Thursday, December 2, 2010

North to Alaska...No. 39

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would get to Alaska.  I got there by combining business and pleasure.  At the time I was working at a State University managing a NASA Grant Program-The Space Grant Consortium at our State level.  What an opportunity!  

He can now lay claim to playing
the "World's Northernmost Golf Course".  
The annual National Conference was held in Fairbanks.  My husband joined me at our expense.  There was no way I would let him pass it up...although, he is not fond of flying.  However, he was rewarded.

We saw the most amazing flowers, took a paddle wheel boat trip on the river and were treated to a performance by Native Americans at the Cultural Center.  

We did not see the Aurora Borealis.
This was the season and the hotel kept a watch for the guests, but a "no show". 

After the Conference we stayed over to take a side trip to Denali National Park.  We were really brave to even think about this as both of us are extremely afraid of heights. We went for it..after all it was a "once-in-a-lifetime" event!  
View from train entering the town of Denali
We took the train from Fairbanks to board a tour bus.  Private cars are not allowed into the park without a special license...too many people have to be towed out after they freeze with fear of the heights and can't continue. 

 After a 14-hour round trip to Mt. McKinley and Wonder Lake, snow at Ptolemy Pass, a one-lane road we didn't get to see the mountain.  

This is view we missed!
Beware, if you go, you only have a 20%-25% chance of seeing the mountain. It is so large that is makes its on weather system and is shrouded in clouds most of the time.  

We did see some beautiful scenery and actually met up with a grizzly bear family.  We were so close to them that we could have reached out and touched them. glad we went.

We came back through Chicago on September 9, 2001.  I don't have to tell you what happened on September the 11th of that year.  We narrowly escaped being trapped at O'Hare Airport...still glad we went. 
BTW...we finally saw Mount McKinley from the plane as we looked back...there She was...

*For "new to my blog" people...on May 17, 2010, I visited Wisconsin.
 I can now say that I have been in, to, or through all 50 United States.
 I am committed to make an Artist Trading Card "ATC" for each of
 the 50 States. Hence, the label, 50 States

1 comment:

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