Food – Alaska

Alaskan F

Here is a video of some of the stuff we ate in Alaska.  We had salmon quite a few times, which is probably one of the most iconic foods of Alaska.  Along with that, there were berries we picked from the sides of the road and hiking trails, crepes, gelato, coffee, and restaurant food.

Aurora Borealis – Alaska

aroura borealis

We went to Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge and got to watch a man fly two birds.  There was a red-tailed hawk and a gyrfalcon.  We hiked a bit afterwards and saw lots of other birds roaming around a field.

On August 31st, we drove with our RV back to Deadman Lake in Northway, Alaska.  On the way, we stopped at the Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska.  How fitting!  It was basically a Christmas store, with presents, rocks, someone dressed as Santa, and a mailbox that would stamp your mail specially being from the place before sending it out.

At Deadman Lake, I canoed with my brothers.  Near the edge of the lake, there were a lot of plants, and in the middle, there was a duck that we followed around.

At night, Mommy and Daddy woke us kids up to see the northern lights for the first time.  It was very interesting.  Faint green ribbons of light traveled across the sky.  There weren’t many other colors besides green, because we weren’t north enough.  The ribbons would light up and fade in different areas of the sky, as well as grow, shrink, and wave.  I didn’t see too much of it because I was sleepy and decided to go back to bed.

In the morning, we moved to a spot near Destruction Bay in British Columbia, Canada.  I noticed that, as we moved, the tress were turning from green to gold.  It looked like fall, and it was cooler here.

Ice Museum and More – Alaska

Kayla Wong

On Sunday, we visited Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve visitor center.  It was protected to maintain the wild and natural qualities of the area, let people enjoy it as it is, and protect the animals living in the area.  There was a cute fake log cabin and display of salmon (also fake), as well as stuff about Nunamiut Eskimos.  We met a very nice ranger named Magali Vincent who helped us to learn more about the area.

After, we went to the Fairbanks Ice Museum.  There were sculptures of many things, including animals, vehicles, an igloo, and an ice slide.  My favorite was the igloo, I think, although the slide looked fun (my brothers used it), and the snowmobile was cool.  The ice sculptor’s name was An, Zhe, also known as Andy.  At the end of the tour, he did a demonstration of how to carve ice and color it.

Lastly, we went to Pioneer Park, a historical town.  There was a train there that we rode and displays of old objects and vehicles.  We coincidentally met Magali Vincent again at the park, this time dressed in much brighter clothes than the park ranger’s uniform we had seen her in earlier that day.

Berry Picking and Dog Sleds – Alaska

Denali

August 18, 2019 – We moved to Trapper Creek Inn and RV Park in Trapper Creek, Alaska.  We went on a hike in Denali State Park, and on the way, we picked tons of blueberries, watermelon berries, and some other berries.

On Saturday, we moved to Riverview RV Park in North Pole, Alaska.  There, we went to Denali National Park and Preserve, which is six million acres of wild land, bisected by a road.  We took a bus to a dog sled demonstration.  At the place, we got to pet the dogs, then when everyone had arrived, the park rangers hooked up a few of the dogs to a “sled” that could go on non-snowy ground.  After hooking them up, one ranger got on the “sled,” while another jogged beside it, then the dogs pulled it around a circular track.

Houston Founder’s Day – Alaska

Houston Founder's Day fire

We moved to Houston, Alaska on August 17th to dry camp in Little Sustina River Campground.  We went to Whittier, Alaska in the morning and looked around.  There were two caribou (reindeer) behind a fence, which we fed grass through the holes.  They were brown, with velvet antlers which were shedding.  We also went through a cool pedestrian tunnel that led under the road.

Later, we went back to Houston (near our campground) to the Houston Fire Department where the Houston Founder’s Day event was being held.  There were pie-eating contests, free balloons, egg-throwing contests, hatchet throwing, BB gun shooting, fire dancing, “sword fighting,” and more.  We participated in a few, but my favorite was the fire dancing.  Very talented people danced with objects on fire.  Some juggled lit torches, while one person used some sort of hula hoop that had fire at different points, and there were people who had guns which shot out fire.  For dinner, the town of Houston served free hot dogs, burgers, chips, drinks, and dessert.  We stayed pretty late and had a lot of fun.

