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cruisinskier

Alaska 2019 photo review

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Hi all!

 

First, thanks to all those who helped with our cruise planning!   It all certainly helped as there are many options in Alaska.

 

I was going to do a normal trip review however I think Alaska is different.  Regardless of which cruise line you visit on, the main reason you go to Alaska is for Alaska!  And the scenery and wildlife did not disappoint!  So maybe the best way to pay it forward is via a photo review of what we did and where we went on our trip.....

 

Our basic outline of plans were as follows:

  • May 18 - Fly Toronto to Alaska - overnight Anchorage 
  • May 19-20 - Talkeetna
  • May 21-24 - Seward
  • May 24 - June 4 cruise on Azamara Quest
  • June 4 - fly Vancouver to Toronto

 

We struggled with the decision to not go right into Denali National Park as we knew the road was only going to be partially open this early in the season.   So instead we did a flight tour from Talkeetna with a glacier landing....and it was a great decision!   We also did a couple of tours from Seward into Kenai Fjords National Park.   Overall we were very happy with the decisions we made and we also had a bit of down time in Seward before a port intensive cruise. 

 

Our cruise itinerary was as follows and we will share photos from each of these ports

 

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Sunday May 19 - Anchorage to Talkeetna

 

After an uneventful flight and a night in Anchorage, we were off.   We had our rental car which we had picked up from Avis at the airport in Anchorage.   Today's destination was Talkeetna, with a stop in Wasilla at the Iditarod Headquarters.

 

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We met some of the dogs who had ran in the Iditarod.   And we met musher Raymie Redington who competed in the race 11 times.   And whose father, Joe Redington, was the driving force behind establishing the Iditadrod race (see statue in last post).   We also met some of the pups who will be future Iditarod stars.... 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi all!  Thanks for following along!  I probably should take the time to properly introduce us.   We are Jerry & Patti, a mid-50's couple from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  This was our 14th cruise, our first with Azamara, and our first time to Alaska which has been on our long bucket list for many years.   Our best friends from just north of Toronto were also along with us on this trip.

 

OK, so back to the review....

 

We didn't really know what to expect at the Iditarod Headquarters.   We had a great discussion with Raymie Redington and we did decide that for $10 pp we would do the short but fun dog run.   

 

This is what I think of when I hear Iditarod however today most sleds are made of titanium or other light metals

 

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This is the cart we were pulled in:  

 

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And here is a link to the video showing our actual ride!

 

Edited by cruisinskier

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Inside the Iditarod Headquarters, they had lots of detailed information, many photos, trophies, a video, and two ladies with extensive knowledge.   Here is just a sampling....

 

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For a place that we stopped at without major expectations, we enjoyed our time here and would recommend a stop to anyone driving past.

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It was time to continue our drive towards Talkeetna.  It was a nice clear day and perfect for driving.   So far our weather had been warmer than home!

 

This was the view from one of the overlooks just outside Talkeetna.......

 

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21 hours ago, gottagoacruzn said:

Impressive photos!!! Glad you had a great time.

Thanks!  I would gladly go to Alaska again in a second!

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We arrived in Talkeetna around 1:30 and were going to look for food.   However it was a very sunny, clear day and the forecast for the next day was calling for clouds and rain.   So instead  of heading straight to a restaurant we decided to stop by the office of Talkeetna Air Taxi first.   We had the tour booked with them for the next day but wanted to ask if we could go today instead given the great weather.   About 30 minutes later, still hungry, we were headed for takeoff.......

 

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The next 2 hours were amazing and definitely one of the highlights of our 17 day trip....and we were only on day 2!  Words, and even the photos, do not do justice to the scenery that is Denali National Park......

 

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Posted (edited)

And here is another video that better captures the scenery of our flight.....sorry for camera not being full screen but with the size of the windows this angle worked much better.....

 

 

Edited by cruisinskier

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Posted (edited)

After about 45 minutes in the air, it was time to descend and land on the Ruth Glacier.  There is nothing like being the only ones on a glacier surrounded by mountains.   You feel isolated and yet it is magical......

 

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I could go on and on with photos but lets just say that the smiles on all of our faces in that last photo sums up the experience.....if you ever get the chance, do it!   It is not cheap and worth every penny!!  And yes that is Mount Denali behind us while we are on a glacier at 7,000 ft.

Edited by cruisinskier

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While we were on the glacier another plane landed briefly and took off again.....here is their takeoff.....

 

 

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After almost half an hour on the glacier, which seemed much shorter and way to quick, we were back in the air and continuing on with our scenic flight!

 

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31 minutes ago, cruisinskier said:

I could go on and on with photos but lets just say that the smiles on all of our faces in that last photo sums up the experience.....if you ever get the chance, do it!   It is not cheap and worth every penny!!  And yes that is Mount Denali behind us while we are on a glacier at 7,000 ft.

 

Yes indeed, lots of smiles in these photos !  

You were very wise to take advantage of the good weather and take the flight.  Great photos ! Thx for sharing.

 

p.s.  I grew up in Orillia

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, mapleleaves said:

 

Yes indeed, lots of smiles in these photos !  

You were very wise to take advantage of the good weather and take the flight.  Great photos ! Thx for sharing.

 

p.s.  I grew up in Orillia

 

Thanks for the note and yes we figured if we could go in good weather it made sense to just do it!  FYI, Both of my parents are from Orillia.....I know it very well!

Edited by cruisinskier

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I will leave you with one final panoramic photo of our stop on the glacier.....

 

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After a couple of hours, we were back at the airport having experienced one of the best things I have ever done.....and this was only our first full day in Alaska!   

 

We headed into town and had a very late lunch.  And a drink to celebrate our flight!

 

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Think maybe next yr, will be goin to Alaska, already had a week's vacation last month, so...

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After lunch, now almost early evening, we checked into our lodging at Denali Fireside Cabins for the next 2 nights.   Our room was large with 2 queen beds, very clean, and perfect for what we needed.......

 

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