North to Alaska

Rick and I recently returned from an amazing Princess cruise-and-land tour of Alaska.  Fantastic!  Before sailing away on the Diamond Princess, we had a day to ferry over to Victoria and see amazing Buschart Gardens.  I hesitate to check it off my bucket list because I’d love to go back! 

Check off one more experience.  I saw eagles in the wild!  While cruising north, we spotted two float by on a hunk of ice, feasting on a salmon.  Another flew by when we boarded a train to Denali. 

The colors came in while we were at the National Park.  We were told that fall colors only last 10-14 days, but they were glorious!  Ground carpeted red, sitka and black spruces a deep green with gold and yellow alders and aspen, gray glacial fed river. 

It was a clear day when we headed for Mount McKinley.  As soon as we reached the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, we signed up for a flight to the mountain.  We were the last two on the small plane (11 people counting the pilot).  No one had “moved to the front”.  Rick told the pilot the only seat open was next to him.  The pilot grinned and said, “You’ve got it.”  Rick was in heaven!

It’s both terrifying and exhilarating to fly through canyon and over “saddles” around McKinley, and see the glaciers below with their deep crevices and eery blue ice.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat.