In January of 2014 my husband began to do some planning to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We ended up celebrating three times over the course of six months. Our first trip was a winter two night trip into Seattle, our second was a trip to San Juan Island that our mother’s decided to gift us, and our third trip was two weeks in Alaska.
This third trip was inspired by the realization that, though we had been warning our kids their entire lives that we would be dirt bagging as soon as the youngest graduated, our life long vague adventure plans would need to remain on hold.
We packed our backpacks, hoped on a flight to Fairbanks with Alaska Airlines, took a nap in the airport and then grabbed a taxi to the train station where we boarded the Alaska Railway. At he Alaska Railway Station at Denali National Park we caught a park bus to Riley Creek Campground.
I will be reporting out about this trip in six parts:
- Part 1: Beginning of trip to Wonder Lake Campground
- Part 2: First 3 day/2 night back country trip
- Part 3: Front country and travel backpack tips
- Part 4: Second 3 day/2 night back country trip
- Part 5: Leaving Denali and hanging out in Anchorage
- Part 6: Back country recipes
and some Alaska beer(Edited 11/12/14, Part 6 part 6 ended up being a good length without the beer.)
Alaska is experiencing major climatic change. Wonder Lake is known for rather unpleasant mosquito experiences but my only experience worse than anything in Western Washington was at 12:15 in the morning when I awoke to find Denali glowing pink in the sun set (which never fully set). I almost opened the tent screen to take a good photo but stopped when I realized that the entire screen above me was covered with the creatures. I wanted to watch the mountain in the never ending sun glow but I was anxious to catch the bus to my first Alaska back country experience.