Yukon and Alaska 2016 travel blog

Exit Glacier Seward

Grizzly in Alaska Conservation Centre

Wolf in Alaska Conservation Centre

Fiord in Seward

Entrance to Denali

Clear View of Denali

Summary of the last couple of days

Our travels the last week have taken us from the Kenai Peninsula in the south to Denali and Fairbanks in the center of Alaska. While the weather has not been the best for seeing magnificent fiords and mountains it has been clear enough at times to see some of it. From Seward on Resurrection Bay to Denali (Mt McKinley) both areas of Alaska have interesting histories. Seward was almost wiped out in the 1964 earthquake and had its shoreline and wildlife almost destroyed by the Exxon Valdez and has rebuilt itself to focus on the environment. It is also the original start of the Iditarod Race. Denali is mired in controversy about falsely documented ascents of the peak and controversy around the recognition of the indigenous name of Mt. McKinley. Both areas are highly valued and protected now. In Seward we saw the receding Exit Glacier which we hiked to in the pouring rain. Our pictures will not do it justice I’m afraid. We visited the Alaska Sea Life Centre which gave us a close up look at lots of the local marine life including Puffins and Sea Lions. Driving from there to Denali we noted that almost every road sign in Alaska has at least one bullet hole. On our second day in Denali National Park we were fortunate enough to have a clear cool day and saw the peak from a considerable distance. Not completely cloudless but enough that when we drove through the park to mile 15 (as far as you are allowed to go in private transportation) we saw the top of Denali clearly. Apparently that almost never happens in the summer months. Within half an hour it was shroud again in cloud. If we had waited half an hour either way we would have missed seeing it! The rest of our drive to Fairbanks was easy. The Parks Hwy was in great shape and there was virtually no traffic going north until we got closer to the city. This is the most northerly stop on our journey and one we will never forget. It will be our longest day on the trip with sunrise at 4:36 am and sun set at 11:20 pm. It’s something that you get used to gradually as you travel north so not as big an adjustment as I thought it would be. I often wake up at 3:00 am and it is light outside and just gets lighter as the day goes on. It doesn’t seem to affect our sleep at all!

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