Denali as seen from a highway stop north of Talkeetna
Denali, taken from a highway stop north of Talkeetna

In 2003 I took my first trip to Alaska. This was also the first trip I ever took for which I kept an ongoing journal.

The blog posts for this trip were transcribed from my written journal. At the time weblogs were a pretty new phenomenon. I brought along a notebook and I wrote timed entries as I rode on trains or boats or vans or sat in restaurants or parks or other quiet places.

When I transcribed these journal entries into my blog, I added lots of photos in line in each blog entry.

I flew Seattle to Anchorage on June 30, 2003. After spending the night in Anchorage, I embarked on a five-day tour of the Kenai Peninsula by Adventure Alaska Tours. There were six of us plus Patrick, our guide/driver. We traveled first to Seward, where we embarked on a boat trip to Fox Island, and we spent the first night there. The next day we continued our boat tour of Kenai Fjords, then returned to Seward and drove to Hope, where we spent the second night. The next day we went to Homer and took a boat across Kachemak Bay to Seldovia. We spent the third night there, and the next day we returned to Homer on a small airplane and then drove back to Hope. We spent the fourth night there before returning to Anchorage.

After another night in Anchorage, I rode the train to Talkeetna, where I took a flight-seeing tour of Denali before continuing to Denali by van. I spent two nights there. The first day I took a bus ride deep into the national park. The second day I took a helicopter tour before returning by train to Anchorage. I spent one more night there before returning to Seattle the next afternoon.

Enjoy my “journal” from my Alaska trip. Or if you just want to look at pictures, check out my photo album.

Blog Posts


Arriving in Anchorage (6/29/2003) - Prologue Sitting on the back deck of my house. The painters are finishing up, so it seems as if I might be able to leave on this trip with a sense of calm and all the stress of the past week behind me. I'm not feeling excited, though. Not sure why. A couple of weeks more...
Anchorage, Seward, Fox Island (6/30/2003) - 7:10 a.m. Thank you Mary for giving me the night mask. It was still broad daylight when I got to bed last night at 11:00. I woke up periodically during the night and had to look and see how light it was. At 1:30 it was kinda dusky. At 3:00, it looked like dawn. Mask more...
Fox Island, Kenai Fjords, Seward, Hope (7/1/2003) - 7:20 a.m. Last night at the campfire the staff people were looking at the clouds in the west and saying that rain was coming. This morning it's here. Kind of a Seattle-style rain. It's grey and drizzly. Well, a little more than drizzly. I thought I packed my rain pants to bring to Fox Island, more...
Hope, Homer, Seldovia (7/2/2003) - 5:00 a.m. Well the serenade of the creek was drowned out by the torrential rain pummeling the metal roof of our cabin. Finally, unable to sleep, I got up at 4:00, took my shower, got dressed and packed up. Turns out the downpour is just a light shower, amplified on the metal roof, and the more...
Seldovia, Homer, and back to Hope (7/3/2003) - 8:55 a.m. I gave up on waiting for sunset last night and was asleep by around 11:00. Full 8 hours of sleep -- felt great! After a quick walk up to the old Russian Orthodox Church (which I somehow overlooked in my wanderings yesterday), I came back for breakfast at The Buzz. Baked french toast that more...
Hope, Mt. Alyeska, Anchorage (7/4/2003) - 7:05 a.m. Hard to believe that by the end of today I'll be back in Anchorage. Five days ago, the thought of being in Anchorage was thrilling. Today it just means that my Kenai adventure is over. Yesterday on the road to Hope along Turnagain Arm, we stopped to check out the bore tide coming more...
Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali (7/5/2003) - 7:30 a.m. I'm sitting across from the Alaska Railroad depot, which doesn't look even remotely like what I expected. I imagined a quaint village depot. No, it's nothing like Grand Central Station, but it's more like a small white office building than a train station. Until I saw "THE ALASKA RAILROAD" on the front of more...
Denali (7/6/2003) - 5:00 a.m. I just got dropped off at Denali River Cabins, where I have an hour to wait before my 6:00 departure. There's a restaurant that's supposed to open at 5:00, so I can get breakfast. A few other brave souls are here waiting for it to open as well. I'm sitting here wearing a more...
Denali, Alaska RR back to Anchorage (7/7/2003) - 8:10 a.m. What a difference a good night's sleep can make. I'm ready and looking forward to my first-ever helicopter ride, and even though there are some clouds, the sun is out. The helicopter people are picking me up at 8:30, so I'm having a muffin and coffee while I'm waiting. I was thinking of more...
Back in Anchorage (7/8/2003) - The country itself ... it's grand. It's so damn grand.... It's like trying to paint Niagara Falls or a brilliant sunset or the Grand Canyon or some other visual aspect of nature which can only be described by people who have lived in it, have soaked it up, have been in that environment long enough more...
Alaska Epilogue (7/15/2003) - The cab came on time, my flight left on time and actually got me home early, Joy was there to pick me up, and I got home to find my house and my dog and my garden all looking just fine (thank you, Ursula). As I was entering my journal onto this web site, reading more...