The Reef

As the largest living structure on the planet, the Great Barrier Reef is incredibly rich and diverse.  The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park stretches approximately 2300 km along the coast of Queensland in north-eastern Australia – this is about the same length as the west coast of the US from Vancouver to the Mexican border. A shallow lagoon separates the coastline and the natural formation … Continue reading The Reef

Lone Pine Koala sanctuary near Brisbane

It was supposed to be a short day driving, so there was room for a quick side trip. The quick side trip was supposed to be a quick 1-2 hour introduction to Koalas. We were traveling through the habitat area and shipmates recommended this stop. It became 3-4 hours and 600 pictures of Koalas, each picture cuter than the picture before! Koalas sleeping, eating, just … Continue reading Lone Pine Koala sanctuary near Brisbane

Heading NORTH from Sydney (With a couple diversions . )

Sampling some Aussie wine in Hunter Valley, we reflect back to the wine tasting we have done in less than a year: Australia, South Africa, and California; and next month New Zealand. Australia’s oldest and most well known wine region is famous for some of the original continuously operated vineyards in the country. It is located about a three hour drive north of Sydney and … Continue reading Heading NORTH from Sydney (With a couple diversions . )

The Trip Across the Pacific Pond, October 3 – 27, 2013

What a life affirming decision. Traveling 24 days on water, we decompressed from the west coast drive, winterize, pack, and run in order to prepare ourselves for the Australian east coast drive, summer, pack and run.  We ventured from west coast USA to Sydney, Australia on a 1,800 passenger Holland America Line.  See prior post for our stop overs. Truthfully, we worried what it would … Continue reading The Trip Across the Pacific Pond, October 3 – 27, 2013

Wolf’s Breakfast – Being Hyderized

Hyderized!! We were Hyderized during our drive from Alaska. Hyder, AK is across the Canadian / US Border opposite Stewart, BC. To get there, you depart the ALCAN Highway just west of Watson Lake, Yukon and head south on the Cassiar Highway and towards Stewart, BC. Upon heading south, say good bye to the Yukon, as you cross into British Columbia. The first 60 miles … Continue reading Wolf’s Breakfast – Being Hyderized

South from Alaska

11,500 miles on tow vehicle; 7,000 miles on the RV; 850 gallons of diesel; only 20 pounds of silver salmon left in freezer; all priceless. We returned to the lower 48, just north of Seattle, on September 9th and arrived Mount Shasta, California on September 19th, and should arrive Bakersfield, CA on September 24th. Our planned stopovers from Mount Shasta are: Redding; Vacaville; Napa; and … Continue reading South from Alaska

The High One – Denali (Mount McKinley)

We climbed Mount McKinley – David style:  in a plane, of course.  We even climbed a few hundred feet above the summit.  That was how we spent David’s birthday! The flight seeing tour was the only company that took you up and over the summit so you could see the mountain up close and personal.  It was a bonus, on that day, to have such beautiful … Continue reading The High One – Denali (Mount McKinley)

It’s all about the bears!

We were lucky enough to see a large brown bear catching salmon in the middle of the stream, and a black bear mother catching dinner for her two cubs (with the cubs watching from the nearby tree).  How cool was that! The Russian Rivers Campground is located between the Russian River and the Kenai River.  That means double the salmon spawning rivers available for those hungry … Continue reading It’s all about the bears!

Floating down the Kenai River

The Kenai River is one of the most important watersheds in Alaska, providing world- class salmon fishing and wilderness recreation. The Kenai River is a melt water river that drains the central Kenai Peninsula region Its source is the Kenai Lake, which narrows to form the river and flows 82 miles to Cook Inlet. The river passes through Kenai Canyon for about 2 miles of fast-flowing whitewater rapids, … Continue reading Floating down the Kenai River

