Everyone Needs a Holiday

I know, I know, I’ve sort of been absent for a bit. It was time for a vacation (or holiday, for other parts of the world).

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Denali National Park, Alaska

I went on an Amazing Alaskan Adventure and saw several moose, but alas, I have no proof, for we were not quick enough with the camera. I was quick enough with the camera to get a few pictures of caribou, however, while riding a Denali National Park shuttle.

photo of a caribou taken by Debey Sklenar
Photo of a caribou taken by Debey Sklenar

Seeing caribou made me think of reindeer – I had thought they were different names for the same animal. I was a bit surprised to learn that they are different, although they are related. As it turns out, they look different, but are the same species. Caribou are elk-like and live above the tree line in the Artic; reindeer are a bit smaller and were domesticated into herds about 2,000 years ago in Eurasia, so they are not native to Alaska. Apparently, both are also quite good swimmers. Go figure!

cutest mountain goat ever at the top of the Harding Ice Field hike, Kenai National Park
Cutest mountain goat ever at the top of the Harding Ice Field hike, Kenai Fjords National Park

But moose and caribou were not the only animals of Alaska that we saw. Bears, bald eagles, sea lions, seals, a couple marmots, a whale, and a mountain goat are some others that I can think of. Oh yeah AND we got to ride along with some official Iditarod sled dogs!

I really don’t want or mean to be an advertisement for any particular place, but if you ever find yourself in Seward, Alaska, go on the Turning Heads Kennel sled dog tour. It was amazing, very friendly, lots of opportunities to ask whatever silly questions we had, and we got to ride behind the dogs for their “practice”; seeing them in action was incredible!

Racer Travis Beal and his Iditarod dogs
Racer Travis Beals and his Iditarod dogs

We also hiked to the top of the Exit Glacier trail to see the Harding Ice Field view at the end of the trail in the Kenai Fjords National Park. As a bonus, we were greeted by a mountain goat that wandered right on up to us to let us get lots of great pictures of him. 

The only semi-bad part of the trip was a rainy day that sort of covered up a lot of the scenery and really brought out the mosquitoes.  I have never seen so many mosquitoes ever!

I know, I know, none of this has anything to do with either fairy tales or middle grade fiction. I promise, the next post will be more fantastical . . . . Perhaps, anyway! Like the title, everyone needs a holiday!

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