, but I’ll probably never go back. A tiny place to take a ferry out of and the 1 restaurant was ok. The waiter was like the women we dealt with at the ferry terminal. Rude, short, unhappy and seemed a bit miserable. Definitely not what I’ve been experiencing in Alaska. I guess I’d be miserable too if I lived there. It’s almost like being sentenced, I can’t imagine someone chooses to live there. Valdez is amazing! Small little town but beautiful. We stayed on Robe Lake at a lodge and checked in at 9:30pm to an empty lodge. The doors unlocked, your paperwork on counter and you have the place to yourself. What?! And oh man what a view. One of my favorite nights. Even kept dad up until 10:30! Mom and I were up until 11:30! I wanted them to experience the land of the midnight sun at its best. It was soltice and the longest day of the year! Perfect timing…
We then visited the Copper River and McCarthy. McCarthy is an old mining town about 60 miles off the main road, mostly dirt road. Cool place. No cars, just a van that will take you through the extremely tiny town. Right next to a glacier too. Amazing to see how people lived 100 years ago and to think the winters were much worse back then. Tough human beings!
We eventually made it to Denali and got to take one of the green buses into the park. That’s the only way in this time of year. It was beautiful. Got to revisit my grizzly encounter location and show mom and dad. What a different experience though. There’s something about your own vehicle and being on your own schedule without 30 other people/crying kids with you. As you all know, I love people but we’re all different and I’m the type to want to get out and sit for hours on a wolf kill even if the wolves aren’t currently present. Besides, 6 million acres are available for the animals to graze on now. In May, about 10,000 acres, maybe. Way too much snow. They were down lower where it was warmer and concentrated where they could find food. I saw so many more animals. My advise, visit Denali in early May before they open it up to buses. The roads open for 30 miles and I promise you will be much closer to animals and see so many more and you’ll be in you vehicle, on your schedule. Mom and dad got initiated into the 30% club too! Only about 30% of people actually get to see Denali in its entirety. Yep, we did! So cool.
That was about the extent of our trip. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. A priceless memory I’ll cherish forever! I love you mom and dad! Hope to see you again soon… In Alaska 😉