Chugach National Forest – Alaska

On August 14, we went to Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.  They had really nice displays, most shaped like glaciers with animals on them.  We took a short hike that led through forest and over boardwalk, then to a lake.  The ranger there was nice and told us about fishing in the area.

Two days later, we moved to Girdwood, Alaska, to Williwaw Campground, where we dry camped.  It is in Chugach National Forest, so we went to Begich Boggs  Visitor Center, which is close by.  The visitor center had a tunnel in it that led to a room with walls of windows.  There was a nice view of different mountains and glaciers.

Soldotna – Alaska

On August 9, we moved to Edgewater Lodge and RV Park in Soldotna, Alaska.  The next day, we went to Jackson Gardens Nursery, where we could pick whatever fruit or vegetables we wanted then pay for them.  I really enjoyed going through the berry section, where we got tons of rasberries.  After that, we found an area off the side of a road and picked wild berries.  Watermelon berries seemed like a common occurrence in this part of Alaska.

On August 11, we went to Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, which had cool animal, bird, and ocean displays.

For dinner, we had fish and chips and some other things in Homer, Alaska.  It was an area full of shops and restaurants by the beach.  There were a lot of boardwalks and cute buildings.  We walked on the beach, in search of under-building swings (swings hanging from under the raised buildings).

Kenai Fjords NP – Alaska

Kenai Fjords National Park hike

On  Friday, we moved to Bear Creek RV Park in Seward, Alaska.  While in the area, we went to Kenai Fjords National Park.  We hiked about 5 miles on a trail that led to a lookout over a glacier on one day, and on another day, we went to the visitor center.

The trail was very pretty.  It had lots of evergreens, and we got to see meadows of flowers, waterfalls, the glacier, and berries.

The visitor center was by the beach.  We went on a ranger-led walk near the fjord and learned about its ecosystem.  As our tradition, we also did the junior ranger books there and got badges for it.

On both days, it was warm, but near the water, it was windy, causing it to feel cool.

Alaskan Museum – Alaska

Anchorage Museum

On July 15, we moved to Mountainview RV Park in Palmer, Alaska.  Here, there were lots of big places like Costco, Fred Meyers, and fast food restaurants, so we did a lot of shopping.  We went fishing a couple of times, but caught nothing.  Ruby and Chip (our dogs) got to go with us to a few places, as well as run around the RV park.  They were very happy about that.

We went to the Anchorage Museum.  It had some stuff on science and animals, but most of the museum was focused on Alaska.  I especially liked the paintings.  Besides that, there were sculptures, a chair that you could pull yourself up with a rope on, and more.

Base Camp Kennicott – Alaska

Root Glacier

After being in Valdez for over a week, we moved to Waterworks RV Park in Glennallen, Alaska.  On the way, we saw a moose in a lake, cooling off in the water.

Six days later, we moved to Base Camp Kennicott, in McCarthy, Alaska.  We stayed there for two days.  Daddy and my brothers hiked to Root Glacier from the campgrounds (but took a shuttle part of the way).  They passed through a historic town called Kennicott Mill Town, and hiked about 4 miles.  It was difficult, because parts were steep.  There were lots of small waterfalls on the way, and it was hot, even on the glacier.

Special thanks to Mason, my brother, for providing me with the details of their hike!

4th of July – Alaska

Kayla Wong hiking

For the 4th of July in Valdez, there was a town parade, canoe jousting, and other events.  First, we went to the parade.  There were a lot of cool vehicles, as well as people who threw candy to the people watching the parade.  Then, we went on a hike while waiting for the canoe jousting.  It was pretty short and had a nice view of part of the town.  We found salmon berries on the hike, which we ate.  Back at the lake, we watched the canoe jousting.  It worked like this: two people would get into a canoe, while two more people went into another canoe.  One person in each canoe would paddle and steer, while the other person (the jouster) would hit the other team’s jouster.  They used helmets and padded sticks, and a lifeguard was always nearby.  The match ended when one of the canoes tipped over.  Usually, it would tip over when the jouster lost his or her balance, rocked the canoe too much, and it flipped.  Later in the day, we looked at U.S. Coast Guard vehicles and had dinner, which the town provided for free for everyone.

