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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Denali National Park Alaska

Dear Family and Friends,

We spent a couple of days at Denali National Park in Alaska.  The weather was a low overcast...but again I understand this is common.

We went on a bus tour of the park.  Even with the low clouds I was able to get a few good pictures.

As the day went on the weather got a little better.

Here is Chuck doing his caribou immitation.

During the time we were at Denali we never saw Mt. McKinley.  Not even a glimpse.

When we were on our bus ride from Denli to Seward, Alaska to board the cruise ship, the driver pulled the bus over and stopped.  What do you know, we were able to see Mt. McKinley in all her glory.

We were not skunked after all.

Next time I will share some of our cruise adventure.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Train Ride to Denali National Park

Dear Family and Friends,

The cruise that Norman and Nancy booked was a land and sea cruise.  The first few days (the land portion) included a train ride from Anchorage to Denali National Park.

We were picked up at our hotel in Anchorage and transported to the train station where we got on beautiful observation cars for our all day ride to Denali.

Here are some pictures.

This is my brother Norman, wearing his Texas shirt and Nancy, wearing the sweet smile.  It was good to be with them.

As you can see from the pictures the observation car was roomy and perfect for viewing the scenery.

The weather was a low overcast so the pictures are not a good as they would be on a clear sunny day.  As I understand, it is more common for the weather to be like this in Alaska than sunny.

We really didn't mind the is just part of the Alaska experience.  The scenery was beautiful anyway.

In my next post I will share with you about Denali National Park.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Way Up North...

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been about a month since I posted.  The last three weeks we were way up Alaska.

In February or March my brother and sister-in-law invited us to join them (in June) on a cruise in Alaska.  We jumped at the chance and set up our air flights and cruise bookings.

Chuck and I celebrated our 30th anniversary at about 35,000 ft in the air as we were flying from Atlanta to Anchorage on June 8.

Here is a picture I took out the airplane window as we were getting near Anchorage.

and another as we were getting lower.

We landed in Anchorage between 6 and 7 pm.  The sun was shinning brightly. We checked into our hotel and went out for an anniversary celebration dinner of king crab about 9 pm and the sun was shinning brightly.

We finally settled down in our hotel room about 11 pm and the sun was shinning brightly.  Thank goodness for black out drapes.

The next day (our first full day in Alaska) we hung out and toured Anchorage. We enjoyed more fresh seafood, shopped, went to a show about Aurora Borealis (the northern lights.)  Unfortunate for us, summer time is not the time to witness this spectacular event in Alaska.  It doesn't get dark and they are not visable. Looking at the fabulous pictures makes one at least speculate returning in the dead of winter to witness them.

For our second day Chuck had booked us a train ride to Whittier, Alaska.  From there we took a cruise on the Prince William Sound to see glaciers.  We took a tour called 26 Glacier Cruise.  It is a one day cruise and, if the weather is good, you see up to 26 glaciers.

I snapped this picture out the window of the train on our way to Whittier.

Here is Chuck, reading his kindle, on our three hour trip.  He reminded me of an Amish man.  You can bet he was the only passenger on the train wearing a panama hat.

When we got to Whittier, we stepped off the train and boarded the boat.  As you can see it is not a huge boat.  It held about 50 passengers.

Also, as you can see, the day was overcast with low clouds.  I was afraid we were going to get skunked.

As we sailed along the weather began to improve.  Here is a glacier with the clouds beginning to lift off of it.

Because the boat is not huge, we were able to get up close and personal with some of the glaciers.

The ice is actually this blue.  The reason we were told is that the ice is so dense. Over hundreds, maybe thousands of years, snow falls and compresses.  Over time all the air bubbles are squeezed out of the ice.  There are no bubbles to interfere with the passage of light.  The absorption of light at the red end of the color spectrum is six times higher than the blue end.  This is what causes the glaciers to be a beautiful blue.

The day trip was fabulous and the scenery was breath taking.

After our three hour train ride back to Anchorage it was about 10pm when we returned.  We loaded up our luggage and went to the hotel where our cruise tour would begin.

By the way, this view is out of our hotel window in Anchorage around midnight.

Once again, we were glad to have black out drapes.

The next morning we met up with Norman and Nancy to begin our adventure.  I will share about that in the next post.