Thursday, August 10, 2006

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

I’m home and slowly settling back into regular life. The trip was excellent and far exceeded my expectations. Alaska is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

During the first part of our trip, we traveled with Backroads on their Alaska Multisport Trip. It was our first tour-group type trip and it was extremely well organized and well run. Our trip leaders were knowledgeable and were able to handle problems with ease and speed.

You can see foreverThe big event of the Backroads trip was the hike up to the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Fjords National Park. This was the hike that I was most looking forward to and most dreading. Even the National Park Service calls the trail strenuous (in bold letters with an exclamation mark). Yes, I hiked up that 3,400 foot mountain! It was hard but completely worth it. The views were incredible and it was an experience that I will never forget.

mama and baby otterAnother great day with Backroads was the kayaking trip around Yukon Island. It was a wet and rainy day so I didn’t take very many photos. But we saw bald eagles, a seal, peregrine flacons, jellyfish, and otters--including several mama and baby otters. We got to use an extra-long fancy fiberglass kayak because Peter is extra-tall. (You have to click on that photo to make it huge. That otter is just too cute!)

The big bike riding day was not quite as much fun for me, but Peter really loved it. He was the only one of the group that completed the entire 33-mile trip. The day was very rainy and cold and I opted to be shuttled to the top of the mountain instead of attempting to climb it with the bike. I met Peter at the top and we rode down the slippery, steep, and scary mountain together. I ended up riding about 15 miles that day.

Orca!The day after our Backroads trip ended, we went on an amazing whale-watching trip. During the morning of the trip, we followed a pod of orcas around and during the afternoon we watched a small group of humpback whales. The boat that we were on got very close to the whales and I took a ton of photos. We also saw the one thing that I really wanted to see in Alaska--puffins! We saw both tufted and horned puffins. We also saw five volcanoes including one that was steaming. Then, to make our whale-watching day even more whale-filled, we saw another group of orcas swimming behind our hotel later that evening!

qiviut!The trip was not without some fiberly goodness. Although I was unsuccessful at finding some qiviut yarn, I did find some qiviut fiber at a tiny store on the Homer Spit called Local Showcase. I bought 3 oz. figuring that I could find someone to spin it for me. It’s so amazingly soft. If you’re interested, the store owner has more and I’m sure you could contact her to purchase some. (However, one has to wonder how 1 oz. could NOT be measured "by weight.")

More photos from my trip are here including two photos just for Monkee.

13 comments:

Pumpkinmama said...

Welcome back, sounds like a wonderful time.

Mintyfresh said...

Puffins!!! I think you're the first person I know of who's seen puffins in real life. What an amazing trip! Glad you're back safe and sound.

CarrieScribe said...

Looks like great fun! I loved the photos; thanks so much for sharing!
Welcome back.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, sounds like a great trip. Your photos are beautiful.

I suppose the qiviut might be measured in fluid ounces...? Not likely.

amylovie said...

Welcome back!

Amy

Jennifer said...

Glad you're back! It sounds like you had a fabulous trip!

Cordelia said...

Omigod, look at those adorable otters!!!!!
Welcome back, and glad you had such a good trip!

Susann said...

Welcome back! What an amazing trip! I'm very jealous. ;-) I'm happy that you had a fantastic time.

Rachel said...

Wow, very cool trip. It's nice that each day (or at least most days) seems to have been a bit different, so you never get bored or stuck doing something you don't like for too long. Not that any of the things you've described sound boring or unlikeable! I just mean...well, you know what I mean. It all sounds very cool, and you are a superior human being to me because you rode a bike (some of the way) up a mountain in the rain. I think I would have jumped in the shuttle right at the base.

spinndiva said...

So glad to have you back!
What a cool trip!!!! and you got QUIVIT!

Bezzie said...

Great pictures! I miss that constant overcast--its too darn sunny all the time here in TX! ;-)

Terby said...

Amazing. I would love to go on a trip like that! Welcome back.

hellahelen said...

1 oz can be measured by volume (as in the fluid ounce mentioned above) or weight. But the volume of 1 fluid ounce is tiny! And I don't know if the volume measure extends to anything but fluids, anyway.

Helen