Sunday, November 27, 2011

2 Years in the Frozen North

Steven and I were a little crazy to just get on a plane with some of our belongings and head up to Alaska even though we had never visited there before. Even thinking back now to what we did, our families must have thought we were out of our minds. As I write this, I think about how I would react if my child came to me with this same plan one day many years in the future. Yes, we were a little (or a lot, depending on who you ask) crazy.

That being said, I would never change one thing about all that we experienced in Alaska during the two years that we were there. We are just so lucky and so blessed to have had all of those experiences. Looking back, it seems like only a dream. Good thing we chronicled all of our adventures here on this blog, or no one would ever believe what we did!

We are lucky to have been introduced to many wonderful people along the way as well. Not only friends and work acquaintances, but people we met during all of our wonderful adventures. From people on our cruise, to the broken down Canadians on the Haul Road, everyone was truly placed in our path by God.

Steven and I will have lots of stories to share from our time in Alaska as we continue on our life-long journey together!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Final List Tally

At the end of our time in Alaska, we completed 97 of the 121 items on our list and partially finished 2 additional items. Many of the items we did not complete included activities we didn't really get in to like cross country skiing or traveling to remote places by plane or boat. Three items that I can't believe we didn't complete and that I would most want to complete on another visit (besides the traveling to remote places) are catching a salmon in Ship Creek, attending the Midnight Baseball game, and ice fishing in Mirror Lake.

For a final time I am including the entire list below (bold and italicized indicated completed items):

1. Catch a salmon in Ship Creek
2. Visit the Visitor Information Center Log Cabin
3. Visit the Alaska Public Lands Information Center
4. Go to the Anchorage Museum of History and Art
5. See the Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers’ Co-op
6. Buy some Musk Ox wool
7. Visit the Ulu Factory
8. Buy an Ulu
9. Visit Earthquake Park
10. Visit Resolution Park
11. Hike through Kincaid Park
12. Cross country ski through Kincaid Park (Rebekah has done this!)
13. Go to the Alaska Native Heritage Center
14. Go to H2Oasis Indoor Waterpark
15. Go to the Alaska Zoo
16. Bike the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
17. Cross country ski the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail (Rebekah has done this!)
18. Visit Potter Marsh during the summer
19. Watch the bore tide come in
20. Hike the Turnagain Arm Trail
21. View Dall Sheep from Windy Corner (Mile 107)
22. Visit the Eagle River Nature Center in August
23. See the beginning of the Iditarod
24. Enjoy the festivities of Fur Rendezvous
25. Ski the Hilltop Ski Area
26. Ski the Alyeska Resort and Ski Area
27. Visit Girdwood and the Crow Creek Mine
28. Hike through Crow Pass Trail
29. Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
30. Visit Portage Glacier, Explorer Glacier, and Byron Glacier
31. View Mirror Lake during the summer
32. Ice fish in Mirror Lake
33. Hike to Thunderbird Falls
34. Visit Eklutna Glacier
35. Hike up Flattop Mountain
36. Hike throughout Chugach State Park
37. Visit Kachemak Bay State Park
38. See the Grewingk Glacier
39. Visit Shuyak Islands State Park
40. Visit Kenai Fjords National Park
41. Visit Denali State Park
42. Ride a snowmobile through the wilderness
43. Visit Denali National Park
44. Visit Wood-Tikchik State Park
45. Travel to Hope
46. Travel to Homer
47. Visit the Norman Lowell Studio and Gallery
48. Travel to Kenai
49. Travel to Seward
50. Kayak in Resurrection Bay
51. Visit the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center
52. Hike the Skilak Lookout Trail
53. Travel to Whittier
54. See Columbia Glacier
55. Take a boat across Prince William Sound
56. Kayak in Prince William Sound
57. Kayak in Cook Inlet
58. Visit Valdez
59. Visit Cordova
60. Visit Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
61. Fish the Russian River
62. Visit Lake Clark National Park
63. Attend the Alaska State Fair in Palmer in August
64. Visit Hatcher Pass Lodge and Independence Mine State Historical Park
65. Drive Hatcher Pass Road
66. Visit Talkeetna
67. Hike in the Talkeetna Mountains
68. Visit Fairbanks
69. Attend the Midnight Baseball Game (June 21)
70. Visit the city of North Pole
71. See gold dredge #8 and view the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline
72. Visit the Aurora Ice Museum
73. Have a drink at an Ice Bar
74. Sit in the Chena Hot Springs
75. View the northern lights
76. Visit Juneau
77. See the Mendenhall Glacier
78. Explore the Alaskan Rain Forest
79. Visit Glacier Bay National Park
80. Visit Katmai National Park
81. Visit Kobuk Valley National Park
82. Visit Gates of the Arctic National Park
83. Visit the Seward Peninsula
84. Drive the Dalton Highway
85. Ride on a dog sled through the snow
86. See a moose, brown bear, black bear, dall sheep, beluga whale, killer whale, humpback whale, minke whale, harbor seal, sea lion, polar bear, bald eagle, arctic tern, caribou, marmots, red fox, wolf, lynx, wolverine, musk ox, sea otter, mountain goats, dall’s porpoise, king crabs, opilio crabs, puffin, porcupine, snowshoe hare, and many more animals
87. Visit Matanuska Glacier
88. Visit the Musk Ox Farm near Palmer
89. Visit Indian Valley Mine
90. Fish for King Salmon on the Little Susitna River
91. Visit the Alaska SeaLife Center
92. Hike to Exit Glacier
93. Meet Sarah Palin
94. Hike to the Harding Ice Field
95. Polar Bear Plunge in Goose Lake
96. Go sledding on Flattop
97. See the Fall foliage of the tundra
98. Cross country ski in Hatcher Pass
99. View the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks
100. Visit the University of Alaska Museum of the North
101. Hike Mt. Baldy
102. Visit Ketchikan
103. Visit the Alaska Brewing Company and Macaulay Salmon Hatchery
104. Visit Skagway
105. Cruise through College Fjord
106. Visit Soldotna
107. Visit the Bear Creek Winery
108. Experience the 40 Below Room
109. Go Halibut Fishing
110. Visit Captain Cook State Recreation Area
111. Dip net for Salmon on the Kenai River
112. Attend Arctic Thunder
113. Visit Worthington Glacier State Recreation Area
114. Visit Liberty Falls State Recreation Area
115. Visit Kennecott & McCarthy
116. Drive on the Denali Highway
117. Visit Coldfoot
118. Visit Deadhorse
119. Enter the Arctic Circle
120. Cross the Yukon River
121. View the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Final Leg Of The Journey

