Out of those who are fortunate enough to visit Alaska, even less are lucky enough to have relatives who live there. When my cousin Heather announced her engagement and asked if I wanted to come to the wedding, it was hard not to respond with anything other then, “Uh, hell yes!”. The ceremony took place at Summit Lake Lodge with the most beautiful lake and Alaskan hills ( which are basically mountains anywhere else! ) serving as the backdrop. With my man in tow, it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had; it was full of adventure, lots of s’mores, laughter and a beautiful love.
This is where he’s trying to remember why he dates me, always taking embarrassing photos of him and nonsense.
Then he remembered, it’s because I’m hilarious.
My Uncle Tim, also known as the dog whisperer.
We had the sweetest little roarin’ red Chevy Sonic which I promptly nicknamed Ladybug.
When I visited Alaska for the first time, about eight years ago, we stopped on the way to Anchorage to take a photo at this same little waterfall! I couldn’t believe it was still there.
After the wedding and a few days spent at my aunt and uncle’s, we headed up to Denali National Park to get the full Alaskan experience. It was six hours of driving north through Alaskan backcountry, which we filled with wildly amusing games of 20 questions.
With only one full day to spend there, we opted to take the shuttle bus through the park the next day. We had incredible luck that day. It was overcast at first, then snowy, but by the time we had made it almost halfway, it started to clear up ever so slowly, until we could see Denali in all it’s glory under full sunshine! Out of our guestimated animal sighting count of seven, we spotted over 12, including moose, grizzlies, sheep and caribou! Some of them, like the grizzlies, were incredibly close. Well, you’ll see!
This green beauty was our whip for 10 full hours. Whew.
Bear sighting #1!
Bear sighting #2! He was no more than 20 feet away from the bus, it was awesome!
Our first glimpse of the full Denali. At 20,300 (ish) feet, it’s the highest peak in North America!