Honeymoon Day 13: Alaska’s Highways, heading home

This post is admittedly not about Sprout. In fact, it is pre-Sprout. However, we thought some people may be interested in our Alaskan travel and wanted to move our prior posts to this blog. This is the last post (13 of 13) in our Honeymoon Series.

Location: Alaska’s Highways, heading home

Good morning, Alaska, one last time, we will miss your 3 AM sunrise. Maybe not.

With seven people on the bus, we slowly made our way back toward the park gate, 95 miles away. Average speed this time: 19 mph. Vrrroom. The most impressive sight seen along the road was at Reflection Pond, where the valley wind had ceased and left an undistorted reflection of Denali on its surface. We could not believe our luck. We were told that the chances of seeing Denali unobstructed by clouds on a given day is about 30%. Today was the 3rd day in a row that we could see it. Seeing its reflection is even rarer. Jacqui’s camera battery lasted just long enough to take a handful of breathtaking photos.

Denali and the Alaska Range reflecting in Wonder Lake.
Denali and the Alaska Range reflecting in Reflection Pond.

Everyone on the bus was a little sleepy, so the wildlife spotting efforts were muted. However, we finally got a picture of an Alaskan fox – this one is a cross between red and black.

By the time we got to the gate, Jacqui was grappling with her lungs and nose. And they were getting the better of her. Aaron drove back toward Anchorage while Jacqui mostly dosed (attempted to, between coughing bouts). Aaron was taken aback by how prominent Denali is on the horizon on a clear, dry day like today; he could spot it more than 125 miles away.

Having time to kill but little energy we decided to take advantage of matinee movie theater tickets for a summer fluff film, Now You See Me. We can count on one hand how many movies we’ve seen together in the theater over these past 4 years. Afterwards we stopped at target to stock up on Sudafed and softer tissues for the plane, and to empty two weeks of trash from our car. We are sure that we looked a bit sketchy repacking our suitcases in the parking lot. With the gas gauge on E we crossed town towards the airport, stopping for our tastiest meal in Anchorage – reindeer sausage cheesesteak. Sorry, Santa.

We were unsure what to do with our unused bear spray and beer. Fortunately, backpackers are easy to spot. The couple we approached at first did not understand why we handed them a six pack of beer and bear spray, but when it clicked they were overly appreciative and vowed to pass it along when they are leaving Alaska. We wished them luck and that the bear would be unused so that they may pass it along.

Finally in our seats on the plane, we made our best attempt to rest our aching legs and backs in the little space provided. Taking off we looked out over the mountain peaks along the Kenai Peninsula where we had driven not one week earlier. They were so tall it looked like they could scrape the bottom of the plane and so expansive it’s surprising that anyone settled in this beautiful land.

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