Saturday, July 10, 2010

Karol's Alaskan Trip

After the book signings, my daughter Karol visited Alaska. She wanted to see things that she couldn’t see in Iowa. There are no mountains in Iowa so that was the easiest of all to see. Mountains are everywhere. We hitched a ride with Raymond in the big dump truck and walked down the mountain road beside his place. Karol couldn’t believe the size of the flowers that grow in almost 24 hours of sunlight. Even the dandelions were hip high to her.

The Miller apartment is over the three-car garage with the deck overlooking Upper Fire Lake. Of course we wanted a ride around the lake. We followed the Little Susnita River where Karol decided to test the water temperature on our way to Independence Gold mine. I remembered the mine in much better shape. Even the visitor’s center was permanently closed. A marmot decided to check out an abandoned building. We drove further up the mountain where there was still snow by the side of the road.

No trip to Anchorage is complete without driving around Turnagain Arm. At the Portage Visitor’s Center, Karol saw an iceberg for the first time. We decided to drive the long, long, tunnel to Whittier even though it was raining. The train had already gone through so we didn’t have to wait very long but we took too much time driving around and photographing the water falls so we needed to wait about a half hour before returning to the main road. Cars were parked on the edge of the road so we stopped to see what was happening. A few feet from the road, we saw this Bull Moose.

Raymond and Teresita let us use their slide-in camper for our trip to Seward. Since we were camped along the water, we could sit outside the camper and watch waves, boats, and sea otters. We walked to the aquarium where Karol photographed the horned puffin.

The next day we took the Kenai Fjords eight and a half hour boat ride. Here we saw glaciers, humpback whales, porpoises, puffins, and sea lions and otters.

Since we booked our cruise online, we even got a free pass to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Since I have already placed a number of photos on the blog from my last trip here, I won’t use more space except for this photo of the wood buffalo.