I’ve always said that I think Colorado is the prettiest state. That was until I went to Alaska. Now I say Colorado is the second prettiest state.
When David and I found out we’d be traveling to Alaska for Amy and Eric’s wedding, we were thrilled. Overjoyed. Beyond happy (and also pretty humbled by such an incredible blessing!). Visiting Alaska has been something I’ve dreamed about for a long time and I’m so excited that I got the opportunity to go. Since July is the height of wedding season, I knew we couldn’t just pack up and leave for 3 weeks. I had a wedding before we left and one right after we got back, so David and I had 6 days to see as much of Alaska as we could. I knew there was no way we could see it all, or even a tiny portion of it, but we gave it our very best effort.
With long flights, lots of driving and not much sleep, we crammed quite a bit into our visit to Alaska! Since the wedding we were photographing was in Girdwood (about an hour from Anchorage), we decided to make that our “home base” and spent the majority of our time there. We started out fly fishing on the Kenai River, which was an incredible way to see some of Alaska’s hidden beauty. We also did a cruise in Resurrection Bay, off the coast of Seward, AK which was amazing. We saw humpback whales, sea lions, puffins and a lot of beautiful scenery! Then we packed up and headed up to Denali National Park.
I didn’t have high hopes for Denali because everyone I’ve talked to said the weather is usually pretty bad, that you don’t get to see much other than rain and clouds. But we really lucked out! We had clear blue skies, warm temperatures and some great views of “The Mountain” (McKinley). McKinley is so massive that it has its own weather system. So even if it’s nice in the Park, McKinley can be totally hidden by clouds (only 30% of visitors actually get to see it!), so we were super excited that we caught a glimpse!
I still really don’t have words for Alaska. It’s so breathtaking. So beyond anything I’ve ever seen, that it really can’t be summed up, or even really captured in pictures. The vastness of the land, the height of the mountains, the clarity of the glacial water….it’s all just more than I can describe. But I’m grateful I got to see it and grateful the love of my life was by my side. This truly was the trip of a lifetime.
A few favorites from our trip….
If you look closely, the edge of the sign has nails sticking out of it. Apparently, the grizzly bears like to come and chew on the signs in Denali and this is the Park’s way of deterring it. I found it rather hilarious that the sign has still be chewed on. I guess Grizzlies eat nails for breakfast.