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Done with THE DEMPSTER, we were over The Top of The World!
We had a well-deserved spa treatment at the Chena Hot Springs. This 90 km side trek provided 90% of the wildlife we saw in Alaska. There was no more stopping for photos after the 7 th moose.
Denali National Park was a bit too “Disneyland” like for us, but our riverside tent cabin at the Grizzly Bear Resort did not disappoint.
Arriving at Talkeeetna Air taxi at 104 pm to enquire about “flightseeing”. They said be ready at 1:15!!! We were so lucky as it was an amazing sunny flight with breathtaking views of Denali just before the clouds rolled in. The landing on the glacier was surreal. The town of Talkeetna is full of charm and lots of colorful locals.
During a 700 km ride to Valdez, there was 100 km with gusting wind blowing us sideways and 100 km in the pouring rain. That did not diminish the spectacular trip there over the high mountain plateau. What a gem this place is. We had an incredible day on the Lu Lu Belle seeing sea otters, seals, sea lions, puffins, Dall’s porpoise, and Humpback whales. The highlight was the masses of ice flow and the huge icebergs. A whole week in Alaska and we did not see a bear of ANY color. Thanks to advice from Anja and Torsten we found the Eagle’s rest motorcycle campground in Tok.
We had incredible hospitality from Cecile, Doug, Paulie, and Kelly at Kluane B&B! Rabbit (Snowshoe hare) is delicious. What an amazing wilderness setting with all the comforts of home. The museum at Burwash Landing has the “largest gold pan in the world” and an incredible natural history display. We ran into the crazy Spaniards again there too. The new visitor’s centre in Haines junction is WOW! We stopped there also for the “Village Bakery” and a photo op at “the Muffin”.
On the way to Haines, Alaska we finally saw a small brown bear. The drive there is also over a high pass and then meanders along the Chilkoot River. Haines is a very quaint town with a charming old Seward Fort area. After 3 weeks in remote wilderness areas finally a Grizzly….on the beach 2 km from the ferry dock. The trip from Haines to Skagway is just 15 miles, but takes 4 hours including the pre-boarding checks, security, 1 hour cruise time, and complex loading and unloading of huge motor homes thru the side of the ship. They actually drive in and turn around inside and exit thru the same door. This town is tourist central with 4 huge cruise ships docked in the harbor. Now back to civilization for a few days of R&R in Whitehorse.