We just returned from two weeks on ship, train, and bus, touring a tiny bit of our largest state. What we saw was gorgeous, and what we did was a lot of fun, but we hardly scratched the surface of one quarter of the state. We returned home tired with great memories and some new friends we’ll probably never see again.
The Good: all of it. The trip up the coast, the road at the top of the world, the waterfalls and rivers. It’s hard not to list Denali at the top of the good, such great vistas and willing-to-be-seen animals. We hiked past a moose who hardly noticed us, sat safely in the bus and watched a deceptively cute grizzly bear nap in the sun, and saw lots of other creatures just livin’ life like they do.
The Bad: well, almost everyone on our bus got some nasty lung thing that meant lots of coughing. The guides said it’s because Alaska is so dry, but I’m thinking there was more to it than that. For a while I thought I might leave a lung under the bus seat.
The Funny: well, that’s people, of course. I heard two tourists discussing the fact that “they” really should do something about the mosquito problem in Alaska. “They could spray,” one said, and the other agreed, “Yes. They should think about all the people who come up here.”
Another time we were at a wild game preserve, and our guide carefully explained that the animals are left untamed. The staff doesn’t name them or interact with them in order to keep them close to their natural state. A few minutes later, we stopped to see some caribou standing across an enclosure. One woman told the guide, “You should bring along some food next time so you can get them closer to the fence.”Yeah, maybe they’d like some Red Bull and cotton candy while you're at it!