Alaska in the Winter

I am not a fan of -20 degrees. Nobody really is, and everyone said I was crazy to go to Alaska in the winter. "It's going to be dark all day" is what I heard over and over again. 

But since Alaska meant dog sledding with beautiful huskies and a high probability of catching the northern lights, I didn't care. I packed my snowboarding pants and jacket, 15 pair of socks, 10 sweaters, multiple leggings and I bought shoes that I thought would protect me from the extreme temperatures of Fairbanks. 

They did not.

Yet I have no regrets at all. Alaska was even more beautiful and more wild then I thought it would be. And it was sunny.

See I am not lying about the sun 

First stop was Sitka, which according to the locals, is the most beautiful island. I won't lie. It was beautiful! Really beautiful. We even got to see bears and spot a reindeer. However the locals forgot to mention how expensive their little island was. I am not saying don't stop there. I am saying be ready to max out your Amex. My salmon sandwich was delicious, but $22! Thankfully all the hiking was free.

Deidre still claims it was a dog, but what do you think?
PS: Sitka is known for it's large bear population so DON'T forget the bear spray like we did! 
Second stop was Fairbanks, but since we drove off toward the Chena HotSprings the minute we landed, I don't have anything to say about Fairbanks itself. We did stop midway to dogsled and thanks to the Brattrud family had an awesome time. We were able to get really close to the dogs. And their three kids were just adorable. And trust me when I say that a 30 minute sled ride is all you want. It gets cold, very fast, even in March on a sunny day. 
Yes she is wearing a sleeveless shirt and Deidre and I are wearing every piece of clothing we own 
Third and last stop was Anchorage, which was originally our first stop, but when you are flying standby, itineraries tend to be unpredictable. Thankfully Deidre and I like unpredictable and we got there just on time to witness the kickoff of the Iditarod race, participate in the Reindeer race and discover Girdwood, a true heaven for snowboarders, skiers and mountain lovers.

GIRDWOOD - Sunny, right? 
The drive up there is kind of beautiful too, isn't it? 
So never judge places before you have been there. Just go and explore. 
Stop by Grandma Tillie's Bakery, best cinnamon rolls ever! And yes we stopped at the bakery before hiking, but didn't remember the bear spray. Priorities I guess -:) 

And if you are flying standby like Deidre and I, and all flights are full, relax. Ending up in Hawaii isn't so bad, is it? 




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