It's been a hot minute since I've written about a trip or anything for that matter. A bit of writers block added with a 6 week stint in flight attendant training at a new airline , had me all the way preoccupied and to be quite honest mentally drained. Pinned beneath the boulder of my own thoughts and game plan for the remaining year , I stalled myself from consistently sharing my excursions. Then on one of these HOT Miami summer days , I began to reminisce on a cold winter day in February when I ventured to Alaska.
Never in my wildest Haitian girl dreams would I have imagined I would be exploring Alaska. Call me ignorant but I naively envisioned Alaska , as a child, a place solely of ice, snow , darkness and truthfully somewhere that wouldn’t appeal to my travel taste . Those factors play a part as factual descriptions but they also carry much of the appeal as to why so many fall in love with Alaska . Much like how I feel going to states such as Hawaii, Alaska makes you feel as though you are in a different country all together and I’m here for it . Even better to note , is that in one day you can be exposed to some of the best things Alaska has to offer .
One Day Itinerary
Carmey, Are You Ridin?
To Drake and regular civilians alike, you have to be riding in something in this state. Renting a car is necessary if you plan on exploring the various cities in Alaska. I literally only had one day so after landing at 9 am in Anchorage, the first step was to rent a car and get the day started. In winter months it is important to add the insurance option to the rental agreement if you normally don't do so. It may seem trivial , especially if you're a self proclaimed amazing driver but the roads in the winter is nothing to play with. A place like Alaska gets icy and God forbid something were to happen , you will be covered. Another thing to think about would be choosing a car that can withstand the unruly roads when you start reaching mountain territories. If you don't take anything else from this piece just remember to drive safely. I mean you don't want your experience to end before it barely begins.
What would a trip be without some foodie experiences? Searching on Yelp at times gives me anxiety to choose the right restaurant to try and my trust issues with user reviews (good or bad) makes it even more difficult to decide.Being friendly on vacation is the best thing you can do when faced with these dilemmas because you usually find people who are more than willing to steer you in the right direction. The representative at the car rental counter, provided the recommendation of the best breakfast spot in Anchorage and I would have to agree.
This ladies and gentlemen is a fully loaded crab omlette with a melted cheese sauce on top and a side of crispy homefries. Gwennies Old Alaska Restaurant is where this dish is served daily morning , noon and night as their breakfast is served all day. Full literally all day thanks to their enormous portions and your travel budget gains a win with their affordable prices. Its a restaurant which politely whispers welcome as you walk into the comforting lodge style restaurant and screams you're welcome when you can barely walk out the door from the abundance of food consumed. Bring some leftovers along your ride to the next adventure and you won't regret the decision. Experiencing a breakfast of a champion was the best prelude to the next activity to come.
So you got the car , your appetite has been satisfied and now you're ready to explore! There are numerous hikes throughout Alaska. How did I decide you ask ? Being friendly on the plane allowed me to become acquainted with some Alaskan natives who advised me with the given time and location, which hikes would be the most convenient and most fun to complete.
Bodenburg Butte Trail is located in Palmer , 42 miles northeast of Anchorage. Its about a 45 minute drive filled with glorious views of the distant mountains. Of course in the winter the trees on either side of the road are covered with snow so if you decide to head there in the summer, prepare for lush views of endless trees. The moderate trail can be accessed from two separate ends ; both leading to a breathtaking view. Should you wear good hiking boots ? Yep ! Did I? Nope! I can't lie I just didn't think too far into gear to do any hike nonetheless in the winter but I mean ... I made it to the top.... I slipped twice ...but I made it! Let me be your guinea pig though and heed my advice to wear appropriate shoe wear and gear to make the experience a little less dangerous . Three miles round trip of mix elevation , a good amount of stairs and some intense edges will allow you to witness a view worth a million miles. I take a lot of pride in completing hikes/trails such as this because they are not always easy and the challenge makes the end result that much sweeter.
Next stop was a lot less vigorous. In fact I would classify Thunderbird Falls as simplistic and serene. The family friendly trail is only 30 minutes away from Anchorage and one mile to the view of point of the beautiful 200 feet falls. It's amazing to witness mother nature turn the waterfall into the bluest pillars of ice. Even more astonishing was the sound of the falls flowing into the river. Barely visible , the descend of the team of drops fiercely diving into the river is subtle yet powerful. I'm sure to witness this in the summer is just as magnificent.
End off the day with a great dining experience at one of the many restaurants in downtown Anchorage. There’s also plenty of local tourist shops and stores that are unique to Alaska.
Visiting any place in one day can feel overwhelming for some but it can also be the adventure of a life time. Taking the time to enjoy the moments while not allowing one wasted second is a skill needed in travel. A balance I'm still intending to achieve. In the meantime , in these hot summer days , I'll recall the coolest day I spent in Alaska.