What’s better than going on your real first mountain hike, falling on your butt 6 times, experiencing your first earthquake, and seeing whales? NOTHING.
I don’t want to say that I’ve lived a sheltered life, but I’ve kind of been in a cocoon for the past 20-years as I’m sure most people in my age range are due to that four-letter word L-I-F-E.
I’m the kind of person that watches cat and dog videos, laughs way too hard at them and calls out to the nearest person to me to stop whatever they are doing to watch along. So, when the opportunity for adventure came my way, I thought, this is a dream of mine, I should do it! And I did. Opportunities like this are once in a lifetime.
Alaska is beautiful and so different from flat, hot, humid, South Florida. Alaska is the kind of place where the locals park their cars on the side of a mountain and fill up water jugs with mountain water. It’s also the kind of place where you should explore with very knowledgeable people because you might go exploring on a beach and then a bore tide comes in and then what started as a hike becomes a recovery mission. Our guide explained that rescues turn into recovery missions. Think about that for a Nano second. He said that most people don't survive to be rescued.
What's a Bore Tide?
The bore tide is a rush of seawater that returns to a shallow and narrowing inlet from a broad bay. Bore tides come in after extreme minus low tides created by the full or new moon. http://www.alaska.org/advice/alaska-bore-tide).
What did we forget to bring?
This trip should have the sub-headline, “What did I forget to bring?” Because only I could have brought the wrong kind of jacket for Alaska. You see, untraveled Floridians don't know the difference between jackets and well, I admit, that I didn't research as thoroughly as I probably should have researched. I was just so happy to have an affordable trip.
Alaska is filled with wonderful people like our hotel concierge Lisa, who willingly let me, a total stranger, borrow the jacket off her back - so that I could go sightseeing, because I hadn't yet purchased the jacket I should have brought along. I'm sure that the hotel ski shop loved me for buying a jacket at the end of season.
Something that left me truly shooketh!
One late night while I was working in a common area of the hotel, the table shook. I couldn't figure out why but was surprised the next day when I was told there had been an earthquake: a 5.something. Checkmark on my bucket list – survive an earthquake.
Favorite part of the trip
My favorite part of Alaska had to be completing my first mountain hike ever! Let me say, that I met the coolest people at the hotel, Lynda and Jimmy. They used their day off to take me, a middle-aged lady, on my first mountain hike. As I said above, I fell 6 times! One time I fell through the snow and ice into water! Thankfully, Jimmy gave me a lot of help and encouragement because I don't think that I could have completed that hike without his assistance.
The hike was about 6 miles and every inch was worth it. Even the next day when I could barely move until a hot shower and some anti-inflammatory medications, that hike was worth it. Would I do it again? Absolutely.
I did so much on this trip. Visited the Alaska Conservation areas, took the hotel shuttle into the smallest town center I’ve ever been in and ate at some of the most incredible restaurants: The Double Musky Inn and Jack Spratts - remember them! I also splurged on a spa day at the Hotel Alyeska and went whale watching in Seward at Kenai Fjord.
Do a little extra research before you go and bring the jacket that you might need.
If you fly across country, think about how long it will take to get there and how long that travel day will be and order transportation to where you're staying so that you can save the cost of an expensive taxi ride. There is NO UBER!
Connect with the awesome people that you meet via social media to keep in touch.
Think it's expensive, consider going during a gap week between seasons.
Thank you for reading ~ Wendy
Dream, do and experience your life.
I went during a gap period between seasons in May 2017 and the hotel was kind of empty and OH SO COOL because I had the opportunity to meet some of the greatest people!
Get out of the big cities. The hotel staff issued warnings to stay away from certain areas of the big city because it wasn't safe for WOMEN.
I had the most interesting time meeting people that were either born in Alaska or restarted their lives in Alaska like in smaller towns – like Girdwood, that’s where we stayed.
Specifically, we stayed at the Hotel Alyeska which was a magnet for amazing people and locals on the weekend and I’ve been told that some conventions are held there as well.
Probably should have been the first recommendation – pay attention to your travel day. The last thing you want to do is fly 15 hours on 3 flights (from S. FLA) and then drive 1 hour to where you are staying. That’s one long day. Ended up taking a taxi for that last hour and before you ask – there is NO UBER in Alaska or there was none in May, 2017.
dream, do & experience life