Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alaskan Adventures

The thing I didn't mention in the previous post is that my business travel was to Alaska.  There was a conference up there and afterwards, I stayed for a few days extra.  My sister Rachel flew up from Vancouver to join me in exploring the Alaskan countryside.

We took a train from Fairbanks to Denali National Park, where we spent two days.  One morning we had a wilderness tour in the park, which consisted of riding along the road in a bus with a tour guide, periodically stopping for pictures, especially when wildlife crossed our field of vision.  We saw many animals, including moose, caribou, fox, and a lynx.

We also saw the dramatic Denali landscape,
and Mount McKinley.

I took so many pictures, my camera ran out of battery power and I had to stop.  I am not much of a picture-taking person, but I felt compelled to preserve the experience somehow.

For most of the rest of our time, we hiked around some trails at the entrance to the park, and admired the rushing glacial melt and the spectacular peaks around us.
I was fascinated by all the ice on the ground, still melting.

The sun essentially did not set the whole time we were there -- at best it was twilight for a few short hours before the day began anew, so we had to draw the curtains tightly if we were to get any sleep.

It was a really amazing experience that words cannot begin to describe -- and neither can pictures.  To be in a place so untouched by humans, so wild, so vast, so rugged -- it was a very emotional experience for me.  I pretty much could not wipe the goofy grin off my face.  I exclaimed at the amazing landscapes, the high mountain peaks, the wild animals.  I felt so connected to the natural world -- more connected than ever before.  I could see why people fall in love with Alaska and stay, despite the harsh conditions.

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