Globus - Alaska's Nature's Best Tour
Mark and his family joined Globus on our “Nature’s Best: Alaska” tour, he will be sharing his firsthand experience.
The highlights of the trip were the scenery, sled dogs, bears, whales, and the fact that we never saw darkness. Fortunately, the hotel rooms had adequate draperies.
Denali National Park is even more beautiful in person than it is in photographs. Vehicle travel in the Park is strictly limited, and so, we were confronted with a vast expanse of wilderness that man has yet to defile. Even though we couldn’t see the top of Mt. McKinley because of cloud cover, our bus trip through Denali National Park did provide up close sightings of Dall sheep, grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and eagles. And the train trip from Denali to Talkeenta was awesome.
The sled dog puppies were such a hit with my girls (wife and daughters. We learned quite a bit about the entire dog sled racing culture. They encouraged us to handle the puppies in order to help socialize and acclimate them to humans. While recreational “mushers” use whatever dogs they happen to have, Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, etc, only the Alaskan Husky is used in racing. Apparently, no other type of dog can be competitive in the Alaskan endurance races.
The boat ride from Seward to the Kenai Fjords National Park was a bit rough at times. The crew encouraged anyone who felt ill to make for the lower deck, and “try for distance”. The boat captain kept up a running commentary over the sound system advising where to look for wildlife, certain points of interest we were passing, etc. Once we made it out to the glacier, we were rewarded with some of the best scenery of the tour. We were so close we could actually smell and “feel” the glacier.
While we didn’t get to see a “5 story high” iceberg fall into the bay, we did see and get to photograph several trash can sized chunks as they hit the water. The boat crew snagged some of the glacier ice and used it for mixing drinks on the ride back to Seward. Also on the boat ride, we saw harbor seals, dolphins, whales, and eagles. It was truly awesome.
Alaska is far too big to see in one trip, but a Globus or Cosmos tour is a good way to get started. Next time, we won’t feel like strangers.