Alaska - The Experience of a Lifetime!
Being a photographer, I'm drawn to things which speak to me. Those "things" can either be full of life and emotion or innately simple. Alaska on the other hand - I've been having a hard time putting into words exactly what this trip did for me.
A little background for those of you curious how I ended up in Alaska... I had the opportunity to go with my good friend Stephanie as her "assistant" for the week. What exactly does she do that requires her to have her own "assistant"? In terms for us regular folk to understand, she is an Alaska tour coordinator for Holland America (apologies to Steph if that doesn't quite do justice to what you really do!). She sets up tours in various parts of Alaska - travel agents contact her - and then they sell to their clients. So, to kick off the season she was taking a group of travel agents up to "show off" the beautiful state that is Alaska. Therefore, she needed an "assistant"... or at least a good excuse... to bring her bestest girlfriend with her to the land that is a second HOME for her. (LUCKY ME!!!)
Even though I only had a few hours of sleep to run on, I was invigorated and awe-inspired by the beauty around me. From Day 1 we were off and running. We had 26 giddy travel agents to watch after - and they kept us busy! What fun friendships we made over the week!
While we didn't see any igloos or polar bears... we did catch an eyeful everyday. Day 2 brought us a pair of perched bald eagles wishing us a safe journey through Resurrection Bay in Seward, AK - I now think of this Bay as "God's Country" - absolutely astonishing! In that short journey we saw porpoises, seal harbors, lazy sea otters, endangered sea lions, and even a pod of orca whales (we think maybe 20 - 30 of them)... and to see all of these in their natural element brought tears to my eyes (this isn't Sea World, folks!). It made me feel so small in relation to the rest of creation! Wow...
The rest of the week brought us all laughter, dog sledding, snow angels, slipper skating, moose spotting, a few harmless snow ball fights, more food than anyone should eat in a week - including the largest crab legs I'll ever see, cheering for the Mushers and Dogs racing in the Iditarod, souvenir shopping galore, snow shoeing, skiing, endless jokes and stories by our coach driver-extraordinaire Lyle and even a few naps here and there...
I highly recommend Alaska be moved up on your "List of Places To See Before I Die"... just move it up... directly to the top! You have to see it sooner than later - you really do! And my personal recommendation is to see Alaska by land - more than just cruise ships go to Alaska! Really, just trust me on this one!
So, venture on over to my pictures and see what Alaska looked like through Lori's shutter... click on the link below and then on "slideshow"... you can pause it and resume it... have fun!