Tags: alaska

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Alasgone

This is the second briefest visit I’ve ever paid to Seattle. I arrived last night and I’ll be leaving in just a couple of hours to head for home.

The briefest visit I’ve ever paid to Seattle was just over a week ago. That lasted just long enough for me to grab a few hour’s sleep in a hotel near the airport — in room 404, no less — before heading north to Anchorage, Alaska.

In the following week I saw plenty of sights. I certainly had no lack of daylight in which to see them. With just a few weeks to go until the Summer solstice, night time doesn’t last very long.

I spent three days on The Spirit of Columbia cruising around the glaciers of Prince William Sound and the rest of the time was divided between Anchorage, Talkeetna and Denali National Park.

The three-day cruise offered up plenty of wildlife sightings: one bear, a drove of mountain goats, a bevy of otters, a bob of seals, a convocation of eagles and a gam of whales. The sight of a young humpback whale lunge-feeding near the shoreline was eclipsed only by the unusual sight—to my eyes, at least—of an eagle swimming. I thought that maybe the eagle was in distress but no, apparently when an eagle catches a really big fish, it will try to swim to the shore with it rather than let the prize go.

The landscape was, needless to say, spectacular. I took plenty of pictures but the only ones that really get the scale across are the panoramas I stiched together (Photoshop CS3 makes this a breeze using FileAutomatePhotomerge).

Peruse these at full size to get all the detail. I’m particularly fond of the panoramas created from pictures taken on a crisp clear day atop a glacier at Denali after an exhilarating helicopter ride.

  • Water
  • Clear
  • Ice ahead
  • Glacier
  • Snowy landscape
  • Helicopter on ice
  • Glacier landing

Icebound

Three years ago, Jessica and I went on a cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage. Now we’re going back. This time we’re going to Prince William Sound to see some glaciers …y’know, before they’re all gone.

I’ll be hastening the glacial melting by flying across the Atlantic to Seattle before heading onto Anchorage to start the four-day excursion out on the water. After that, the plan is to spend a little time in Denali.

I expect to be completely incommunicado the whole time, barring the occasional Twitter update. If you send me any email over the next week or so, don’t expect a response. Then again, that’s true anyway whether I’m traveling or not.