Untamed, picturesque, filled with beauty, astonishing scenery, harsh, bounding mountains, snow capped peaks, empowering glaciers, cascading and thundering waterfalls - just a few of the expressions I use to describe Alaska.
Alaska you have won my heart, and I will return to further explore this ever changing landscape; revel in the frequent encounters with the majestic and magnificent wildlife; and delve further into the cultural diversities of Alaska.
Our trip took us from Glacier Bay to Juneau then on to Anchorage. Following a brief stay in Anchorage we ventured to Homer and then Seward. On our arrival in Juneau we were told we couldn't fly to Gustavus due to heavy fog. So what do you do, sit and find a local to chat to. The best 8 hour wait we have ever spent. John drove (not sure if that's the right terminology) the Ferry from Vancouver to Alaska and after 3 weeks on the Ferry also wanted to get home to his family in Gustavus. He knew a pilot and offered us a lift - so we took to the skies in a 2 seater plane, with us as cargo and flew from Juneau to Gustavus. The turbulence and cramped space wasn't really noticed, as we passed over amazing and changing landscapes.
Our pilot and John........we are in the plane.......somewhere
The flying expertise of our pilot took us up close and personal to so many of the spectacular mountains - the feeling was surreal.
Our first encounter with the blue seas of Alaska was just after take off from Juneau, en route to Gustavus.
And so soon after, we encountered the greenery of the mountains, teasing us with just a touch of snow capped peaks.
When in Glacier Bay, Gustavus, I would recommend taking the boat tour to the Glacier. There are several, but we took the full day tour. Be sure to rug up, a mistake my husband made and won't make again. We were lucky to have a glorious, slightly cloudy but certainly chilly day on the water. You can stay inside the boat where it's heated, but the views from the top, with the cold wind in your face, is just irresistible.
On the way to Johns Hopkins Inlet you pass Lamplugh Glacier. This glacier put on a spectacular display of calving.
On the way back to Glacier Bay, the clouds started to roll in, the water started to let us know we would hit some chop, but the atmosphere that seemed to exude from the mountains, the water and the low level cloud was something you can't describe.
When Kayaking to the Johns Hopkins Inlet you pass seals, encounter many birds and get to see up close the glacier and spectacular scenery.
You will certainly pass many seals relaxing in the sun or happily playing in the icy waters.
Just one of the little creatures who lived beside us. Check out my Alaskan Wildlife blog for more of these and other beautiful creatures.
You never tire of the spectacular mountains and waterfalls. If you're brave take a dip......brrrr....I did brave these waters, just remember to breath.