There are places we go that forever go with us. Alaska was that place for me. A world I stepped into, and a world I will never leave, or rather it will never leave me.
I hope this post will inspire you to write or travel or imagine. . .
Two years ago, my best friend and I went to Alaska on our honeymoon. Drew, my newly betrothed, planned the entire experience out. From budgets and expenses to flights and rentals, he had everything set. I didn’t have to think about a single thing.
He swept me off my feet and we went on an adventure we will never forget.
While we were in Alaska, we passed my phone back and forth and wrote about some of our experiences in my notes app. It was a beautiful way to capture exactly how we felt in those moments. Rather than trying to repaint a picture of what it was like, I’m going to give you a little snippet I wrote while we were there.
An excerpt from our honeymoon journal:
“Night three in Alaska and we sit out on our cabin’s balcony overlooking the snow-kissed mountains planted firmly against the clean blue sky. Drew smokes his tobacco pipe in his long johns as I drink wine and enjoy a fresh clove cigarette. Nothing can beat the serenity of the fixed water. From this distance it seems so still, though I know the water is licking at the black, stone beach a mile below.
Earlier today we journeyed down the mountainside along the winding horse trail which breeches the thicket of pines and spills out onto a pebbled beach leading down to the hazy blue water. Pockets of fog lifted off the water and disappeared over the bluffs overhead. It smelled like old corals and seaweed. The water is the gulf of Alaska, mixed with the cool water of the Pacific Ocean to the south. There is hardly a breeze in the air, just a few pieces of cotton pulled taunt across the pale sky overhead and the surprisingly warm water that moves beneath.
Lewis and Clark (that’s us) found a fully intact lower jawbone of a moose on the beach. Its teeth sit in two sharp rows that join at the base of the bone. It stinks like animals past and the distinct smell of salt and slimy barnacles off the ocean. The beach is littered with white shells, some covered in dried, twisted barnacles. We take those with us along with the jawbone.
The journey back was steep and long, but we leaned on our walking sticks for aid and trusted our boots would soon land again on the charted ground back up in our remote Mountain.
As I sit reflecting back on our hike, I watch the smoke that rises off Drew’s pipe. It mixes with the warm, fresh air lingering in the bright sky. It will be light like this until after midnight when the sun finally sets. Its a different world having twenty hours of sunlight.
The feeling I have goes beyond happiness. I’m in a world filled with wonder, smoke, wine, my new husband, and a calm that sweeps me off into a wonderland where legends and magic just may exist in the snowy mountains past the rings of cloven smoke, across the misty bay. Anything feels possible.
But I am humbled. No epic fantasy I could escape into could capture the majesty of the One who is responsible for such a wonder as sits before me. I am so small, and so proud to be alive as a witness. I praise God for His artistry.
It is only a few minutes until a new day and the lights on the distant peer will appear to light the few hours of darkness. When they do, I will slip from this serenity into the calm of my husband’s arms.”
Alaska was truly a wonderful adventure. I can’t believe it has been two years since we were there. When I read our journal I can still smell it, taste it. The amazing thing about time is that it tends to dull the senses, and while this is true about our voyage to Alaska, it is not true about my love for Drew. I find I fall more and more in love with him as time passes. He always brings me around in this world the way no else ever has, or ever will. He is himself, one adventure both happening and waiting to happen. One thing has been true for the six years we’ve been together, I’ve never been bored.
And lastly, I have to include this little excerpt that he wrote.
My bride. From her gentle, timid sheep in the pen purr, to her lion loud laugh, she is everything and more than I thought could exist within a body so small. She gives and takes like the hot sun and the beautiful breeze on a summer day.
I want to tell you all our exciting stories of horseback riding, whale watching, and our crazy moose encounters, but I’ll save that for another time. For now, I’m going to include some of the amazing places we visited that way you won’t miss out if you ever visit Alaska.
The Glacier Brewhouse– To this day, Drew and I can’t think of a restaurant we’ve enjoyed more. I had the grilled Alaskan sockeye salmon and Drew had the herb crusted Alaskan halibut. Locally sourced—yum! Its brewery is connected right to the restaurant and you can watch them making all the beer through clear glass walls.
The Anchorage Zoo– This zoo had a lot of animals local to the north. The day we went it was 70 degrees which is really hot for those guys. Most of them were panting and fighting for shade. Poor dears.
Kenai Fjords Tours– We got to see Kenai Fjords National Park from a cruise ship on the Gulf of Alaska. We saw bears, whales, and falling glaciers. The sound of ice breaking and falling from glaciers is incredible.
This is where we spent most of our time, and the little town we fell in love with.
The Homer Bookstore– Of course I had to visit the local bookstore.
Trails End Horse Adventure– This was my absolute FAVORITE part of our time in Alaska. Led by a local cowboy named Mark, this guided tour through Alaskan forrest, beach, and trails was the most breathtaking experience of my life.
The Homer Spit– The spit is Homer’s greatest attraction. It’s filled with little artisan shops and restaurants that line a little piece of land extending into the Kachemak Bay. You must visit the Salty Dawg Saloon!
Cafe Cups– This adorable seafood restaurant is a must add to your ever growing Alaska bucket list. It made me feel like I was truly in Wonderland.