Isn’t this a delightful graphic of Mount McKinley? The legendary peak is now called Denali, which is Athabaskan for “the high one”. The image is scanned from a 1960 map cover that my husband purchased many decades ago. The artist was Dwight Shepler, famed World War II illustrator.
We’re down to the wire now and will depart tomorrow on our grand Alaskan adventure! Hubby has been preparing for the past few weeks and taking care of details while I’ve been working. I am scrambling today to pull all my stuff together and get packed. We’re excited that this moment in time has finally arrived!
The journey certainly qualifies as a “trip of a lifetime”, and it is one that has been duly noted on our bucket list. And those airline miles we have been accumulating over the years are finally being put to good use, LOL. We were so happy to find a tour company called Natural Habitat Adventures that specializes in adventure trips for small groups. We think they have the best Alaska tour itinerary available – hands down, period. And we have traveling friends who took this trip a couple of years ago and they highly recommend it. Natural Habitat runs a half-dozen or so of its Alaska tours each year, and we are going on the one specially designed for photographers! We already know our guide from the grizzly bear trip we took last year in British Columbia, and he is a treasure.
We are going out several days early and staying several days later than the tour so that we can do some explorations on our own. This vacation will be bittersweet for my husband because Fairbanks was his home during the 1960s-70s, and he will be seeing the blessed Alaska countryside again after all these years. Every single thing on this trip will be new for me. After going on a small boat tour of southeastern Alaska over fifteen years ago, I've had a small taste of the magnificent sights we will see on this adventure.
The itinerary will have us exploring interior Alaska and the coastline, including three national parks (Denali, Kenai, and Katmai). Our modes of travel will include vehicles, train, floatplane, and boats. We’ll see wildlife and grand vistas, glaciers and rainforests, tundra and mountains, rivers and lakes. We’re packing lots of camera equipment and digital storage media, of course! Hopefully, there will be a little room left for taking some underwear.
We’re taking an iPad with us to periodically check e-mails. But there will be limited internet availability throughout our travels. My blog will go on a temporary vacation too. Marty is in charge and will be minding the place. I will miss you all and I appreciate your good wishes! Please visit me when I return and get an special armchair journey of the Alaskan frontier!