ALASKAN CRUISE 2016 PART 1 – ANCHORAGE ZOO, COASTAL TRAIL, HUBBARD & MARGERIE GLACIER
My DSLR photos from my family trip to Alaska this past September. Alaska is so beautiful, and I wanted to give as much space to these photos. It was such a pleasure to visit! Enjoy!
At long last, I went through two memory cards full of thousands of pictures of my trip with my family in Alaska. It was a such a beautiful trip, and I wanted to share! I’ve waited to post “My Week in Photos” until I edited these. I just wanted these to go up first so all my Alaska photos can be together, in one place, before you see the lesser quality iPhone pics… 🙂 There are some interstitial pics from the days at sea that will be in the weekly photos, those might tell a more full story but these photos are prettier… ehe.
Hope that’s okaaay!
Alaska! I did my 5th grade state project that I’m sure all little American kids do on our 50th State. It was purchased from Russia for cheap, and everybody thought it was a mistake. Ever since that report I’ve wanted to visit Alaska!
I just wanted to show you Anchorage on the map, that’s where we started. It’s in the Southern part of Alaska, near the water.
We flew from Los Angeles to Anchorage, Alaska and made it to our cute little Inn, the Copper Whale Inn.
Anchorage is the more populous city in Alaska, containing 40% of the state’s total population! But it’s still small, by like metropolitan city standards. Here’s where the Inn was in relationship to the water.
My dad and I rented bikes from the Inn and biked down towards the water.
You can see the Oscar Anderson House Museum in the background. It was built in 1915, and it’s one of the oldest homes in Anchorage. It was built when the rest of the city was basically a tent city for workers who found jobs on the Alaskan Railroad’s construction. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside, they closed for the season the day before we got there! 😦
We rode down to the Coastal Trail. So beautiful!
Bonus lake beauty
Such diverse scenery along the coastal trail. Gorgeous yellow and green grass, dense forest, waterfront views…
Didn’t see a moose or a child with a ball. 😦
Biking back to meet my mom. We went out for dinner (you’ll see that in the weekly photo post) and I headed to bed. Zach’s flight came in around 1am, I asked around about where to see the Northern Lights and luckily it seemed like 1am or 2am would be ideal.
The hotel manager recommended I walk out toward the coastal trail again where we were biking earlier in the day. I was looking out at the darkest part of the sky, staring into darkness…sad that we couldn’t see the Northern Lights. I decided to take a long exposure to capture the sky, and…in the corner, a bit of green. Turned to the right…AND there they were!!!! I was looking in the wrong direction like an idiot.
We stood there and watched it get brighter and quieter and brighter again. So beautiful. It wasn’t the most intense or colorful show, but it was the first time I’ve seen them…so it was still special. Makes me want to chase the Northern Lights again.
The next morning we headed to the Anchorage Zoo. My dad insisted we go to the zoo, he kept saying he wanted to see the native Alaskan animals up close in case we didn’t see them in the wild (not sure when he thought we’d be seeing them in the wild, but it’s a cute notion).
Red on red
Polar bear! He was pacing back and forth on this rock, soaking up the sun.
“You could be killed by this!” Smile!
Lynx that really reminded me of Tubby
Looks like the Portuguese owl that I met in Lisbon that was named Gandalf and that I kissed on the face.
A fox peeing – it reminds me of Sufi. Hi Sufi.
Lil’ baby deer
Petting zoo area with goats and bunnies! (Avoided the bunnies…allergies and all…but so tempting and fuzzy)
My dad, the goob
Zach saluting his fav animal, the moose.
Sad fence moose
Never realized how…floppy…camel humps are…
A lil’ freaked out
Exhausted derp bears
Majestic cats everywhere
Just watching bears literally crunch the shit out of bones. We are just sacks of bones and liquid and some meat.
Lunch at the Moose’s Tooth!
Mom re-discovering her love of stouts.
We were sitting on the sunny side of the table and my parents lovingly donated their sun hats to our cause.
We shared a pizza, wings, and a flight of beer…*stuffed*
I got myself a Moose’s Tooth cap, cuz why not.
After lunch we went to the Anchorage Museum. It had a mix of Native Alaskan art and storytelling, as well as an exhibition about the changing landscape.
The next day, we said farewell to Anchorage and caught a train to Whittier.
The scenic train ride between Anchorage and Whittier. Whittier is where the boat was waiting for us!
“I can’t see my screen!”
First glacier sighting!!!!
We went through a looooong tunnel and then popped out and there the cruise ship was!
We checked in, got our cruise cards (aka the most important thing for the week – an ID, your method of payment, your way on and off the ship…
As soon as we checked in, we dropped stuff off in our cabins and then headed back out to explore Whittier. We got to Whittier with about 6 or 7 hours until the ship left the port, and Whittier is TINY tiny.
The 2015 population estimate in Whittier was 214 people…and nearly all of them live in one single building.
There were a few little shops, restaurants, and places to rent water activity things.
So beautiful! I think this area has always been a passageway to Alaska, for early explorers, trade, and later for a military base…and now for cruise ships.
This place had bomb-looking battered and fried fish, shrimp, fries…mmm. But we decided to just grab a beer and have some “free” (aka already paid for food) on the cruise ship.
This long dark tube/tunnel connects the two parts of the city. The port side and the side with the military buildings and the big building people live in.
Helping my mom up this hill ahah
Whittier scenes. This was the second to last, or maybe even last, cruise ship to come through Whittier for the season. I’m sure everybody is ready for the tourists to go.
Headed back to the boat!
The cruise ship left Whittier in the evening when it was dark, so it was exciting to wake up and rush up to the upper decks to see where we were in the light.
Approaching Hubbard Glacier! We were approaching for a while, and I just kept my eye on it as it got bigger and bigger the closer we got.
Icebergs!!!!! Pieces of glacier!!!
My dad found me at the front of the boat and watched the approach with me.
It’s so hard to visualize the scale. Even when you are in front of it – you just can’t fathom the size! According to Wikipedia, it takes about 400 years for ice to reach the front of the glacier, and pieces as big as a 10 story building break off routinely. WHAA.
The cruise ship just parked as close as they could and stayed there for about an hour so we could soak in the beauty.
They sent out a boat to collect a piece of iceberg to bring aboard.
You can see the orange boat in the distance, helps a little with scale.
Trying so hard to convey scale…but…tried. Ahaha
Found my parents at the upper decks, bundled in blankets.
It’s a cruise, so you have to have a douchey drink in your hand.
Everybody gathering to see the piece of iceberg that the little orange boat went to retrieve
People posing for pics
OLD AMAZING ICE
Cold and happy
Pulling away from Hubbard Glacier…bye Hubby. Thank you for your beauty!
Dad showing us the route through Glacier Bay that was set for the next day.
Surprise! It’s the next day. I know – so many water pictures look similar after a while. But today is a special day because we are going through Glacier Bay National Park!
More sea lion pics! They were all chilling on those rocks.
Nobody was really on the upper decks, it was early and cold and we weren’t super close to glaciers yet. But beyond this boat there were lil’ brown bears with a mama brown bear! You can’t see in the photo, unfortunately. But a kind old man let me borrow his binoculars to see for myself.
THE BEAUTY!! DOES IT OVERWHELM THEE!
This is Margerie Glacier!
Action shot of calving!
Just so amazing T___T
I’m going to leave it here, the next part is at our first port, Skagway. 🙂
Sorry for the long delay. Need to get back in the routine of posting.
Much love friends!