– Packing your rucksack and the tent in pouring rain at 5:30 in the morning when the bus is about the leave is just no fun.
– Fox does not care to give way when it’s on its way home after catching breakfast..even if there’s a bus behind it. We followed this fox for at least 5 mins before he moved aside to let the bus pass.
– Watching the caribou herd skittishly run off to protect its young on hearing the bus engine and break noise in the early morning rain and mist is a wonderful experience even if you can’t capture it on the camera.
– Camping at an empty campground when you haven’t seen another human for the past hour while on the road is scary. Don’t know what I was more scared of..a wild animal on the prowl or some rowdy human stopping by..to find two helpless people. Loneliness and your vulnerability never hits you as it hits you when there is no human presence..no noise..just silence. I think I jumped at every single wind whistle through the night.
– The Trans-Alaska pipeline is something you cannot miss while driving from Fairbanks to Valdez. Sometimes running parallel to the road and sometimes cutting the road it is often times the only reminder of human presence in the Alaskan wilderness.
– Salmon really do swim upstream. They jump, swim and then rest for a while before starting the process again.
– Bald eagle mate for life. Saw this pair. Every time we tried to get close to get a picture they would fly off in different directions and then perch together someplace else.
– Never assume that since you are about a mile off the residential area you will not see any wildlife. We were hiking the most popular trail in Valdez (its wide enough that you can take your four-wheel drive on the trail) when I saw something big and black a little far off. I was so hoping this was a big black dog (D still laughs at me for this 😦 ). The bear was standing on the rocks and jumped to hide behind them when he saw us. While I reached for the bear spray, D reached for the camera. The bear kept peeking from behind the rocks to check if we were still around and then left through the bushes behind.
– 20 mile one way detour for lunch is worth every mile when this is the view you sit down to have lunch along.
– Matanuska glacier is truly a river of ice. Facts states it stretches 27 miles. Easy to believe as you see it meandering along the mountains.
– Not finding a campsite is sometimes blessing in disguise..Dinner cooked and gobbled down while sitting all alone at Portage Lake watching sun set on Portage glacier..camping out all by yourself in the RV turn around..unlimited hot water shower in the RV site
– Homer is beyond beautiful. The strip was a fun experience. Find a place to pitch your tent on the beach..in between eating joints, bar, boats, RVs..surrounded by the sea, dwarfed by the snow-capped mountains on three sides.