We had so many great adventures in Alaska!
Here are three more . . .
1 - We went kayaking!
Ketchikan was our first Alaskan port, and after spending the morning exploring Ketchikan (and eating the first of many fish-and-chips-for-lunch meals) (because fish-and-chips in Alaska is amazing), Tom and I spent the afternoon on a guided kayaking expedition around the Tatoosh Islands (just north of Ketchikan).
The setting was absolutely lovely. I wish I could share more photos of this most beautiful place and our adventure with you, but . . . I was busy paddling.
Although the water looks pretty calm, it was . . . the sea. There were waves (which did freak me out a bit) (because although I do a lot of kayaking on our lake, there are never any waves). And it was a windy day. So every now and then, we would come around an island and . . . whoa! Waves! But for the most part, it was pretty easy paddling. We saw deer and lots of eagles on our paddle -- including one that landed on a tree very close to us.
It was exhilarating to be out in the kayaks. I'm so glad we spent our afternoon on the water.
2 - We saw bears!
Although we kept our eyes open for bear sightings throughout our trip, while we were in Sitka we visited Fortress of the Bear, a sanctuary for orphaned bears in Alaska. And there? We saw bears!
This is just an awesome bear sanctuary. Very well done and well maintained -- run by animal behaviorists who are passionate about their work. It is just a beautiful spot for these bears - who would otherwise have been euthanized.
We watched 3 black bears . . .
(I know . . . there are only 2 in my photo. But there were 3.)
And several groups of brown bears.
It was such a treat to see the bears doing their regular bear activities: foraging for food, climbing trees, frolicking, swimming. We really enjoyed our time at this beautiful sanctuary. (We never did see any bears in the wild during our trip.)
3 - We took a walk through the rainforest!
Before our trip, I didn't fully realize that we'd be in a rainforest the whole time. I thought about mountains and glaciers and water . . . but I just didn't get the rainforest part. In fact, for our entire trip, we were in the Tongass National Forest - part of the Pacific temperate rainforest ecoregion.
The contrast between the forest and the water and the mountains is just stunning. And I especially loved all the foliage and trees.
I wish my computer had a scratch-and-sniff feature for you. Since it doesn't, you'll just have to imagine the fresh, earthy smell of the forest for yourself.
Alaska is just an amazing place -- and I'm so glad we went on this most excellent adventure!