Kayaking Bear Lake

Chase remembered the fun he had kayaking with his Grandparents and wanted to kayak again.  Bear Lake just outside of Seward afforded this opportunity.  Our kayaks made by Hobie are propelled by pedal or paddle.  Chase wanted to paddle while grandpa used his legs and pedaled his way around the lake. When the wind picked up and the waves on the lake became white caps, … Continue reading Kayaking Bear Lake

Alaska SeaLife Center – Seward, AK

Seward has the only public aquarium and ocean wildlife Center.  It is a rescue center that rescues, treats, and releases stranded animals located on the shores of Resurrection Bay in Seward.  There are many great exhibits and one of the best aquariums that we have visited. We took many photos, in fact, the harbor seal that we photographed was just released by the center to … Continue reading Alaska SeaLife Center – Seward, AK

Exit Glacier – Seward, AK

Chase asked, “Do I get to hike right next to a real glacier?  We learned about them in school. “  I remember how the book learning fell to real life when I began the travel odyssey.  Learning is exciting.  And we trekked up the hill, and found exit glacier very cold, (who would guess that) and huge, and shrinking.   We grandparents played a wonderful documentary … Continue reading Exit Glacier – Seward, AK

Iditarod – Turning Heads Kennel

The Iditarod was another example of school learning becoming real.  Chase had completed a term paper on the Iditarod and he had a chance to meet the youngest musher in 2013: Travis Beals is only 21 years old.  His kennel, Turning Heads Kennel is smaller and more intimate than the more established teams.  Travis was positively enthusiastic when he shared his passion with us.  It … Continue reading Iditarod – Turning Heads Kennel

Kenai Fjords National Park – Seward, AK

We saw incredible numbers of humpbacks, otters, orcas, sea lions, puffins, and kittiwakes, etc.  The whales were amazing, breeching and flipping their tails, or just raising their flippers to say hi. At one point the humpback whales (there were between 6 and 10 of them) were collaboratively using bubbles to trap fish and then feasting together. Words fail me for how amazing it was to … Continue reading Kenai Fjords National Park – Seward, AK

The Hike to Russian River Falls (In search of bears)

There is an axiom here in Alaska, you see it on public service signs everywhere:  Wherever there is salmon there are bears.  It is meant as a warning; of course, we took it as an invitation.  The Russian River Falls is a spawning stream for salmon, and a few weeks earlier after a delightful 2.5 mile hike, we enjoyed wooden observation decks overlooking the fish … Continue reading The Hike to Russian River Falls (In search of bears)

Salmon Fishing

Another iconic Alaskan experience is fishing.  So many fishing opportunities are available:  trout, grayling, 5 types of salmon, halibut, in the river, the bay, the gulf and the ocean.  We chose Seward regulations allow 3 silver salmon from the gulf and 3 more from Resurrection Bay.  The ride to the fishing ground was 1.5 hours; all full bore, plowing through swells and other wakes.  Chase … Continue reading Salmon Fishing

Chasing Chase through Alaska: July 22 – August 1, 2013

David and I realize, first hand, that travel broadens the mind and provides the traveler a world wide classroom.  Travel changes a person, introduces them to new ideas, and brings those things from books into real life.  What a wonderful opportunity for our grandchildren and for us.  We committed to take the grandkids with us for periods of time to share the world and to … Continue reading Chasing Chase through Alaska: July 22 – August 1, 2013

Kayaking the Moose River / Swan Lakes Canoe Trail

The Kenai boasts one of two canoe trails in the United States.  The Swan Lakes Canoe trail takes you through a series of lakes (and portages), which eventually empty into the Moose River and a direct, if not long path back to civilization.  The one-way trip is reported to be 60 miles.  You can stay on the trail from 3 days to a week or … Continue reading Kayaking the Moose River / Swan Lakes Canoe Trail

Glaciers on the Go

As a person drives from Valdez to Anchorage they have the privilege of passing two wonderful valley glaciers.  A valley glacier is a body of solid ice that flows like a river under its own weight through an existing valley. Worthington Glacier – Just outside Valdez near Thompson Pass, the Worthington Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska, passing within a few … Continue reading Glaciers on the Go