With spring on the horizon, a good number of places you’d never visit in winter are finally starting to thaw. Of these, we can think of a few that outdoorsmen consider paradise -- Mongolia, Iceland, and the rivers by Hudson Bay, for instance -- but none have quite the allure of America’s own Alaska. The frozen antithesis to Hawaii is brutal around January, but a couple of months later it’s nothing short of amazing. Just ask our Traveler of the Week.
For Ken, the trip up the Seward Highway is long and arduous -- not because the trip itself is difficult, but because he had to stop every few miles to take a picture. “The first day was wasted on the drive out there,” he writes. “I say that jokingly because although it is only 40 miles from Anchorage, it took me nearly three hours - not because of road conditions or weather, but because of the views. I stopped at nearly every parking spot along the way, and came out with some amazing pictures and video to show for it.” The journey took so long that he missed a chance to go snowboarding: “Once I arrived at Alyeska, it was a bit too late to get some snowboarding in, so I just took the tram to the top, and continued to have a nice romantic day with my Canon.”
In Anchorage, he saw an event that few people have ever heard of: the ceremonial Running of the Reindeer. He writes: “The runs goes for about three city blocks, and there are no official winners. Most people dress up in crazy outfits, from simply wearing nothing but underwear, to those in elaborate Halloween-type costumes. There are three heats: one is for the women, one for the men, and the last is coed. There is really no organization, except they tell you to start, you run, and you try not to get run over by a reindeer.”
For a taste of the Great White North, Ken’s journal is all you need. Go check it out.
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Posted by tdbeckwith (Thomas Beckwith)