In March 2013 I traveled to Alaska to try to see the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. I stayed in Wasilla, just north of Anchorage for 7 days, without any luck. On the last day I drove to Fairbanks for a night, hoping to have a last chance there. Fortunately, it worked out, so I did get to see the Aurora Borealis, even though it was not a very prominent display.
But there were other activities that I enjoyed very much during that time. I took some flight instruction in ski flying, which was a blast. I flew out of Christiansen Lake (AK8) near Talkeetna with Alaska Floats and Skis. On the first day we flew to Denali (the native name for Mt. McKinley) and flew through some of the gorges there. On the second day I practices ski landings, including making landings on an untouched lake with a 2 ft (0.6 m) new snow cover. It was fantastic. On the last day we tried for a glacier landing, unfortunately the weather was not good enough. But at least we saw a herd of caribou on that flight.
On the drives between Wasilla and Talkeetna I saw some wildlife, notably Bald Eagles and Moose. Moose are everywhere, a couple of time I saw them cross the road just in front of cars. Pictures of wildlife in Alaska and birds in Alaska are on separate pages.
By luck, I was in Fairbanks just at the annual ice sculpture competition. The ice sculptures there were amazing.
It was an interesting trip, but Alaska is not a place where I want to live, too cold and too much snow.
In September 2022 I made another visit to Alaska, this time to see glaciers. I went on a cruise with the Seawolf, a small passenger ship with only 6 cabins. The small size of the ship made for a very close experience of that part of Alaska. We visited Glacier Bay and the ABC islands (Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof islands). I can really recommend the Seawolf cruises. It was a very enjoyable trip, even though it was frequently rainy and always cold.
All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.
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