Worthington Glacier and a Fish Hatchery – Alaska

June 30, 2019 – We went to Worthington Glacier and hiked near it.  When we hiked, we got to see a lot of rivers, waterfalls, and rocks from the glacier.  The day was hot and windy, and the only reason I was wearing a jacket was to avoid the sun and Alaskan mosquitoes.  Aiden, Mason, and Tanner had a lot of fun playing with rocks and a small stream to create tiny waterfalls.

After, we went to Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery.  We saw a lot of salmon, gulls, seals, and a sea otter.  I saw a really cute scene between a sea otter and seagulls.  The sea otter was on its back, trying to eat a fish in peace, but the seagulls kept screeching at the sea otter and trying to steal its fish.

That day, we had also visited Maxine and Jesse Whitney Museum.  There were many stuffed animals and displays of stuff the Whitneys had collected while in Alaska in the 1900’s.  There were artifacts, Eskimo toys and clothes, and whale baleen.

Kayaking in Glacier Lake – Alaska

On Saturday, we went to Valdez Glacier Lake.  The lake was pretty big, filled with icebergs which had come from the Valdez Glacier.  The weather was cool but sunny, so we got out our blow up rowboat and kayak, assembled them, and took them into the lake.  We had fun navigating through the icy water and icebergs as we made our way towards the glacier at the end of the lake.  After a few hours, we reached the glacier’s foot, carefully got onto the glacier, and dragged out boat and kayak up onto the rocks.  The glacier was basically a mountain of ice covered in rocks, with water streaming down it.  We hiked on it for some time and checked out its different features.  There were holes in the ice caused by it melting, mini waterfalls, and tiny streams.  After, we started heading back to land, this time quicker because of the direction of the waves.  On the way, we stopped to take a hike up a mountain, because we had spotted the trail.  It was so steep in some areas, that a rope had been placed so that you could grab onto it as you climbed.  Oh, and don’t forget the giant Alaskan mosquitoes!

When we got back, we children continued using the kayak near land, exploring between the icebergs.  After everyone had gotten enough time, we packed up the boats (but dried them first) and went to Chugach National Forest.  At the visitor center, we looked at a waterfall and river, as well as displays with stuffed animals in them.

Finally, for dinner, we ate at a place near the ocean.  People had been fishing, so there was a lot of fish cleaning and seagull screaming going on.  The seagulls were very excited to get the guts of the fish.  Some people had caught halibut, which are very big white fish that generally live in deeper areas of the ocean.

And now, here is a slideshow of all the things we did on June 29:

Canoeing – Alaska

On June 8th, we camped by Deadman Lake in Northway, Alaska.  Almost everyone (I was feeling sick) canoed in the lake with the free canoes, paddles, and life vests.

The day after, we moved to Gakona RV Park in Gakona, Alaska.  We received free, freshly-caught salmon from some nice people close by.  They had caught the fish by using a fishing wheel.

During our stay, we visited Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, America’s largest national park and filled with wilderness.

The next week, we moved to Chena RV Park in Valdez, Alaska.  Valdez was a very nice town, with super friendly people.  Instead of the small stores we had recently been going to, we could go to Safeway.  Here are pictures of some of the scenery we saw, places we visited, and a grizzly bear we found on the side of the road.

Land of Glaciers, Waterfalls, and Beautiful Scenery – Alaska

On May 31st, we started on our way to Alaska.  Over a period of three days, we drove to Skagway.  The views were very pretty, as more lush vegetation appeared, and pointy mountains capped with snow or glaciers started to become more frequent.

Beautiful Views from the Car

On June 2nd, we arrived in Skagway, Alaska.  We stayed at Garden City RV Park and Laundromat, in the middle of a small town with historic areas.

 

Cool things about Alaska that I noticed:

  • giant mosquitoes
  • lot of glaciers and waterfalls
  • around 75 degrees F because it was summer
  • Basically everyone wears boots if they are smart.  XTRATUF boots are popular and good quality.
  • Stays bright all day in some weeks of summer, so we had to get window covers

We went to Klondike Gold Rush NHP, but the one in Alaska.  This one was a bit different than the one in Washington.  It was more focused on the different paths gold seekers could take to get to the gold fields.  Skagway used to be a town which gold seekers stopped at.