Traveling to Alaska was one of our most memorable trips ever!
What if you had the chance to travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go? I don't know about you, but the US and British Columbia have some amazing places to explore, and Alaska was on our bucket list. There are still many more travel destinations on that list, but in 2010 by God's grace, we finally were able to scratch that one off. We took that Alaska vacation that we had always dreamed of.
On that bright sunny June day we packed up the Southwind, said a prayer and headed towards the wild frontier, and what an awesome trip it was. This was one of the most enjoyable and exciting trips we have ever taken, and we highly recommend it to everyone. If you are looking for great photography opportunities and inspiration, or maybe just getting back in tune with nature, then Alaska is the place.
In this article I will attempt to show you the route we traveled on Google maps, so you can follow along our trail. I have also included a slide show of our Alaska photography that is the best way to tell the true story of this amazing trip. Then there are some travel tips for you if you do decide to take the RV, for instance using Microsoft Streets and Maps as our navigation source on our computer. It was a God send on this trip, because it helped us get out of some very tight spots and highways. Our trip was a month long and just over 6,600 miles - round trip. That was a lot of fuel and in our RV at 8 miles per gallon, with gas prices almost $4 a gallon, well you can do the math. Although it was less expensive than if we had chosen to take our car and stay in motels and dined out for each meal. That was the reason we chose an RV, because we have our own bed to sleep in every night and we are able to cook our own meals. Park fees are very reasonable between $30 and $40 a night, depending on whether you have any views of a river, lake or beach then they will be slightly higher.
So come along with us, grab your favorite cup of Java or tea, and enjoy our Alaska Adventure!
Kenai Peninsula Sunrise
Highlights of the trip - The Kenai Peninsula and Seward
My favorite part of the trip was getting up at sunrise 4:00 in the morning one beautiful day in the Kenai Peninsula and venturing out on our jeep to get some photographs of wildlife. We passed this foggy valley and in the distance we could see the sun coming up, it was so red and beautiful (as seen in the first photo). Later we drove a little ways down the road and captured a momma moose and her calf grazing in the grass, it just doesn't get any better than this folks.
While still in Kenai on the very next day we drove along the beach area and watched while hundreds of fishermen lined up all along the coastline, what a spectacular sight that was. We happened to be there during the "hottest" fishing months of the year usually May - July. Then along the Kenai River we captured the photograph below of a few fishermen fishing the river, it was stunning to watch. Kenai City is a very old town and has so much history. We also visited the Russian Orthodox Church which was in the middle of town, it was a small quaint little church with a white picket fence with so much architecture and beauty.
When we visited Steward, which was the furthest City we traveled to, we took a chartered boat out in Prince William Sound. On this boat adventure we experienced whale, otters and beautiful glaciers, it was a gorgeous sunny day - still a bit chilly out but nevertheless stunning. When we got back we had lunch at a local pub right at the marina and had the best "halibut cheeks" and chips - ever! It was an awesome day. Some of the photos of Seward and our boat trip are in the video we created featured below!
Fishermen lined up at Kenai River
This was an amazing sight ot see, there were so many fishermen lined up at the river all hoping to catch the big one!
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Black Bear alongside the road
We saw a few black bear grazing along side the road while in Alaska, as well as moose, buffalo and eagles, all sight for soar eyes!
The small town of Teslin
There is a small town of Teslin in the Yukon Territory that you will pass if you are headed on your travels to Alaska. We had the pleasure of visiting this little town and of course just had to stop in and see the "Tinglit Intrepret Center" and museum. I personally am very interested in this tribe of First Nation's people, because I painted a watercolor of a young Tinglit Native American girl a few years ago. So to me this was so exciting to finally experience and see where she grew up and lived. The museum was full of old photos and their history of the hard lives they experienced back in the days in the Yukon Territory, it was so educational and inspiring. The photo of my watercolor painting of the young girl is featured below.
Tinglit Young Native Girl
This is my watercolor painting of a girl I saw in a magazine once. She is from the tribe of the Tinglit Natives in the Yukon Territory. It was such a pleasure to visit her town and the museum while we were on our trip.
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Another exciting town we wanted to explore further was Whitehorse. While we were there, we stayed at Hi Country RV park and had a blast. We caught a glimpse of some beautiful eagles and other wildlife, just from driving around in the jeep. We took a drive along the windy road up to the bridge on the Yukon River, what a beautiful river with emerald green color water, it was simply stunning. We also were able to visit a wild animal park and saw moose, deer, elk, fox and mountain goats. It was about a six mile walk and it was a gorgeous day to do it in. We took a picnic lunch with us, so halfway during our walk we stopped and had a picnic. This was so fun and comes highly recommended when stopping at Whitehorse. Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon Territory and the town is right on the river. Of course there are other very exciting things to do along the Yukon river right through the middle of town, you can take a train that travels all along the river edge, and also visit the SS Klondike ship, which is docked near town. They have a great downtown area with lots of shopping and restaurants. Great stay at Whitehorse.
Eagle standing watch over Whitehorse
This bald eagle was a top of a tree watching over the town Whitehorse, so very beautiful.
Alaska Adventure in Photographs
Enjoy this beautiful slideshow of some amazing scenery captured in British Columbia, Yukon Territory and Alaska, 2010
Places we visited on our Alaska Adventure
These are just a few of the places we had the priviledged of visiting on the trip. We only had a month to travel in, if it had been up to me we would have stayed a year!
Useful tips when traveling to Alaska in your RV
- What kept our trip very enjoyable and without stress, at least heavy stress was having our laptop right in front of me. We used Microsoft streets and maps with a GPS system, the GPS costs about a $100 bucks and so well worth it. It plugs into the laptop with a USB chord and will guide you on your trip. This is a great way to always know exactly what is up ahead. When traveling in a Class "A" vehicle such as ours and towing a Jeep, it's imperative you do not ever get into a tight situation because backing out is a pain. Well you can, but it means unhooking the Jeep and backing out then re-hooking the Jeep, we try to avoid this as much as possible. With the GPS you can zoom into any area and intersection to see what is up ahead, plus you an get the upcoming rest stops, restaurants and RV parks. You can even find points of interest, parks, shopping or whatever else you may need on the trip. This GPS system made our trip go smoothy and it is a must have for an RV.
- The other tip for traveling to Alaska if you are a TV watcher is, if you are going to take your Dish or Direct TV box and satellite on our RV, make sure you have the right satellite. I guess in Alaska because of where it's located the round satellites do not work, you need the oblong one, wish we would have known this before we left. This has to do with the curvature of the earth and being closer to the equator. I wish Direct TV would have told us this, we found out later unfortunately.
- The other very important tip is to always take "bear spray"or "wasp spray" when taking walks along the forest areas, because as we found out first hand a bear or other wild animal can be at any turn.
- Always take your camera - in British Columbia, The Yukon Territory and Alaska almost every where you turn there will be a wildlife photo opportunity just waiting to happen.
- The other thing to remember is that when you are traveling in British Columbia as well as the Yukon Territory it is in kilometers and not miles - 1 kilometer equals .621 mile!
- We did have an encounter of the "bear" kind as we walked along a walking trail by the salmon river one day while at an RV park. It was a small bear and it came up behind us but we left the wasp spray in the RV - I did have my camera but I was so scared that I couldn't even grab it to take the photo, just when I did the bear ran up the tree and hung on for dear life - poor little thing, he was more scared of us than we were of him!
So thank you for reading my article of our travels to the beautiful state of Alaska. I do hope that you found it helpful in deciding if this is where you would like to take your next vacation holiday. Please do leave me a word or two, and if you do get to experience Alaska, I would love to hear all about it.