Alaska - Photographers paradise!

Paul Thomas, England

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  • It was only 3 days into my Alaskan Trek and I was already seeing a world that back packing independently would have failed to deliver. The remote sights and trails we were taken to were not mentioned in any of my guide books and I doubted public transport could get us anywhere near them.

    After spending a pleasant day in Homer, on the Kenai Peninsula, our Trek group gathered up all our food and essential belongings needed for a few days in the wilderness. With a sad wave goodbye to the smelly white wagon our ferry departed from the Homer Spit sandbank and ploughed through choppy waves across the bay towards a waiting wall of cathedral like mountains.

    On the first day of our Trek, our leader asked if we wanted an extra surprise, which he explained would be 'totally awesome'. It was optional, but the whole group had agreed anyway. Remembering these words our boat pulled into Halibut cove, a tranquil bay with jade waters, far from any kind of town or road.

    With only bears and steep mountains for company we found some simple log cabins with beautiful, lonely views. There may not have been showers, toilets or electricity, but getting close to nature tends to need a sacrifice in hygiene. And for the next 3 days we did everything and nothing. Climbing mountain ranges or playing cards, canoeing across the cove or sitting for hours; toes dangling in the cove's waters. The campfire brought our international Trek family closer together and we comforted one another with tales of man eating bears.

    When the time to leave and see a different area of Alaska came, it was raining. Carrying all our heavy cookers and equipment in soggy shoes down to the ferry jetty was not fun, and where was our ferry? It was already 5pm, the horizon was empty of boats, and the mainland was a good few hours away even if we were to leave immediately. As the rain slowed my mood was souring, looking at the water level the tide appeared too low for a boat to pass through the cove entrance. "We're stranded here" I grimaced.

    Suddenly with a large roar a float plane tore over our heads and started to circle. Looking at out leader in disbelief we demanded to know if this was our ride, but he was silent. The float plane landed on the water before us and made its' way over to our jetty. Everybody was jubilant and in disbelief as it appeared we're flying home!

    Once the plane was loaded up, we pulled up away from Halibut cove, and up into the mountains. In the near distance a large Glacier could be seen spilling down a rock face and into a lake. Our pilot kindly offered to take us out of his way to give us a closer look, and we all nodded are necks sore. Circling over the glacier and its icebergs our Trek leader mumbled "totally awesome".

    It was a great surprise! Later I realised that this was a trip highlight for me, yet it was not actually something that was mentioned in our itinerary, nor had I had planned to do it, but my trip to Alaska would not of been the same without it.

Our cabin at the rear of Halibut cove Alaska Float Plane Flying Over The Glacier Alaska Whale Watching Alaska Canoe Group
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