A Travellerspoint blog

USA: Alaska: 6 Month Wedding Anniversary!

May 25, 2013

sunny 65 °F

It’s a little crazy traveling this far from home and still having cell phone and email access. It’s also a little crazy that the weather is better in Alaska than in New York. We only have a few hours in Anchorage before our bus departs to Whittier (all cruise ships set sail about 2 hours drive or train from town). We were up bright an early today and started with a walk down the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Not really what we were expecting... it was a nice paved bike trail along the river.
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We walked around practicing taking photos with our new camera until we meandered our way to the Weekend Market. Lunch consisted of something called Halibut Cheeks (we think it was just Halibut parts), an amazing crab soup and some sweet potato fries (you know Ruby can’t pass up on that). We’re starting to notice that Alaska has some interesting people…nice, but interesting. As we were eating a guy sat next to Ruby and hanging over his shoulder was a ferret…yes a ferret on a leash. He was nice enough to tell us all about the little guy and Ruby even got to hold him for a few. Unfortunately we couldn't hangout with rodents looking at arts and crafts all day so off we went to catch our bus out of town.
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There are several ways down to the cruise port but we decided on a small local company for $35 each. This option was much cheaper than going with the ship's Cruise Transport (Around $60 each) or renting a car (one direction $300). There's also a train to Whittier but we’re about to spend a week with these old people and the thought of being stuck on a train for another few hours really wasn’t that appealing. Whatever option you decide there is only one road along Turnagain Arm. If you’re lucky you can see dall sheep and beluga whales but at the very least you're sure to see some amazing vistas. On the way we stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center about 30 minutes outside Anchorage. We would definitely recommend stopping at this location. It's the perfect place for a photo-op of Bears, Moose, Reindeer, Bison, Musk Oxen, Deer, Elk and even a bald eagle. We wish we could have stayed longer but our bus only made a short 45 min stop!
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Fun Fact: Reindeer is the domestic name for Caribou, there is no such thing as domestic Caribou.
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Another highlight of our drive was the short stop at Portage Glacier valley. Our first Alaskan Glacier complete with an iceberg filled lake over 600’ deep. We wanted to stay at this location longer but it was our turn to enter a 2.5 mile-long tunnel (Anton Anderson Memorial) to Whittier. The tunnel was designed for the train and is only about 12’ wide so cars and the train can only go one direction at a time. This is the only way in or out of Whittier. There's not a lot to do in this small town so we just walk around Whittier Harbor looking at fishing boats. If we had more time we would recommend hiking up and getting a good look at a glacier but remember what the locals say “it’s always shittier in Whittier” so Anchorage may be your better bet to stay dry.
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We boarded our ship and started our long boat ride down to Vancouver. What a great way to spend our 6 month wedding anniversary. By the way, you really lose track of time when the sun is up so late. We thought it was only around 7 or 8pm but it was already midnight by the time we walked back to our room.
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Posted by Tony.Ruby 16:30 Archived in USA

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