When we arrived in Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday we headed for the home of our friends, Vas and Julia. We got there around lunch time and Vas took us out to eat while we waited for Julia to get off work for the day.

After lunch we met up with Julia and headed downtown to explore. Our first stop was the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, a nice park with many interesting and weird sculptures throughout. Next we headed down to the state capitol building.

We were able to go inside and see the state legislators in session, the state library, and explore parts of the rest of the building. It was a very interesting and historic building.

Outside the capitol building there is a statue of Lewis and Clark looking West and right down one of the main roads into the heart of the city.

We decided to walk down that main road and do some exploring into the local shops and restaurants in the area and walked all the way down to the Des Moines River. At this point we were starting to get hungry so we headed to a great Mexican restaurant in town to meet up with another of their friends, Tatyana. Dinner was great - they had a guacamole station where they would come and make it right at the table.

After dinner we headed back to Vas and Julia's place to hang out over a bottle of wine. We stayed up late talking and had a great time visiting with them during the short time we were there. Thanks to Vas and Julia for being great hosts and tour guides!

Thursday we woke up and continued on our way. For the first time in the US on this journey we left the main highways and took the back, country roads for a more direct path southeast. As we were driving along there was a sign we passed for the American Gothic House in the small town of Eldon, IA. I ignored it and kept driving, but Rebekah thought it sounded interesting (without really knowing what it was) and insisted we turn around. When we got there we saw a parking lot, a visitors center, and an old, rickety white house.

However, once we walked in to the visitors center we recognized what this place was. The old, rickety house is the home from the painting American Gothic by Grant Wood. The visitors center had history and stories of the painting along with costumes you could put on. Then you could go stand in front of the house where the center staff will gladly take your picture. I thought this was a little strange, but of course Rebekah was excited...

I think we nailed it.

