With three weeks off work over Christmas and New Years, we were quick to make plans – quick plans! Over the course of three weeks we celebrated Christmas with my family, Norwegian Style. We then proceeded to hop over the pond to Canada in time for some Canadian Christmas cheers and celebrations before venturing on to some fun in the sun and reunion with friends in El Salvador.
“Let’s catch that ferry!”
We had decided that we wanted to make it to Haines in order see the inside passage of Alaska from a boat. The ferries only leave once a week. That meant one serious day of driving. We are talking about 1250 km of driving in one long day. As always, we were keen and optimistic!
On our way from Seward to Haines, we spent the last night on the Kenai Peninsula in Bird Creek about half an hour outside of Anchorage. B-Rent had told us about his friend, Peter, on several occasions and we initially stopped by to chat and have a look at his pottery. Peter is an incredible potter and we ended up buying two wonderful mugs, that will be our souvenirs and memory keepers from Alaska.
The Seward Highway took us to Seward, the end of the road on the Kenai Peninsula. Seward is a major fishing town bringing in up to 70 million dollars worth of fish a year. That is a lot of fish! It is located at the end of Resurrection Bay, where the surroundings are absolutely stunning. The sea and the mountains join forces for an unbeatable combination! For this reason, the town is also a major tourist hub. People often come with cruise ships in the summer and there are boat trips offered to the fjords and glaciers in the area. This is where Captain B-Rent comes in.
The next stop on our Great Alaskan Adventure was a trip to a real, legitimate, no nonsense back country lodge. The lodge is located on Skilak Lake on the Kenai Peninsula and is surrounded by one million acres of designated wilderness! It is only accessible by boat and was built in the 1930’s as a hunting lodge. Today, it serves as a wonder-destination for people who want to experience true Alaskan beauty and wilderness. The season has not yet started, but knowing Brent, we were let into this little piece of paradise pre-season.
Our first destination in Alaska was Cooper Landing. It is a small place 160 km South of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. Cooper Landing has 289 registered residents (a number that explodes in the summer!) and is set in beautiful Alaskan nature at the confluence of the Kenai Lake and Kenai River. The drive from Anchorage is beautiful and the weather was still on our side.
The further North we were getting, the colder the nights were getting. When waking up, it did not seem tempting to cook up breakfast and coffee, so instead we drove on until we found it.
Our drive to Alaska was beautiful and we were lucky enough to see plenty of wildlife. Check out the ones we were able to snag photos of!
In one day, one can travel between climates and landscapes as different as apples and oranges. We started out in crispy and beautiful Rocky Mountain weather. It had stopped snowing, which allowed us to see our surroundings! Highway I-70 took us West across the mountain range. We had heard that Aspen was nice this time of year, but decided it was too far out of our way to justify the detour.