Alaska is a beautiful state. I was limited in what I saw, since it's so huge, I stayed within a couple hundred miles from Anchorage. One of the greatest views is of the mountains flying in - make sure you get a window seat when you go! And like other awe-inspiring sites - like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon - most of the scenery is too impressive to capture with a standard camera, if it can be caught at all!

People often think of snow when they think of Alaska. It's actually quite green.

Okay, there is snow - in the mountains. My cousin took me up to Denali National Park. Unfortunately, we couldn't go too far in it because the snow came early this year way up high!

On the way to Denali, we saw these 2 young moose. In the park, we also saw squirrel (an entire arctic squirrel contains 2000 calories - keep that in mind should you ever get lost up there), caribou, Dall's sheep, ptarmigan, and a bear with a cub. I also learned that caribou and reindeer are the same animal, except reindeer are tame (and, of course, they can fly.)

A pretty view on the way to Denali.

A view of Mount McKinley from my cousins back porch at daybreak.

And the reason I was up at daybreak - the AIDS vaccine ride between Fairbanks and Anchorage. I didn't ride, just volunteered at the rally when they returned to Anchorage. The nearly 1500 riders and the 450 accompanying crew members made up the 7th largest city in Alaska when they camped for the night.

Lots of jellyfish oozing around in the water in Seward. Unlike this one, most were light pink.

We took a 4 hour cruise from Seward through Resurrection Bay. This area dropped 7-8 feet during an earthquake, and seawater contaminated the soil, so the plant life died.

We saw quite a bit of wildlife - sealions, puffins (my favorite!), a sea otter floating on his back, cormorants, murres, bald eagles, and a trio of killer whales or Orcas! We also saw several types of glaciers.

After the boat trip, we drove over to a glacier that we could see close up. The scoured, rocky area in front got that way as the glacier receded over it.

Some fireweed growing in an area that was once covered by the glacier. Plant life returns to the path by stages, the glacier had covered this area a few decades earlier than the rocky area in the picture above.

A view of Anchorage from on high!

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