Today is the day I visit the 49th state in the USA – Alaska! I’ll be gone for two weeks exploring Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, Homer, Seward and points in between with my grandparents, who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary (applause, applause!). I’ve done a bit more research than I usually do before a trip so I can tell you I’m incredibly excited to add Alaska to my list (only 15 U.S. states to go), and of course to scratch it off my world map. (It’s a big state, so that’s going to be a very satisfying moment!)
It seems Alaska is one of those places you can’t quite put your finger on until you actually see it for yourself, so I’m looking forward to all that wide open space, fresh air and that offbeat Alaskan personality I hear so much about. But first, I have a few questions as I make my way from Jacksonville to Dallas to Seattle to Fairbanks today:
- Can bears open car doors?
- What does bear spray smell like?
- Can I ride a moose?
- Should I wear flannel?
- Are there really more men in Alaska than women?
- Are the mosquitoes really as bad as everyone says?
- Can I find Baked Alaska in Alaska or is that too meta?
- Will I want to listen to anything other than the Into the Wild soundtrack?
- How awkward would it be if I wore my Sarah Palin Halloween costume from 2008 every day?
- Will I see the vastness of Denali and decide to buck society and run away into the woods?
Also, I have made an Alaska bucket list after watching a National Geographic special on Netflix a few days ago. I will not consider this trip a success unless I can check all of these off:
- A grizzly bear
- A grizzly man
- Any Palin
- Denali’s peak
- Salmon, dead or alive
- An eagle
- 14 moose
- Dall sheep
- A totem pole
- A glacier
Have you been to Alaska? I’d love your tips, suggestions, restaurant recommendations, etc. I’ll be checking in on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so keep an eye out for photos and stories from the open road.