“The freshness, the freedom, the farness”: Alaska 2013

As I mentioned in my Seattle post, H. and I recently partook in an opportunity of a lifetime, a cruise in southeast Alaska with 17 members of my family(!). The boat was a small 42-person catamaran, allowing it to access places that thousand-person cruise ships cannot. The result was an up close and personal intimate view of what is surely one of the most beautiful and untouched places I’ve been to. It is very difficult to put into words how incredible this trip was and how much it means to me so I will let the photos do most of the talking.

From a foodie perspective we were pretty much in seafood heaven the entire trip. Every meal featured at least one seafood option — the highlights for me being King Crab night, halibut, and the (non-seafood) venison meatballs with spaghetti squash.

The title of this post is taken from the poem “The Spell of the Yukon” by Robert Service. One of my favourite parts of the cruise was the nights that our guide, Lee, read aloud. This was the one he read on the last night and it was so beautiful and haunting and true that I almost get teary-eyed just thinking about it! Service spent a lot of time in Alaska and northern Canada and while this poem was about the Yukon I agree with Lee that it sums up this part of the world perfectly.

“There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,
And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There’s a land — oh, it beckons and beckons,
And I want to go back — and I will.”

Whales on a calm sea
Whales on a calm sea
Amazing King Crab
Amazing King Crab
Amazing peanut butter cheesecake
Peanut butter cheesecake – probably one of the best desserts I’ve ever had!
Does it get any better than this?
Does it get any better than this?
Juneau
Juneau
Glacier
Glacier and mountains

(NB: H. & I are now back from our month-long extended vacation to North America. I have about 8 posts in the works so stay tuned for lots of late-summer posts!).

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