After taking off the costumes we continued on our way through the country of Iowa and Missouri and made it to St. Louis around dinner time. After stopping briefly to take a picture by the Gateway Arch (which took more time than we originally thought - it is not easy to park with a U-Haul in downtown St. Louis) we crossed the border into Illinois and found an Olive Garden for dinner.

After dinner we continued on our way, becoming more anxious to arrive the closer we got. Taking 64 to 57 to 24 we crossed into Kentucky and stopped at a Days Inn off the highway in Kuttawa, KY. We woke up early Friday morning and continued down 24 through Nashville and then hopping on 75 in Chattanooga. Since it was close to evening rush hour as we approached Atlanta, we took GA 20 to stay north of the city and arrived at Rebekah's parents house just before dinner.

In total the trip took 11 days and we traveled 5,555 miles traveling through 12 US states and 2 Canadian provinces. We saw much of the country, but unfortunately didn't get to see and do as much as we wanted due to the weather and our time constraints. However, it was definitely a trip we will not soon forget!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Seattle, Washington to Des Moines, Iowa

While on our trip across Canada and the U.S., we made a stop in Seattle for 2 nights to visit Chris and Christie Elm, who Steven knew from middle school. When we arrived on Friday night, they were having a game night at their house with some friends, so we got to meet some of their Seattle friends. We visited, but went to bed fairly early as we had lots that we wanted to see and do the next morning. The first thing that we did was go on the Boeing tour, the Future of Flight. This was interesting and we also got to see the factory where the big jets are built including the new 787 Dreamliner. Chris works for Boeing, so we were also able to see where he works. After the tour, we went back to get Christie and we decided to head around town for some sightseeing. First on our list was Queen Anne's Hill, which is a neighborhood in Seattle with great views of the city and the Space Needle. That was where we took the above picture. Then we were hungry so we headed over to a yummy gourmet pizza restaurant called Serious Pie. They have many different kinds of pizzas there and they are all more unique than just pepperoni or cheese. we ordered a sweet fennel sausage, roasted pepper and provolone pizza and a yukon gold potato, rosemary and pecorino pizza. They were very good. After the pizza lunch, we headed out to see some famous sights by the public market in Seattle. We saw this most famous chains, first coffee shop....

The Pike Place Fish Market where the workers toss the fish to each other in the air when someone places an order....

and the famous sign outside. What a great shot of two old friends reuniting in a new city!

We also went to a yummy cheese shop in the market called Beecher's Handmade Cheese and ordered some creamy macaroni and cheese. I would recommend this to anyone visiting the city.

After the public market, we found a Nordstrom Rack and did a little shopping. We didn't have too much time though because we had dinner reservations at a restaurant called the Grouchy Chef. Don't worry, that picture above is not the is a troll statue under a bridge that we saw on the way back to the house! We also made a quick stop at a chocolatier
called Theo Chocolate. The cocoa beans are all fair-trade certified and this establishment is one of the few places in the world that makes their chocolate from the beans itself. We didn't buy anything but we sampled the many different kinds of chocolates that they had there. My favorite of course was the dark chocolate.

So for dinner, we had made reservations at a restaurant called the Grouchy Chef. It was a one-of-a-kind place, run entirely by one man only. Not only does he wait tables and take orders he also cooks the food, does the dishes and takes reservations and payments. He only takes cash there, but the food is delicious. We got a gourmet 4 course meal including a carrot soup, chicken main dish, a salad with fresh melon and strawberries, but we had yummy desserts too. The chef reminded Steven of the Soup Nazi from Saturday Night Live. He has many rules for his restaurant and lots of signs everywhere typed up about how to act while you are eating there. Here is a link to an article written about the restaurant.

We had a wonderful time visiting Chris and Christie. We are so lucky to have such great friends to show us around their new city! On Sunday morning, we headed out of Seattle on I-90 east headed through Washington. We stopped at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. We saw lots of petrified trees.

We also saw some native American carvings done in rock there too.

And then we high-tailed it back to the car when we saw this sign. Ha! Although, it was still winter and chilly there, so we didn't see any actual rattlesnakes, thank goodness.

