The Call of The Last Frontier

4:02 PM Manda Manning 1 Comments

I spent Labor Day weekend in Alaska with my cousin, Caitlin. I had been looking forward to this trip for quite some time -- I'd heard of how beautiful Anchorage is in the summer season and Caitlin and I had been discussing the sights and activities we were going to explore while I was there. However, nothing prepares for you for the astounding glory that surrounds Alaska until you are physically soaking it in.

I was completely captured by the magnificent grandeur of Alaska's landscape. The residents hold a deep and solemn reverence for their surroundings. A quiet sense of peace hangs in the air. Nature rules the land, and there is a mutual recognition of its dominance and superiority.

The mountains reign quietly, ever present in the distance. Deliciously lush, deep and bright shades of green cover the ground. The tremendous trees hover overhead, aflame with colors of seasons in transition. The coast is an epic convergence of rocky terrain and restless waters. The glacier lakes were truly a sight from a story book. Pools and streams of the purest turquoise water I've ever seen, fed by the massive glaciers tucked in between the mountain tops.

Upon returning from Alaska, my wandering, restless spirit is more alive, and more relentless, than ever before. All of it made me feel so removed from the life I had waiting for me. This was such a raw and pure way of life. There are no materialistic desires because there is no need. Nature itself is the most thoroughly satisfying experience, and there seems to be no end to these experiences in Alaska, America's Last Frontier.

After seeing photos of The Eagle River Nature Center on Caitlin's Instagram that looked picture-perfect enough to be on the front of a postcard, I told her I wanted to make sure we made time for a quick trip up. However, on the day we went the weather was quite overcast and drizzling rain, and the mountains were masked by a dense layer of fog. I didn't mind, though. I found the misty clouds added a magical air of mystery to the atmosphere that was enchanting. 

We made a stop at this meadow in Turnagain Pass along our day trip down south to Seward for the outhouse, and we stayed for the delightfully magical views. The sun was peaking out from behind the clouds, and the tall weeds were dancing in the wind. My soul swelled with an overwhelming sense of freedom. 

Seward was quaint and charming.

These were taken from stops made along Whittier Road in Chugach National Forest. 

One morning we walked the boardwalk over Potters Marsh. We sipped our coffee while admiring a pair of bald eagles and chatting with a local wildlife-observer. Not a horrible way to start the day, to say the least.

Taken at Beluga Point on my first day on probably one of my top five favorite roads I've driven down, Seward Highway. We stopped to watch several Beluga whales play in the incoming tide. 

These were taken at the same spot at Beluga Point. It looks like a completely different place with the low hanging mist. Equally beautiful, I believe, just in a different way.


Really, these glacier lakes speak for themselves. No caption necessary.


Probably my favorite hike of the trip was on Winner's Creek Trail in Alyeska. The forest, coated in a thick layer of moss, felt so exquisitely lush. It was incredible to me to think that this forest teeming with life and color would soon be caked in snow... 

Oh yeah, and my little climbing buddy took me to get belay certified! (And yes, that wall is as scary high as it looks.)

Thank you, Caitlin, for introducing me to the miraculous state of Alaska. It has taken my hunger for adventure to a new level.

1 comment:

  1. Seeing these pictures makes my heart ache to go back. The five months I spent working there were among the greatest of my life so far. Every time I thought I had seen Alaska at its most beautiful, it surprised me again. I'm so glad you had the chance to experience it, and highly recommend a trip to Denali or Fairbanks around Labor Day. The Northern Lights are spectacular then.
    ~Kat Bishop