Meet Eileen, a fit coach, life coach, healthy living enthusiast, engineer and mother of two! As a Texas native now living in Alaska with her family, Eileen has offered to take us happy reading friends, here at ROTR, on a journey through the beauty of Alaska and all its wonder. You can follow Eileen on Instagram (@Rule1Fit) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website rule1fitness.com for her trusted healthy living tips. Read all the way to the end for a special treat: A pic of ROTR and @Rule1Fit on an adventure of their own!
Enjoy this Travel Inspo post friends!
Alaska was never on my list. I mean it was sort of always on my list, but in an “eventually” sort of way. Then, my husband came home and started talking about Alaska… in an “immediate” sort of way. So, my “eventually” for a visit became “immediate” for a permanent residence. Now, I happen to be the type of city girl who has never wanted to be a city girl. I got married to a country man thinking that we would live somewhere out in the middle of nowhere with some horses. I did not realize I was marrying a “go anywhere, do anything” man with a passion for not going back to the country… at least the country where he grew up.
Air Fare – Round Trip $600-$1000. On Alaska Airlines, if you book your trip now with travel dates prior to the 12/31/2020, you can change or cancel without any penalties. Plus, the first class fares were $500 each way when I last checked, which is pretty much the lowest I have ever seen.
AirBnB rates are seasonal in Alaska and can vary widely. Winter rates are much lower than summer. We paid $70/night for a long term stay, but short term runs $100/night winter and $150/night summer. I can personally recommend this Airbnb in Anchorage, which is a great launch pad to day trips around South Central Alaska.
Did you know that the whole world glows bright as if there is a full moon shining during a snow storm? I did not know. I woke up, in Alaska, to a glow one night and went to the window to look for the full moon, but instead found giant white flakes falling fast. Snow. Instantly, Alaskans came alive. Not that they weren’t alive before. They were out in shorts at Costco (a supermarket) because it was above twenty degrees Fahrenheit. When the snow comes in, the skis come out. Cross country, down hill, alpine touring! We practice the “when in Rome” life philosophy. We put our two kids (2 and 4) in downhill skis and took them to an amazing resort called Alyeska (imagine a southerner pronouncing Alaska and you will know how to correctly say Al – ee – es – ka.) This resort is in a little town called Girdwood, AK just 45 minutes south of the Anchorage airport. As I understand it, and don’t take my word for it, the resort is not as large as Telluride in Colorado. However, what it lacks in number of runs it makes up for in breathtaking beauty. All of Alaska is epic. Truly, epic. You overlook the Turnagain Arm (an offshoot from the Pacific Ocean) and the Alaska Range from the upper mountain runs and a tram will bring non-skiers up to a restaurant called the Seven Glaciers… because you get to look at seven glaciers.
Let me say one more thing about Alaska and its epic-ness. I have personal gratitude to Alaska for having very accessible mountains. I get altitude sickness… as ROTR well knows from one of our personal trips to Colorado. The amazing thing about the Alaska range is that the mountains are steep and they are high and they are gorgeous and they start at SEA LEVEL. This gives you all the joy of mountain climbing, hiking, skiing, biking, trail running, bouldering, parasailing, and whatever other things you can think of doing without the thin air (and, for me, without the altitude sickness). If you go to Denali, the bet is off. That puppy is 18,000 feet high. Bring your oxygen. But, like I said, you don’t have to go far to experience epic Alaska because all of Alaska is epic.
Close to Girdwood and Alyeska is the town of Whittier. It’s a town where the entire population lives in the same apartment building. It’s a fishing village at the gateway to the Prince William Sound. There are a couple of good restaurants with fresh halibut fish and chips, but you should go there to hike the Portage Pass. You can take a train or car through a bi-directional tunnel. There is a published schedule listing the times that the tunnel changes direction and a charge of $13 for passenger vehicles. The hike is steep, but manageable. There is something other worldly about the Prince William Sound stretching out behind you and the mountains stretching out in front of you, all the while knowing that you will see the brilliantly blue Portage Glacier and Portage Lake below when you reach the peak. You can make it all the way to the lake if you are willing to continue another mile along the trail, or you can head back down to the rock beach on the Sound and dip your feet and pick up shells.
While you are there, if the days awastin’, head back through the tunnel (remember to check the schedule) and visit the Portage Lake. It’s a much shorter trip to take the Portage Glacier Cruise to see the Portage Glacier up close. The glacial winds, as you can imagine, are brisk and stiff! It’s quite a sight.
When in Alaska, prepare to experience the wilderness. This is not a trip for gastronomes. You might find some great seafood – especially salmon, halibut, clams – but the trip to Alaska is about enjoying untamed glorious Nature. Glorious Nature. I’ve usually fallen into the gastronome bucket, but my mind has been opened to the amazing flavors packed into a sack lunch eaten following an epic hike. A healthy amount of tired makes everything taste delicious.
Happy Travels Friends!
Are you interested in being featured in the ROTR Travel Inspiration series?
Visit our Contact Us page to submit a request.