Journey To The Last Frontier #Alaska (Part #2)

Updated: Jan 28

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This is part 2 of my first blog about visiting Alaska for the first time and if you haven't read the first entry please go to the link below to check it out!

Now, let's pick up where we left off and let me tell you, there was so much more we saw and experienced on that first trip that I couldn't cover it all in one blog post.

On this day we got up super early (still somewhat jet lagged) and headed out to priority numero UNO -- Coffee!

Remember those Coffee trucks I told you about? We stopped by Caffé D'arte Alaska and it most certainly set the tone for the rest of the day:

While on our coffee rush we were more than ready for Denali National Park and how incredible it was to drive through just a small portion of it with the hopes of seeing a bear with its cubs or maybe a moose or two roaming around the incredible scenery we couldn't keep our eyes off of. If you don't know much about Denali just know this is the biggest mountain in North America and the park itself is 6 million acres big.


We didn't see any bears but we did see a lot of Moose just minding their own business eating what they could find before winter brought them down from the mountains and into some of the cities.

(I'll cover that in my next post!)

Denali National Park Adventure Hike Awaits Wild Animals Whales Seals Hiking Mountains Evergreen Glaciers Rivers Waterfalls Bears Moose Dall Sheep Foodie Best Coffee Food Seafood Cold Beautiful Vacations Travel with Excitement Thrill Snow Ice
Denali National Park

In all the days we were in Alaska on this trip this was the only occasion where we saw them! And boy was it a sight to see them so up close and personal. We had to be those tourists that pull over to capture some of the photos below as it was too much of a breathtaking imagine to not save for the rest of our lives. I have said it before and I will say it again that photos just do these mountains and moment no justice!

Now here is the kicker -- you can't drive in your vehicle all the way through the park as it only has access for buses and those tours must be scheduled ahead of time. I looked into it and it seems due to Covid and the Pretty Rocks landslide facilities and tours maybe limited. Go to the link below to find out more info about visiting this park. https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/visiting-denali.htm


 

After we drove through Denali National Park we drove through Fairbanks and into Chenea Springs and stayed at Chenea Springs Resort for the night. I don't have many photos but when I say it was worth the drive (7.5 hours to be exact) I mean it. It was getting dark when we finally arrived that night and we quickly got our bathing suits on and jumped into the hot springs -- Oh My Goodness; what a game changer! Ok, picture this - chilly 40-50 degrees with your favorite drink in hand inside a natural spring with (wait for it...) Northern Lights beaming above you.

I was not prepared for it and every photo I attempted to take after jumping out of the water drenched (now freezing) was a dark blurry mess.


Before your trip to Fairbanks / Chenea Springs check on the website below for daily updates as to the predictions of the Northern lights and you will have a better chance at a spectacular and bright light show!


https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/aurora-30-minute-forecast


The next morning we went a nice venturous walk around the property and it was quite tranquil but humorous when we came across these cute little guys.

Chenea Springs Resort

Dress really warm as they do have the Aurora Ice Museum right on site and you don't want to miss your favorite martini in a cute ice martini glass!

 

A few days later after driving back down from Fairbanks we decided to go south this time and see the town of Seward that is about 2.5 hours south of Anchorage, boy was it the greatest of panoramic views everywhere you looked the whole way there.


Upon arriving we could smell that salty and fresh fish smell that I found was the mornings catch as there were dozens of charters and boats coming in and many more ready to take on the seas for the opportunity of that big hit! You could see many locals around the inlet snag hooking salmon causing us to stop and cheer in excitement when one would hook on the line.


Little while people watching and we were ready to go with Seward Ocean Excursion to do some much needed whale watching as the season for it coming to an end and the Salmon run ending we had one chance while here to see some oceanic wildlife.


I am disappointed we didn't see any whales that jumped in front of our boat that got me soaked like you see in movies or commercials but non the less I did see Seals, Mountain Goats off the cliffs, and Puffins in the water.

Seward Inlet coast

About 40 minutes into our tour we were off the boat to explore the coast / beach like area to wonder around.


Did you know the waters off the harbor of Seward could rang between 300-1000 feet deep? I meannn....I tried not to think about while out there but that is deep! Also kept me hopeful we would see some major whales but as I already said we had no such luck.






While exploring the beach area we came across these funny looking Jelly fish that I have never seen. If anyone knows these little guys name let me know.




Before heading back to the harbor we got close to one of the many giant glaciers pouring their fresh freezing cold water and ice into the inlet and scooped up one of those massive (COLD) ice blocks. It was definitely a 'do it for the gram' moment.



 

Whewww! That was exhausting and after all that nature watching we were famished. We decided to go to a local seafood place Ray's Waterfront and you just know I had to get the King Crab Legs and Hubby got the Salmon. And neither one of them disappoint!



Massive King Crab Legs

 

On our way back into Anchorage we made a pitstop in Girdwood and stopped in Girdwood Brewery, Co. for a taste of local Alaskan beer it was the perfect spot with local art and fire pits around to enjoy a cold beverage. Just beware of the percentages on some of those! They can sneak up on your rather quickly.


 

After a night of rest we decided to not do so much driving and head over to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center that is just over 35 minutes out.


If there is only one place I would recommend it would be this one. It's fun for kids and adults of all ages and you really get to see a lot of rescued wildlife up close and personal.


Adventure Hike Awaits Wild and Wildlife Animals Whales Seals Hiking Mountains Evergreen Glaciers Rivers Waterfalls Bears Moose Dall Sheep Foodie Best Coffee Food Seafood Cold Beautiful Vacations Travel with Excitement Thrill Snow Ice
Aslaska Wildlife Conservation Center - Black Bear
 


And with these cuties I leave you until next time!


PS: Remember when I said it would be my first trip to Alaska but not my last?

Spoiler alert : We got more Alaskan Adventures for you coming soon!


KW





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