After watching the Philadelphia Eagles win, my family and I finally got out of our PJs and into the sunlight.
Now, ever since we got to Anchorage, my mother has OBSESSED with seeing a dall sheep on a mountain. Obsessed. Whenever we drove along the Turnagain Arm to Aleyeska Resort, (which was quite often) we were all put on "Sheep Watch". Apparently, the mountains we drove by in that certain area were favorites of the dall sheep.
As we drove down to Aleyeska to walk the Winner Creek trail, we saw them! Not one, but two! Standing triumphantly atop the wall of rock, looking down at us like a King or Queen would at their subjects. My mother went wild, and I must admit, so did I. Well, we all did.
We got to Aleyeska within an hour. I think that Aleyeska Resort is one of my favorite places we have been to in Alaska. We have been there so many times, I have lost count. We took the Winner Creek trail, which takes you west of the resort. (Or east? Anywho, far away.) The trail is 5 miles long. Yes, we hiked 5 miles. But thankfully, it was mostly flat, but I am not saying there weren't steep parts. And mud. Lots of mud. It had been raining for a few days straight, so I suppose it's understandable, but I was still frustrated with the ground when I slipped on the short, muddy slope. We kept on walking, a wet wipe wrapped around my bloody finger like a band aid. (Constructed by Dad.) Eventually, we came to the most famous part of the hike. The hand tram. (du, du, du, duuuuuuuuuuu) Have I told you about my fear of heights? I know, I am pathetic. We have been as high up as 11,000 feet numerous times, sailed suspended in midair in a tram about 7,000 feet up for miles, and I am afraid of crossing a gorge in a rackety box that can fit about 2 people? Well, I did it, but not after shaking like a leaf the first time over. A rope went across the gorge, blending into a circle of rope at each end. You pull yourself across by the rope, in this case my Dad pulled, and you'd make your way across the gorge, the rope moving at the speed of light through your box. (Because my dad was pulling it. Anyone could tell he is in the Army when he pulled that rope.) I squealed when I got in because the "tram" shook like crazy and I dared not look down when we quickly made our way to the other side.
You know, now that I look at the pictures on Google, it doesn't seem that high. I am such a coward. But the second time across was way better. I wasn't as scared, and when we went slower, it was more enjoyable. We walked away from the tram and walked 2.5 miles back to the resort and had some dinner at one of the many restaurants. That night, before we went to bed, one thing completed our perfect day like a cherry on top of a sundae.
Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. Shining outside our town house, green like the grass in spring. Gorgeous, thrilling, amazing, incredible, shocking, glorious, unbelievable. It took my breath away, and I couldn't take my eyes off them. They moved gracefully through the sky and faded and grew bigger, stretched and lengthened. As I stood there, I couldn't believe I was in Alaska, that I was seeing what the dogs looked at in Antarctica in the movie Eight Below. That I was miles and miles and miles away from home, seeing things that some people can't even dream of. That I would actually have to leave. It's funny how one moving light in the sky can make you so emotional, think so many things, realize so many things. Alaska is a place where everyone should go, because its beauty, I believe, can transform someone, and give them a glimpse of the rest of the world. You can't see places like Alaska anywhere else in the US.
Well, we have to leave on Monday. I know, so soon! I feel like we just got here yesterday! But we have to go back. I want to go home, but at the same time, I want to stay here for just a little longer! I feel that once we arrive in the lower 48, I'll be dying to get home, to sleep in my bed. Our trip kicks off with a 5 day ferry ride on the Alaska Marine Highway, the same trip we took to get here, except we weren't on the ferry for 5 days straight. So this is my last blog post written in Alaska. I hope you all have grown to love it just by reading about it.
The pictures above were found at: