Big family, little family tour of Alaska in July. Anchorage, Denali, Seward and Homer. And some places in between. Caribou, moose, reindeer, horseshoe hares, dall sheep, grizzly bears, black bears, lynx, ground squirrels, orcas, humpback whales, dall's porpoises, sea otters, sea lions, puffins, murres, bald eagles, golden eagles, willow ptarmigans. Mt. McKinley, countless glaciers, amazing landscapes from the ground and the sky. Buses, motor coaches, trains, big boats, small boats, our own rented SUV. Fancy hotels, less fancy hotels, very rustic cabins, sweet hostels with muffin baking hostesses. Fine dining, dive dining, and everything in between. And family. Big family events, little family events, 35 people in matching gear and actually getting along together. We are a pretty fantastic family, I know. And we really and truly had a wonderful vacation.
Otto says he misses Alaska and keeps asking when we'll go back. I think we'll have to do that, since everyone had such an amazing time. Maybe we'll do something really crazy like drive there in our VW bus or pulling our Airstream trailer, doing the great cross country tour we have talked about for years, crossing over into Canada to visit certain beloved Victorians. Maybe we'll drag some of those Victorians with us into the wilds of Alaska.
Or maybe we won't make it back to Alaska for another 20 years, like my parents, who visited it last in 1987 (when my brother and I opted to stay home and use the house as our party palace while my parents were dropped off in the middle of Denali with a couple of backpacks and some bear bells).
Who knows? But until then, we have some really wonderful memories.