We stopped for the night in Spokane, Washington and I spent the rest of the night doing some laundry! The next day, we kept on I-90 east as we went through Idaho and into Montana. We stopped in Coeur d'alene, Idaho and got some postcards and also saw a nice lake. I can imagine that it is bustling with lots of boats in the summer time as well as swimmers. We passed through Missoula, Montana and saw their football stadium and the campus of the University of Montana. We also passed through Bozeman, Montana, which is a small town that makes its living in the mining business. We drove around to try and see the deep, deep pit mine, however the observation deck was already closed for the day, so there wasn't much that we could see. :(

Also in Montana, we stopped at the Grant-Kohrs Ranch. This National Historic Site, details the ranch lifestyle that once was (and still is) the way of life in the American West. We learned the details of the ranch, and the park rangers at this site were very knowledgeable in showing us around. This large ranch was started by a Canadian fur trader named Johnny Grant and was expanded by a cattle rancher Conrad Kohrs. Grant moved to this area of Montana in the 1850's. At its peak, Kohrs owned 50,000 cattle and 10 million grazing acres. This was no small ranching operation! It is still a working cattle ranch today, although of a much smaller size- only 1600 acres.

The ranch house was very fancy inside, considering the time and the place. We also saw the barn!

Align Center
(There I am in a tee-pee!!!)

Another stop in Montana was the Little Bighorn Battlefield and National Monument. We learned about the Battle of the Little Bighorn (also known as Custer's Last Stand), the major fighters and we watched a movie about what happened here. Crazy Horse and his men badly beat Lieutenant Colonel Custer and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the US Army.

We saw the cemetery where all of the fallen soldiers and Native Americans were buried.

And we also saw George Armstrong Custer's gravestone.

After a busy day in Montana, we found a hotel in Billings, Montana and we rested up for the next day! The next day we went through Wyoming. There was much flat land and horses and cows there. In other words, lots of ranch land.

Then we entered South Dakota. We had high hopes for the most famous landmark of this state: Mt. Rushmore.

Here it is in all of it's glory. Looks really big right? Well, Steven and I were unimpressed with how small it actually was. Not all that great in our opinions. We were glad to see such a famous landmark, but probably would not want to make it a vacation destination or anything. Mt. Rushmore was carved into the granite mountainside by Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln starting 1927. The idea to carve into a mountain was suggested as a way to increase tourism to this region of the country. The original plan was to picture the presidents from head to waist, however since the project was federally funded, funding ran out around 1941.

Here we are in front of Mt. Rushmore.

After leaving Mt. Rushmore, we kept seeing signs advertising for "Wall Drug". The signs were funny, like "Free Coffee for seniors" "Free Ice Water" "Free Family Attraction" and "Where the Heck is Wall Drug?". I was excited because one of the signs advertised "Western Boots" and I really wanted to stop at this place and get some boots too. Anyway, by the time we arrived there, it was past 5pm, so it was already closed. BOO!

Something that was very nice in South Dakota was Badlands National Park. We arrived towards the end of the day, so we did not have too much time to explore before dark. Badlands are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rock and clay-rich soils have been extremely eroded by wind and rain leaving behind canyons, ravines and gullies. The colors often vary dramatically from black/blue to bright red. Also, lots of fossil hunting is done in this area, as much of the top soil has already been eroded away.

Although we did not find any fossils during our visit, we saw all of the different land formations in the park. It is so interesting how the land looks in this area!

We also saw some bighorn sheep!

and lots of interesting land formations.

After our visit to Badlands National Park, we continued on to Sioux Falls, South Dakota where we stayed the night. The next day, we took US 29 until we reached I-80 and took that road all the way to Des Moines, Iowa. We were just glad to be off of I-90, which we drove about 1500 miles on across the western United States.

While on US 29, we passed the Lewis and Clark trail. Where there once was a tree-lined trail is now an interstate system, getting us across the country quickly. We were excited to stop in Des Moines and visit some more friends for the night!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Long Drive

We have been in Alaska nearly two years, and I recently decided to start looking for a new job back down in the lower 48. And it so happens I was able to find one back in Atlanta, GA. Due to the distance, they gave me two full weeks to get down to Atlanta before I start so we decided to make the long drive down. We were originally going to leave on Monday March 7th, but packing took longer than expected (even with my parents help during their trip up for the Iditarod). So, on a frigid, sunny Tuesday we left with the Subaru packed to the brim, bikes on the roof rack, and towing a U-Haul with nearly everything we owned.

