Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

Hey hey baby cakes, I told you I’d be back! Let’s keep on keepin’ on with this Alaska recap why don’t we.

So where did we leave off? Oh yeahhhh that dreaded Savage River hike. Welp – I have some reallllll funny news for you. Since we last talked, I’ve found out a few more fun facts about Savage River believe it or not. The savage river bears are like REALLY real. Dan shared some casual stories with me that he’s been hearing from co-workers…oh ya know, like a bear attacking an Aramark tour bus driver on the trail we were on, another bear picking up a child by the pants and taking him into the woods, another bear being “bean bagged” by park service for weeks before being found with a broken arm and nose and then euthanized. WHAT. How are we alive? Do you understand why I was being so dramatic now?! K great thanks.

Moving right along….

TUESDAY

We started the morning off bright and early with breakfast in the employee dining room before rushing to make our 7:30am white water rafting trip. Nothing like rafting in year round 35 degree water to wake you right up! Nature’s coffee I tell ya. I wish I liked coffee, all the cool kids are doing it. I digress… Because it was so rainy and icky this morning, we were the only ones on our trip – it was just us and our tour guide, which was actually super awesome! I kind of wish we took pictures in the waterproof clown costumes they gave us to wear. They were hilarious. We spent the next hour or so maneuvering some pretty gnarly rapids in most bitter cold glacial waters. It was so much fun!

After our eventful morning, we headed back to the village, showered off, and I explored the property a bit. Alaska is so beautiful even on a dreary day!

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

We hit up the employee dining room again for lunch, then Dan headed into the office to do a bit of work. Meanwhile, I cozied up by my favorite fireplace and got to work as well. There’s nothing quite like doing nutrition analysis by a real fire in an Alaskan lodge with the most delicious chai tea with steamed whole milk in hand. Mmmmmm.

After working for most of the afternoon, we met up with a bunch of Dan’s co-workers at a cute little farm-to-table (or port-to-plate as they call it in AK) restaurant called Crow’s Nest for dinner and drinks. We worked some more when we got back so that we’d have a jump start on our Wednesdays!

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday started off with the breakfast buffet in the lodge – made-to-order omelets, yes please! Dan had a big meeting that was expected to last all day, so I was on my own for the day! But you all know I cannot sit still, so I took matters into my own hands. I posted up at my favorite lounge chair by the fireplace and worked for a few couple hours, and then I was starting to get antsy. I talked to the employees at the front desk to get some ideas of what adventures I could go on and ended up deciding to make a visit to Husky Homestead.

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

Husky Homestead is the home of Iditarod champion Jeff King and his massive fleet of adorable sled dogs and puppies. Right after stepping off the bus, you’re handed a cuddly puppy and get to enjoy some snugs for 15 minutes or so. Then they give you a tour of the property, show off some training runs, and Jeff gives a little presentation on what it’s like to race the Iditarod and train huskies for a living. It was fascinating! Look at this stinkin’ cutie pa tootie. I NEED to go back to Anchorage in March to watch the start of the Iditarod. It’s happening.

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

It was time to say goodbye to Denali for now. WAH. We ran a few errands and hit the road. The drive back to anchorage was filled with good conversation, lots of foliage (Aileen would have been pooping her pants), so many laughs, and approximately 73 bajillion rainbows. It was breathtaking!

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

We stopped in the cutest little cute cute cute Alaskan town of Talkeetna for dinner on our way back. We hit up Denali Brewing Company and had some delicious grub and awesome beers – a hefeweizen and a sour, of course! Non-hoppy beers FO LYFE. Let the Alaska brewery tour commence…

THURSDAY

Back in Anchorage! Dan had to work again today, lame…who works when Heather comes to visit? C’mon. I drove Dan to work and took his car exploring around Anchorage for the day. I hit up the Anchorage Museum, walked around downtown Anchorage, and walked the trails at Point Woronzof.

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

I got some postcards to mail out and bought souvenirs for the kiddos (I obviously got them bear bells after my dramatic experience #practicalgifts). And then I went to Blockbuster. Because why wouldn’t I go to Blockbuster. I could not get over that there was one of these still open and operating. What is this 1985?! Get with the times Alaska! Stilling LOLing.

After a day of exploration, it was off to the famous Moose’s Tooth for dinner. It doesn’t get much better than pizza and beer! We started off with a flight of beer because…Alaska. We decided to have a blind beer tasting challenge and I was awful. Such is life. I did, however, become a lifelong beer snob after learning what IBUs are. Take that!

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

We sat in the exact same booth as the last time Dan was here and he felt the need to document it.

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

And I’ll leave you with this as the cherry on top. My first comment card of the trip was this night. This was an ongoing joke for the remainder of my trip and has since become a bizarre past time (hobby?) of mine that everyone else thinks is weird and annoying but I find to be SO much fun. Haters gon hate. Potaters gon potate.

Alaska Part II: I Trained a Future Iditarod Champ

Phew, that’s enough for one night! We’ll pick up with the last part of the trip next time – hiking Flattop, a glacier boat tour in Seward, and much more. But I don’t want to spoil allllll the surprises! Stay tuned for my third and final recap, coming soon.

Did you miss Part I of my Alaska trip? Check it out!


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