We had an excellent family vacation to Alaska about 1997 as our sons were 18 & 15, so the future would not likely hold more vacations that we could all take together. My father-in-law lived there at the time (we were living in Arkansas). He provided an RV to stay in and car to drive during our visit.
I saw Northern Lights the first night, after everyone else had turned in for the night.
During another day trip, we caught a view of Mt. McKinley and had good Samaritans help jump our loaner car on the way back to Anchorage.
We visited an old gold mine and mined for gold in a creek.
We took a ferry ride around awesome glaciers.
We joked in Wasilla (something vaguely funny at the time with gum that “tasted like burning–O the Wa-silliness. This was an inside family joke.
We saw a summer camp for sled dogs.
While traveling away from Anchorage, driving through smaller towns, our family even attended a camp meeting of a different church group than ours. Here I attended one session featuring a speaker on hope who had survived a brutal attack and did not lose her faith, but who lives to give glory to God.
We had a great time. The state’s natural beauty is unsurpassed.
The museum in Anchorage was interesting with an earthquake simulation and historical photos from the Good Friday 9.2 earthquake on March 27, 1964. On the way down the Alaska Penisula, there are still towns showing the tremendous damage with whole city blocks sunken in and left as they were in some locations.
On the drive to Seward, we saw salmon in their spawning season as well as smoked salmon for sale in roadside stands. We tried reindeer pizza. A fishing tournament was ongoing in Seward, so we did not find lodging, but returned to our home base, arriving at 5 a.m. on a Monday morning. We had begun traveling the day before, but lighting there is quite different in the summer, so this became “the longest day” if one counts daylight hours.
Visiting Alaska for the first time gave our family lasting memories. It was wonderful to revisit an area my husband had lived in as a child when Alaska became the 49th state in 1959.