We drove slowly getting a feel for the trailer and headed off towards the Canadian border. Soon, we were turning towards Tok on some of the last remaining Alaska Highway we had not previously been on.

I have to imagine that the border between Alaska and the Yukon Territory is the least busy US border. We arrived at the US side just as the sun was setting, and stopped for pictures in between at all of the crossing signs.

After crossing through the Canadian side of the border, we then hit some of the worst stretch of "paved" road I have ever driven on. The 80 or so miles between the border and the town of Destruction Bay is notoriously bad. There are huge frost heaves and potholes that could swallow a tire. Since we arrived at night there was zero visibility which gave us even less time to brace for impact and wince, hoping my TV which is packed in the trailer didn't just crack.

We stopped for dinner (at Buckshot Betty's) in the first town we came to, Beaver Creek, and then pressed on as we still had much driving to do. One of the downsides of hauling the trailer is we average about 13-14 miles per gallon, meaning we have to stop at least every 180 miles or so for gas. Since the towns throughout northern Canada are about 100-150 miles apart (sorry 160-240 kilometers apart) we had to stop and gas up at just about every opportunity.

Around 11 pm I spotted some weird light in the sky, so I stopped to try and see what it was. Since we hadn't seen the northern lights yet, I was keeping an eagle eye out hoping we might see them before we ventured too far south. My parents had seen them on their trip to Fairbanks, and had told us how the scientists they ran into said that sometimes they appear white instead of brightly colored. That matched the description of what I was seeing on the northern horizon now, and sure enough when I took a picture with a long exposure they turned out a greenish color (#75 on the list).

We finally arrived in Whitehorse after 1 am and checked into our hotel. We made it over 700 miles on our first day! Not a bad start, but to get through Canada in 3 days as planned we were going to have to drive at least that far each of the next two days as well.

After a quick stop at the grocery store (and the local bookstore to buy a post card), we continued on our way the next morning. We had chosen to take the ALCAN Highway instead of the Cassiar, mostly because the towns are closer together on the older ALCAN and we needed all the fuel we could get.

The Yukon River also flows through Whitehorse and we crossed it just outside of town.

Also, on the second day of the trip we began seeing lots of wildlife. From caribou on the road...

To bison on the side of the road...

In total we saw 53 bison, 9 caribou, 3 moose, and 3 deer.

Stopping for gas every couple of hours helped break up the trip. And, it was an interesting experience in northern Canada. We bought fuel in liters, and paid an equivalent of over $6 a gallon at some stations. Many of the tanks were above ground and had to be "turned on" from inside the store or hotel that sold it. The pumps looked like ones most people in the US haven't seen since the 70s or 80s.

Later in the day we crossed through Watson Lake, Yukon and stopped to view the impressive Sign Post Forest.

Shortly after we crossed into British Columbia for the third and final time of the day.

We were making good time on Wednesday, but unfortunately this all changed after dark. It started to snow right as we began entering some steep mountain passes going through the Canadian Rockies. A short way up the first mountain we had to stop and help someone who had run off the road into a small ditch. We were able to help them, but as we got back moving it started to snow even harder.

Our options at that point were limited since we were in the middle of no where. We either had to turn around and head back to the last town we had come from or continue on to the next town. Since we were already miles from the previous town, and with hopes that the weather might improve, we pressed on. Unfortunately, the weather did not improve but we were able to slowly continue driving and after a couple of hours made it to Fort Nelson in Northern British Columbia.

It was only around 8 pm and we were still a couple of hundred miles from where we were planning on stopping that night, but we decided to get a hotel there due to the weather. Of course, as soon as we paid for our hotel room it stopped snowing.

Since we had an early night, we decided to get up early on Thursday to try and make up some time. The snow from the night before had already been plowed and we were able to make very good time. In the early afternoon we reached Dawson Creek, BC which is the starting point of the ALCAN our easternmost point in Canada, being just a few miles from Alberta.

After taking some pictures of the ceremonial markers we pressed on with the drive and continued making good time until a little after sunset. With a strong hinting of déjà vu, it again began to snow as we were approaching a series of mountain passes. Only this time the passes were steeper, the snow was coming down even harder, and there were more semis on the road.

Driving slowly, we were again able to make it to the next town where we decided to stop for the night - the small town of Quesnel. By this point we had given up hope of remaining on schedule.

