I was thrilled to be sleeping on the deck of a ferry! I had views of the mountains right from my sleeping bag. It wasn’t crowded and I enjoyed all 36 hours of the trip. I even met some new friends!
The hostel owner took me to see her friend who was packing up to move to Fairbanks. She had found love after the death of her husband. Her story was fascinating.
After camping in a small, isolated cabin the night before, I drove a mile and started hiking on the glacier. It’s the world’s most drivable glacier.
I saw a sign on the side of the road that read “Glacier” with an arrow pointing down a gravel road. Intrigued, I drove down the windy road. I ended up camping in a tiny shack next to a glacier.
I went on a glacier tour in Anchorage, Alaska. We made a stop at a wildlife sanctuary too. At the end of the day, I had a chance to meet up with a friend.
Anchorage offers great bike tours around the nearby park. In the summer, they have a huge state fair just outside the city. I saw lots of giant vegetables!
Hiking in Anchorage turned out to be pretty crazy, with fog and steep inclines. Thankfully, I met some military guys who helped me to the top.
I was feeling incredibly lonely. Not just lonely, but completely alone. It’s the feeling that I am not “number one” to anybody. I tried to talk with my parents about it, but they didn’t seem to get it.
I took a gondola to the top of the mountain and enjoyed dinner at the AAA, Four-Diamond award-winning restaurant. There is also a famous drink there. It’s called the Fizz and they limit how many drinks people can have because of its high alcohol content. The bartender explained that there is only one bartender who makes it, it’s a secret receipt, and he only makes it in the winter.
I spent a couple of days in Homer, Alaska, at an Airbnb. I walked along the spit, went to the salty dog café, and had wonderful conversation with my hosts. I stayed up until 2:00 am talking with Jerry on the porch.
I hiked for six miles in Denali National Park. The views were incredible! It got extremely windy and cold at the top, though.
Traveling solo can be lonely at times. On this day, I met Zack and Lily and they kept me company for dinner and hanging out in a hot spring. Before the hot springs, I went for a hike in a beautiful landscape.
I went on a river cruise and dug for gold using a pan. I also had the chance to meet several locals in Fairbanks and learn about their life there.
Jack and Florence were both early Alaskan pioneers and I respected their adventurous spirit. It made me think about how so many people do extreme things today, like climb Mount Everest. I think we’re built with a desire to explore and experience harsh conditions, but our lives are so easy now. It often leaves people feeling unsatisfied.