Guest post by Nathalie
Alaska? Isn’t this a cold place far north close to Russia?
When I first started thinking of spending my entire summer in Alaska I have to admit I felt a slight shiver and though about a cold place far north. But I also started thinking about bears. I love spotting animals and seeing bears was definitely on my bucket list. So it was worth thinking about it and made some further investigations. I find out that Anchorage, the biggest city in Alaska, isn’t further north than Oslo in Norway. So why not give it a try? My curiosity and wish to see bears in the wild were bigger than my thoughts about unbearable weather conditions… So jump with me into my first Alaska experience:
It never gets dark!
In the beginning I have to force myself to go to sleep. At 11 pm the sun is still shining into my face and it feels like it is late afternoon. It definitely messes a bit with my body clock – I don’t feel tired anymore. I am not sure if this is a good thing, but it definitely has one advantage: it doesn’t get scary when I have to go to the bathroom at night as I am able to see. Yes, I would love to see a bear, but I am not sure if I would like to meet him during a bathroom session…
Jackson, the bear
Staying up late due to lack of darkness makes me and my group of passengers get up later than we wanted to. We had a great evening round the campfire chatting away. There is nothing better than a self-made campfire, including chopping the wood and having some marshmallows as dessert! So breakfast is just a quick one: some coffee, tea and toast with spread. Everybody wants to get on the road and not miss any chances to spot bears and moose in Denali National Park. And then the incredible happens. Earlier than expected just a few miles down the road we spot out of a sudden our first black bear! We haven’t even reached the National Park and wildlife is already around us. The bear is feeding on dandelions and isn’t feeling disturbed by us in the slightest. I am getting so excited that I am almost in tears. He looks so cute and fluffy and chilled out. Nevertheless I am kind of glad I am in ATKA, our remodeled school bus, and not cooking or peeing outside for my first bear encounter! I am naming him Jackson, after our mascot we travel with…
So let me tell you the truth about Alaska:
- Yes, we had a few rainy days, but most of the days I have spent here were sunny and warm!
- Yes, there are mosquito’s, but we have our remodeled school bus with tables to hang out and a big cook tent with mashes.
- Yes, there are bears in Alaska! But this is not scary but a great thing! If you know how to behave, they won’t harm you!
- Yes, the sun hardly ever sets – this means more time for adventures! And this means we have been spotting moose, caribou, sea otters, eagles, dull sheep and even a whale! If you love seeing wildlife together with stunning scenery of glaciers, mountains and seaside, give Alaska a try – it’s not as cold as you might think it is!
More on this Guest Blogger
Left Germany end of 2010 to backpack West Africa. After feeling the freedom of the road applied for a tour leading job and since then has been driving overland trucks from Cairo to Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro to Quito. After remodeling an old school bus into an ultimate overland vehicle and starting her on adventure company together with Dave (who she met travelling and working in Africa) Natalie is on the road again: This time to enjoy the beauty and wilderness of Alaska with like-minded people. You can follow their adventure on their blog, FB or Twitter.