Alaska Flight - 2004
Going to Alaska has been in our plans for a long time; the only question was when. Weíve seen pictures, read stories and poetry, heard about the awe-inspiring beauty and the abundant wildlife. Everyone who goes to Alaska seems to come home excited, whether they go for a hike, take a cruise, or drive an RV. There is an old quote which says, ďDonít go to Alaska when you are young, as it will spoil you for everywhere else.Ē We wanted to see if that was true. For hikers, Alaska is the ultimate challenge Ė go where there are no trails and make your own, see what itís like to hike where you arenít the top of the food chain and where, if you get in trouble, there is no one around to rescue you.
We planned our vacation to have four parts: First we would fly into the back-country at Wrangell St. Elias National Park for six days of remote wilderness backpacking, next we would take a rental car and drive around Alaska for a few days, stopping as the mood struck us, then we would visit Denali National Park, taking a shuttle bus out into the park (no private vehicles are allowed past MP 16) and doing some hiking, and finally we would drive down to the Kenai Peninsula, where we would take a boat tour, stay a couple of days at a Bed and Breakfast in Seward, then either tour some more or hike some more. Parts of the trip were pre-scheduled (our fly in at Wrangell St. Elias, the shuttle bus at Denali and the B&B and boat at Seward); the rest of the trip was totally unstructured so we could just relax and play things by ear. We knew we wouldnít have time to do everything we wanted to do, especially given the larger than life distances between places, and we didnít want to feel pressured by the clock and the calendar any more than absolutely necessary. At the same time, we didnít want to have the problems we ran into in Canada with having no reservations at all for things that we really did want to do. This was a good compromise.