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Minivan Life

Heading South :: Haines to Juneau to Petersburg

Before leaving Haines we headed back down to the river to take a few more photos of bald eagles and to hopefully get another glimpse of the brown bear (aka grizzly) that had been hanging around. Watch the video at the end of the last post! Since there are no roads to connect most of Southeast Alaska, we boarded the M/V Malaspina to take a trip down the Alaska Marine Highway.  When we came up here, back in March, we made one long ferry-trip from Bellingham to Haines that took three days. This time we are dividing the journey into several shorter trips with 2-3 days at each destination. Eldred...
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Heading South :: Anchorage to Haines

We left Anchorage on Saturday and drove the 700 miles to Haines in three, slow-paced days. The timing was perfect for the fall foliage and we couldn’t have asked for better weather – that was until we arrived in Southeast Alaska. Since we crossed the border from Canada back into the US and into the Alaska panhandle it has been pretty standard Southeast AK rain. But it is amazingly beautiful nonetheless and still my favorite part of Alaska (Mike favors South-Central.) Just a couple of hours outside of Anchorage is the Matanuska Glacier.Here is a fact I learned in our...
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Trail of Blue Ice and New Mini Van Bed

Last weekend we went for a bike ride along the Trail of Blue Ice in the Portage Valley. The glaciers seem really vivid this time of year, probably because most of the snow that covered the ice has melted.It’s almost time to head back south so we are getting the van ready. Picked up these bike racks to transport our bikes… …and built a new bed for the van.  Here are photos of how we used to have the bed setup. Coming up here we didn’t have a bed in the van at all since we didn’t have time for a lot of stops. On our way back south...
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Seward

Last weekend we took a drive down to Seward for a little mini-van camping.  Seward is a great little town that is more reminiscent of SE Alaska with lots of fir trees, clear water and small town atmosphere. Up around Anchorage, where we are working, it’s mostly deciduous trees and the water in Cook Inlet is about as clear as a milkshake. Sockeye Salmon I just can’t enough of that color! Fireweed.

Video | Ferry to Alaska

Taking the Alaska Marine Highway (ferry) from Bellingham, Washington to Haines, Alaska or Skagway, Alaska through the Inside Passage was a great way to do an Alaska cruise on the cheap. If you want more time to explore each stop book each leg separately as we did on our return trip. We took about a week at each stop to camp and then hopped back on the ferry. On the way back south we also wizened up and reserved a three bed stateroom instead of just two beds in a bunk bed formation. The three bed stateroom has a lot more floor space...
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Ferry from Bellingham to Haines, Alaska

Take the Alaska Marine Highway (Alaska’s ferry system) from Bellingham up the Inside Passage to Haines and then drive the last 750 miles to Anchorage. That’s the plan. We left Bellingham Friday night. Saturday was spent entirely at sea cruising through Canada and yesterday (Sunday) morning we arrived at our first stop: Ketchikan. Mike and I had spent quite a bit of time here, nearly 10 years ago, when we were working for NOAA aboard the Fairweather and it was a sort of homecoming. If it hadn’t been for the clear, sunny skies it might have felt more familiar. It’s...
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