A Post in Which I Make Vast Generalizations About How Awesome Alaska Is

by Heidi Obermeyer

I have been way behind on talking all about my trip to Alaska. Basically it was everything one expects of Alaska- adventure. Moose. Hiking. The Great Outdoors. And reindeer dogs. Me oh my the reindeer dogs!

Ali has been from Alaska for as long as I can remember. Okay, maybe that’s wrong. I think what I mean to say is that Ali’s Alaska-ness has been a highlight of our friendship since the very beginning. In fact, I’m pretty sure the very first thing I asked her when we met on our very first day of college was “So what’s the deal with Sarah Palin?” Don’t judge me. It was 2008. Sarah was hot back then. Some would argue she still is. Anyway.

Ali and I decided it was high time I high-tailed it to Alaska to check out the last frontier. And guys, I’m not sure if you realized this from watching the Proposal, but Alaska is AMAZING. It’s truly one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever been. One secret obscure fact about me is that I am totally into adventure books. I was a big fort builder as a child. I also carved sticks into sharp points with pocket knives. Yeah, you heard me right! I’m a tried-and-true amatur whittler! (It was Northern Colorado okay? Cut me some slack.)

Alaska fulfills all of my adventure-y expansive-wilderness longings. It’s everything I’m looking for in a last frontier. It’s huge, it has tons of cool and exotic (to me) wildlife, there’s pretty much nobody living up there (sorry Alaskans- I mean it as a compliment! You have room to DO STUFF! That’s awesome!) and the best part is, everyone who is there is totally into something or other that’s super outdoorsy.

It stayed light out for so long while I was in Anchorage, and although I think it hits peak daylight hours up there sometime in June (Alaskans, fact-check me as you please here!), it was light out until about 10 p.m. in early August. It’s quite disorienting- this was the first time I had ever been so far North, and it’s somewhat shocking to realize that when you start to feel tired and it’s dark that it could be midnight already!

Half of these pictures are from a hike we did called on the Winner Creek Trail in Alyeska, which was in a type of Alaskan rainforest that I was unfamiliar with but that was awesome. We tried to hike to the handcar, where you get to tow yourself across a river with some ropes and a little bucket for humans all Indiana-Jones-style, but it was sadly out of order when we arrived. Luckily we had brought along a super tasty sweet bun from The Bake Shop in Girdwood as our hiking snack, which was a delicious way to dull our disappointment.

On our way home, we continued to keep an eye out for Belugas in the sound (I’m fairly sure it was a sound… maybe it was a bay? What does one call a very long bay?), even stopping at Beluga point, which in our situation was sadly inaccurately named. No beluga sightings this trip, but we did enjoy leaning into the extremely strong wind that came up off the water. We stopped again at the boardwalk at Potter’s Marsh to see if there were any moose out and about (there weren’t, but I did see a few later on the side of the road on our way to the grocery store) where we checked out the marshes and saw a couple of bald eagles. I wish I had packed binoculars- they would have been super useful since all these creatures are usually still pretty far away. Also, Ali doesn’t like bald eagles because they’re scavengers. Is this a feeling common to Alaskans or is she just weird?

Anyway, that’s the first chunk of pictures from my trip. Have you seen belugas near Anchorage before? I feel like I have to go back now since I didn’t get any whale sitings in! Happy Labor Day!