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alaska, travel, photography, skiing, and what not

Posts from the travel Category

Current weather at my house: 30 mph winds, 43 degrees and rain. Need to get out of here!

Early morning offshore fishing in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Be there soon enough….

 

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Perhaps the most famous place to surf in Alaska is in the town of Yakutat. It is a small town right on the gulf in the shadow of Mt St Elias. A beautiful place that has awesome beaches, great steelhead runs, and very remote feel.

A few weeks back myself and few others had extra frequent flyer miles to burn and we booked a last minute trip to Yakutat for a long weekend. It is a quick flight from Anchorage to Yakutat and you can get some big old beater rentals at the airport. It took a while to figure out the tides and breaks but after that we had an amazing time with some killer waves. Probably some of the best I’ve ever had. The break called Graveyards wrapped all the way around the point into Yakutat Bay and broke shoulder high and left for 100+ yds on a nice sandy beach. It made for some big smiles at the end of the day. If you are interested, hit up Jack at Icy Waves Surf Shop – he’ll get you dialed in with rentals, surfboards, etc. Here are some photos… not much of actual surfing because everyone was in the water and not snapping photos.

Peelers on Cannon Beach, Yakutat, AK
waxing the surfboard before surfing in Yakutat
Stormy day on Canons Beach Yakutat, Alaska
Going to surf inside Yakutat Bay, way too stormy outside
Rental with surfboards on top. Waiting for low tide.

Here are some from my buddy Thomas:

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Bears on the way to the beach

I know that is a strong statement and I’ve seen quite a few weird things up here in Alaska, however, Whittier is a weird little town. We had some time to kill on a stormy afternoon and we decided to head down to Whittier, AK to check it out. The winds were cooking down Turnagain Arm at about 75 knots and then the rain started. The weirdness begins when you get to a tunnel that goes 2.5 miles through a mountain before you arrive in Whittier. The tunnel is a single lane and it is shared between outgoing and incoming traffic along with the train. The town of Whittier has just under 200 residents and a majority live in the same building – a 12 story condominium that was once a military housing complex. On the other end of town sits the Buckner Building which is a cold war era Army building which is now abandoned. It was a very creepy place. All said, I can’t wait to go back when the weather is nice (if it ever clears up) and go skiing in the mountains or out on the waters of Prince William Sound.

A few weeks back we headed to Clam Gulch, AK to see if we could rummage up some razor clams. We knew the clamming was not going to be that good because you need a negative tide and the low tides that day were a +2 and +4. The weather was good and we had the beach to ourselves. We pulled our campers out on the beach and enjoyed the sunset, campfire and had great views of both the volcanos across Cook Inlet – Mount Redoubt and Mount Illiamna. In the end the group snagged 18 clams and it was well worth the trip.

Well, it was a hell-of-a move north. It was supposed to be a 5 day trip and quickly turned into a 10 day trip. Our route north included these notable (or not so notable) waypoints:

  • Boise, ID (Start)
  • Spokane, WA
  • Lake Louise, AB
  • Jasper, AB
  • Dawson Creek, BC (Start of the Alaska Highway)
  • Semi Truck brake check area (AKA campsite) in the Canadian Oil Sands
  • Watson Lake, YT (4 day layover due to highway closure)
  • Haines Junction, YT
  • Kluane Lake, YT
  • Tok, AK
  • Anchorage, AK (End)

Here are a few photos from our journey…

To finish off my trip to Vietnam, I had a day layover in Seoul, Korea. While it was a pain in the butt extending the trip home for another day, it was definitely great to be able to spend a day in Seoul. I almost decided not to go into the city because the Seoul/Incheon airport was by far the nicest airport I have ever been in. Instead, I opted to try not to sleep and head into the city. I was able to visit a palace, eat lunch and hit a shopping district before I had to head back to the airport to take off back to America. Overall, being in Korea was like being in Manhattan after spending a few weeks in Vietnam. This is my last blog entry from my trip to Vietnam.

Here are some photos I captured during my short stay in Korea:

Following a brief stay in Hanoi after our adventure in Halong Bay, we headed to the Hanoi International Airport for a short flight south to the historic Danang Airport. I definitely saw the influence from the war with old airplane hangers from the 1970s that were military in style. The second thing I noticed was the rain. Lots of rain. The weather did not look too good for the rest of the week, but we opted to head to the beach instead north to the mountains and would deal with the rain. We stayed at a very nice resort located right on the historic China Beach. Each day we went to Hoi An and took in the scenery, people and food. One thing I have not mentioned thus far was how good the coffee was there. We stopped multiple coffee shops and they were great besides the constant barrage of people trying to sell useless trinkets to tourists.

Here are some photos from our time in Da Nang and Hoi An:

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