Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Alaska Adventure, Part 2 …


Our last stop heading northwest was Seward. This stop offered a side trip to Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, but we did not partake.

Our morning excursion was a visit to Ididaride, word play on the Iditarod trail sled dog race. The grueling race covers over 1,150 miles of extreme and beautiful terrain: across mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forests, desolate tundra and windswept coastline.

Ididaride shows many sled dogs, in various stages of development. We were going on a sled ride, and the chained dogs were yelping for the privilege of being called for the team to pull us. You needed a little imagination, because we were basically in a golf cart over gravel trails with snow nowhere in sight.

On the way back south east, we stopped in Haines. There we went to a wilderness park run by Steve (pictured, with a friend), a guy called the Dr. Doolittle of Alaska. He takes in wounded and abandoned animals and all the ones we saw were healthy and active. We saw, among others, a grizzly cub, moose, caribou, and various forms of weasel. Once they are raised in captivity they don’t have the skills to return to the wild. Steve funds the operation by creating video clips of the wilderness and one or more of the animals to order for movie and tv shows.

Our last expedition was a ride on a crab-fishing boat. The work of catching seafood is harder than we imagined, and dangerous.

Meals on the ship were outstanding. There was a nice fitness room on the ship, which we used frequently. We enjoyed the company of our friends and met some nice people on the ship and on excursions.

Overall the trip was great, though some things were not so great. Nobody told us that Alaska is chilly and rainy all the time. We had a few too many days at sea. On-board entertainment was mediocre.

Still, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and are glad that we made the trip.

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jbv's Competitive Edge 

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