Friday morning we woke early and continued the drive through the Canadian Rockies. We finally made it to Vancouver, just in time for Friday evening rush hour traffic. After meeting our friend Jenny for a brief dinner at the mall by Canada Place, where we had departed from on our Alaskan Cruise, we made the journey to the US Border.

While on a map Vancouver appears to be right next to the border, it sure feels a lot longer when you are making the actual drive. It took well over an hour from the time we left the mall until we made it to the border, waited in line with nearly a hundred other cars, and answered a number of very specific and sometimes weird questions from the agent.

Back in the United States we continued down to Mukilteo, Washington (just north of Seattle) and to the home of our friends Chris and Christie, who would kindly be playing host and tour guide during our time in Seattle.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Iditarod Weekend 2011

Before we knew that we would be moving on March 7th, Steven's parents, Mark and Renee, planned a visit up to Alaska to see the start of "The Last Great Race", the Iditarod. They arrived on Wednesday night and headed out Thursday morning to Fairbanks to see the sculptors compete in the World Ice Art Championships. They told us that they experienced some real Alaskan temperatures for that area, -25 degrees! they returned Friday afternoon all bundled up in many layers, but having had a great time!

On Friday night, while I was getting the winter studded tires off of my car, everyone else got to go to the Clarion Suites for a "question-and-answer", "meet the mushers" event featuring two married mushers from the Fairbanks area, Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore. They are veteran Iditarod mushers and everyone learned a lot about the race. Their kennel's blog can be found here: SP Kennels. Check it out! They always have great videos and entries about the sport and their beloved dogs! After the event, we all headed out to eat at one of our all-time favorite restaurants, Simon and Seaforts.

After dinner, everyone had an early bedtime as we had lots that we wanted to see and do on Saturday. On Saturday morning, we headed out the go watch the ceremonial start of the Iditarod in downtown Anchorage. We actually went about 14 blocks from the actual starting line, as it was less crowded and we didn't have to fight for a seeing position. After watching and taking pictures, we went to the Peanut Farm for some Ice Bowling. As you might remember, Steven and I did this last year, but the Connors' had yet to experience this uniquely Alaskan winter sport. After Ice Bowling, we all headed back to the condo to get some packing done. The boys went to pick up the U-haul and also get a special box for the TV and us girls worked on getting the condo packed and cleaned. It was so overwhelming and it was great to have two extra people to help us!

After spending the afternoon packing, we headed out after dark to Talkeetna, AK where we had reserved a spot in the B&B for the night. We stayed at the Meandering Moose. It was really nice! We stayed inside the main house although they also have numerous cabins there that can also be rented out. On Sunday morning, we went out for a 2-hour snow machining trail ride, one of the last things that we wanted to do while in Alaska (#42 on the list). The views of Denali were amazing as we were lucky to experience clear, blue skies and lots of sunshine. We stayed pretty warm, although my toes were cold inside my boots!

After going snow machining, we headed back down to Willow, Alaska to watch the official Iditarod start. This was nice and I always prefer the Willow restart rather than the ceremonial start in Anchorage. We all bought some souvenirs and then headed back to the car. Unfortunately, Alaskans do not plan for events with lots of traffic. When leaving the parking lot, instead of letting us go south back through Wasilla to Anchorage, we had to go north on a back road and then south again. We were stuck in traffic for over an hour going the wrong direction! After returning to Anchorage, we had lots to do to get ready to move! Thank goodness that Steven's parents were there to help us! We had lots of cleaning to do and finishing up the packing.

We had such a great last weekend in Alaska!!! Just thinking back now, I sure do miss the state!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

List Status

2010 is now over, so I though we should update how we are progressing with your list. Of the original 86 items we have completed 60 items and parts of 2 others. We also added and completed 35 new items to the list.

The two items which we have attempted to complete, but have not been successful so far are viewing the northern lights and the bore tide. We hope to see the northern lights soon and also are working on possibly snow machining and ice fishing.

Of the remaining 24 items, the "best" and most unique items remaining are visiting the 3 National Parks (Katmai, Lake Clark, and Kobuk Valley) as well as visiting the Seward Peninsula in Northwest Alaska. All of those items are only accessible by boat or plane making them more expensive to visit.

Stay tuned as we continue to explore the vast and rugged state of Alaska!