ALASKA – From Anchorage to Haines (1st part)

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We leave Denali park to Anchorage in order to find some internet and return to civilization.

The landscapes are still amazing. Alaska is great.

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Vue sur le Mont Denali
Vue sur le Mont Denali

We take a break on a rest area and spend a new night looking at the sky (again but we cannot get enough of it):

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We arrive the day after in Anchorage.

After a short walk in the city center and a good restaurant (it changes from pastas and salads), we finally realize that life in nature is much more attractive.

From Anchorage to Homer

We go back up in the van and drive to the Kenai peninsula, direction Homer. We would like to take a boat to Juneau and Haines (avoiding 1.400 km on road…).

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We spend the night near Portage glacier.

Portage Glacier
Portage Glacier
Portage Glacier
Portage Glacier

Then we go to Skilak Lake where we decide to go for a short trek in the forest. It is raining. The roads are almost deserted and the walk shall be very… peaceful: there is nobody.

Well except this little warning :

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Indeed, it might be extremely quiet, but the rivers are full of salmons and all the bears know that!

With our bear spray and our most beautiful voice, we take our cameras and go on.

We go deeper into the forest.

After 15 minutes of walk, we meet 2 hikers who say to us :

“Be extremely careful, it is full of bears here! We have been to the river and there are plenty of salmons half-eaten… Do not hesitate to indicate your presence, keep your bear spray on hand, and speak up!”

Well… Ok… We were not very ease, but now we are completely zen!

So we go quickly to the river. We meet one or two squirrels on our way (the bushes are full of berries, we eat some, no reason that all should be bears!), and we go back to the van.

In the forest we can also find some strange mushrooms, that look very attractive !

Miam Miam
Miam Miam

Yeah! No surprising encounter with any big animal. Everything is alright. Let’s go back on the road.

20 meters further, guess who decides to cross our path? A big black bear, coming from the same walk than us and going back slowly into the forest.

That was close !

Back on the road, we move toward Homer.

Homer

Little walk at the port.

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Then we try to get some information on the shipping to Juneau or Haines. We are told that everything is completely full but we can have a chance if we get an inscription on the waiting list for a shipping from Whittier (not really near, but ok…) to Juneau and Haines for… 1.200$.

Well… that’s a lot of money!

After 2 minutes of intense reflection (yes big amounts make us think faster), we decide to drive to Haines and do the 1.400 km on the road…

After a second night on the beach, with a perfect view on the mountains, we decide to go to Seward before driving back to the boarder and Haines (which is also in Alaska but only accessible from Canada or the ocean. Easy)

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Seward

We arrive at the Exit glacier the same night. The air is fresh and the signs indicating the limits of glacier used to have are a bit scaring… Everything seems to go faster and faster. With such rhythm, in 20 years from now, there will be no glacier anymore…

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We find a place to sleep not so far, and make a firewood, the evening are getting cold.

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The day after, the sun is almost here and we decide to go for a walk to a great beach (no swimming yet…) during lunch time for some of us:

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After a second night,, rainy this time, trying to light a barbecue with great success for those who like raw meat and uncooked potates, we finally go back on the road to Haines.

You can read the 2nd part of the article here…

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