Wow, what a great journey of discovery. Below are few of the highs and lows that stand out.
Brooke catching her first fish, a Pink Salmon, in Valdez was great. She was so proud. After tossing a line, and many stones, in nearly every stream we crossed on the way to Alaska, it seemed that we would never catch anything but weeds.
When not even a week into the trip Brooke smashed Cody’s hand in the van door I thought the trip was over. After a fitful night, Cody healed up and was ready to travel. It could have been much worse.
This is a tough one, so I’m going to have to pick two. The first, for beauty, is when we camped in Hyder, AK, overlooking the glacier. Almost more memorable was when we camped in a church in the ghost town of Dorothy, AB. We all had a terrible night sleep but it was an experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
Anchorage’s Centennial Park Campground, with it’s noise and people making a home of it, is tops on my list of least favorite places.
Hidden Lake Trail in Glacier National Park
Things Scott missed while we were gone
Family, Friends, Regular workouts
Favorite Camp Food
Sockeye Salmon from Colorado high school teachers at Hidden Lake
I was excited to finally get to see Cody take several steps in a row. I’m happy that Scott got to see a first, first and be excited to tell me about it. I really enjoyed watching Scott and Brooke glow from the experience of finally having caught a fish. They were up a lot that night giddy from the excitement. I’m glad Scott encouraged Brooke and I to take the train from Seward to Anchorage. Brooke is usually very well-behaved when she is given one-on-one time and she was just glowing from the new experience. I also loved watching Brooke climb in the White Mountains for the first time and do so well so quickly. We were all so proud of her.
Cody had A LOT of accidents in the beginning. I don’t like to hear my babies cry and any time I stayed up with him all night worrying about his health and knowing there wasn’t medical help anywhere near, it made my heart ache. I also didn’t like the tension between Scott and I in the beginning of the trip. (I was not sure the risk we were taking with our kids was worth the potential gain.) After I realized that Scott was not going to give up on the trip idea, I decided that I could try to make the best of the situation and maybe we’d all survive to enjoy it.
All of my favorite campsites were in Alaska and they are all very different from each other. I loved Hidden Lake for the lonely loon’s call and the peaceful surroundings as well as the exceptional company. I enjoyed Fairbanks because we had just come from Canada where I felt so disconnected because we couldn’t use the phone and didn’t often have Wifi. Sometimes just knowing that I could call to hear family or call for medical help if the kids needed it helped me sleep better. Two bonuses included the free Wifi and the lack of bear warning notices everywhere. We stayed there a week, which was the longest we stayed in any one place, making it feel almost homey. Teklaneeka in Denali was an experience like none other on our trip.
Anchorage’s Centennial Park Campground. A River Runeth Through It. Enough said.
The Ancient Cedar Rainforest in British Columbia east of Prince George. It was just so peaceful. I couldn’t breathe in enough of the clean cedar air.
Things April Missed While we Were Gone
Kitty Cats – Denali and Teton, Family, Friends, My Bed, Guilt-Free breaks away from the kids, Security of close health care, Clean and Warm Showers, Bear-Free Sleep
Favorite Camp Food
Anytime someone else cooks it somehow tastes better. Thus, everything was delicious! My favorites were: homemade pizza, desserts, pan fried granola, and of course s’mores.
Brooke’s first response was catching a fish. Then she also added that she liked the gondola or tram ride up to the top of Whistler Mountain in Jasper, Alberta. She also loved the Denali (Alaska Railroad) train ride from Seward to Anchorage. Brooke often loves to tell about climbing to the top of Grapefruit Rocks in the White Mountains north of Fairbanks. She liked riding her bike and camping by parks too.
It was hard to get this concept across to Brooke, but she agreed that she really didn’t like pit toilets. She was always afraid I was going to drop her down one. She says she didn’t like hikes, not even the one where I was trying to hold her hand to keep her from falling and accidentally took her down on her head when I fell. (Ancient Cedar Forest- 70 miles east of Prince George, British Columbia) But we think she secretly liked it anyway. She also secretly likes being a “double” junior ranger (Denali and Glacier). She would often give ranger talks about rocks or things we would see on our hikes.
Hidden Lake in the Kenai National Forest in Alaska. She really enjoyed the row boat and meeting Sandy and Jack. Sandy made Brooke her very own little fishing pole. More than anything they made her feel like everything she had to say was the most important thing they had ever heard. She misses them and really enjoyed their company.
Brooke is still having a hard time with the concept of not liking something, which is good, but we know she didn’t like campsites with a lot of mosquitoes. She didn’t usually get upset about the campsites mostly about not being able to play at playgrounds if they were wet or in general not being able to do what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it.
The hike in Denali National Park at the Elison Visitors Center. Brooke liked hiking with her climbing friends. It was also one of the first hikes where Brooke walked for almost an hour.
Things Brooke Missed While we Were Gone
Kitty Cats – Denali and Teton, Family, Friends, School, Her Inflatable Pool, Air Conditioning?, Her Bed, Her Toys
Favorite Camp Food
Apple Cobbler, Brooke also really got a kick out of Scott cooking the birthday cakes – she wants Scott to cook her birthday cake this year
Getting to stand in Dadda’s seat and drive. I loved splashing in water and eating rocks too. Starting to learn to walk is a lot of fun, but tiring too. I enjoyed chasing Brooke around the tent and bottle chucking and bottle bathing.
It seemed like everyone was having trouble taking care of me in the beginning. Mom would forget to strap my booster seat down and I fell on my head. Dad wasn’t watching me and I hit my eye on a pot in a fireplace. I’ll always have a scar to remember that one. Brooke smashed my left hand in the van door on accident and scrapped up the whole left side of my body a few weeks after that by tipping over my stroller on a road. I was also sick a few times and had trouble breathing and sleeping. Mostly I wanted to be up and moving, but they just kept strapping me into things: my stroller, my booster seat, or my car seat.
The last campground in Alaska. Mommy actually let me get really dirty and play in the mud. Then they let me splash in the water and cool off too. I even ate a few rocks when mommy wasn’t looking. Some dinosaurs used rocks to help with digestion. What’s the harm?
Hand smashing. Need I say more.
Anytime I was on Daddy’s back and he wore his hat was great fun for me. I would just pick up the reigns, jump up and down in the pack, and giggle away as daddy Giddy-Upped.
Things Cody Missed While we Were Gone
Being free to roam.
Favorite Camp Food
My Birthday cake!