Alaska. The 49th was named after the Aleut word, Aleyska, meaning "Great Land." From everything I have seen, it is an understatement. This land is great not only in size, but beauty, resources, wildlife, and adventure. Luckily, I have had the opportunity to travel and take in some of the "great" this state has to offer. From the Kenai Peninsula to Denali, I have met friendly people and seen amazing wildlife . In Kenai I saw humpback whales, puffin, mountain goats, seals, caribou, and moose. In Denali I had a family of moose right outside my canvas tent – they enjoyed walking on the boardwalk to the tent late last night – I didn't see them, but I heard and smelled the mama and her two babies. I have seen grouse, hares, and more moose on the Denali roads. I am hopeful to view some more of the infamous big creatures like brown bears and caribou throughout the rest of my stay here. And let's not forget the mosquitoes. I have met several and they are "great" in size, but fortunately not great in speed and easily swatted.
The weather has been a great adventure too. As a desert dweller, I have yet to warm up and have a chill in my bones that I just can't shake. It has been raining and in the 50's for the most part of two weeks. I try not to give away my touristy side as I pull the hand warmers from my pockets in front of new people. In Seward someone commented that they thought my family were natives from Alaska, not from the lower 48, until we showed them the hand warmers. They quickly retracted the statement.
This piece of Earth is breathtakingly beautiful and I love it. On to my next adventure!