Alaska: America’s ‘Last Great Frontier’ [PHOTOS]
Recently I had the chance to scratch an item off my bucket list - which was taking a trip to Alaska. And all I can say is, "WOW!" What a magnificent place. My wife and I, along with a group of listeners, set up a trip through YMT Vacations (which, by the way, were SO GREAT to deal with, they handled everything). I see now why they call Alaska the "last great frontier."
My wife and I went on a 12 day land and sea excursion, starting out in Anchorage and ending up in Seattle. During that time we experienced everything from glaciers the size of small towns, to Mount McKinley, to whales swimming along side the cruise ship.
It's difficult to come up with the right words to describe the beauty and majesty of what we saw. It really is nothing short of a miracle. I have to admit though, while being in total awe, I also found myself feeling totally isolated and cut off from the rest of the world.
Take the state capital of Juneau for example. There are no roads in or out of town. So that means everything has to be brought in by either ship or plane - and I mean everything. From big tour buses and garbage trucks to everyday items like food and clothing.
In the town of Haines - population 2,000 - I had the pleasure of meeting a mother of three. She told me how in order to get her kids ready to go back to school, she had to take a three hour ferry ride to Juneau, shop, spend the night, and then take the ferry back home - for something as simple as school supplies!
I was also amazed by how many people I met who made the conscious decision to relocate to the state. I would guess at least half of those I had the pleasure of meeting had moved to Alaska from someplace else. The other half being born and raised there.
The one common thread I found in the people living there is their independent spirit. Everyone has no problem being "somewhat disconnected" from the rest of the world. Yes, they do have cell phones, but to get anywhere takes a real effort on your part.
All I can say is it truly was a once in a lifetime trip that I hope everyone has the opportunity to experience sometime during his or her life. Who knows, maybe you'll get up there and decide to stay. It's happened before!
Following are some of the photos I took while in Alaska. I'll be the first to admit that they don't do justice to the beauty and majesty of the state. But I hope you enjoy some of the pictures we took while we were there.