This year we have planned a long trip beginning with a land/cruise tour with Holland American to Alaska and the Yukon, then when we arrive back in Vancouver, we'll pick up a hire car and be on our own until we reach Edmonton. From there we'll travel by train across central Canada to Toronto before picking up another hire car to explore the eastern side of the country. We will be away for about two and a half months, so expect to have some adventures along the way.
It was a long flight from Melbourne to Vancouver, Canada and then on to Anchorage, Alaska yesterday. Curious that it only took half an hour - well, we wish! Crossing the International Date Line meant we arrived on the same day we left - but once we got to Anchorage, we had been travelling for just on 24 hours. Very tired, but after a quick nap stretched out in the hotel, we were ready for a bit of a walk around and a late snack. This being summertime, the days are extremely long this far north. Even at 11pm it was quite light and photos could be taken.
Today - feeling much better we had a good breakfast and a long walk
around the city. Visited the Ulu factory where they make the Alaskan Ulu knife. It was the Eskimos' main cutting tool and was originally made from flat, thin, rocks, slate, or even jade. Handles were fashioned out of wood, ivory, or bone and often decorated with distinctive markings of the craftsman. Some have been found that are over 3000 years old.
Continued our walk around and noticed that although Alaskans have a short summer, they make the most of their gardens with very bright flower plantings. Red, purple, yellow and orange flowers all growing vividly together. One I particularly liked (although not bright) was a huge sculpture of a whale diving into two blooming, fragrant white lilac trees. Loved it.
Back at the hotel, we met Dana, our journey host for the Holland America tour we are taking to begin our trip. Tomorrow we travel 8 hours by train to Denali National Park and we'll be there for 3 nights. The highest mountain in the USA is Mt McKinlay and most majestic it looks from photos we've seen. However we've been informed that because it creates its own climate, it is mostly misted over and only a third of visitors get to see it. Here's hoping we'll be there at the right time.