I had the best weekend ever recently – I swear, it felt like an actual vacation. I felt so rejuvenated and refreshed when I got home afterwards. It was totally awesome.
Several months ago, I got myself a Groupon for a private cabin at the Knik River Lodge (50% one night’s stay) and another Groupon for a helicopter tour of the nearby Knik Glacier (50% off a half-hour tour). I posted on facebook about it, and my friend Marlene asked if she could join me.
The funny part of that was that she was in Panama at the time! The world is so small… and yet so big, all at the same time.
Anyway, we coordinated our schedules and got our reservations all worked out – and last weekend we set out on our adventure.
The drive out there was just gorgeous. Alaska really is a spectacular place, even when you've been here as long as I have. You just never get tired of it.
We left my house about 10:00 and got to the lodge around 11:00 or so. Our check in time wasn't until 3:00, so we took off on foot to hike the trails nearby. The mosquitoes were horrendous, as they are everywhere this year – but we had plenty of bug dope, so didn't get too many bites. After our hike we still had a little bit of time to wait, so we lay out on their lawn and dozed off for a bit, watched the people come and go, and saw the helicopters come in & take off.
Eventually, we got settled in to our cabin – just in time to head on down to their dining hall, which was in a Yurt! Our meal was absolutely wonderful: I had the salmon, she had the halibut. After dinner, we sat out on our private deck with a bottle of wine and watched the scenery as the sun slowly set. Well, actually we didn't stay up late enough to see it go down – but it did get slightly dusky by the time we went to bed.
9:00 the next morning saw us bright eyed and bushy tailed at the helicopter pad, waiting for our tour. This was my first ever experience in a helicopter, and I had such a fantastic time.
Our pilot was a very nice guy; retired cop and long-time Alaskan. He was very proud of his helicopter and kept calling it “the Corvette” meaning that it was a very fine craft. He took us out to the glacier and landed on the ice so we could get out and walk around a bit. He even collected some ice water for us to drink, and explained the history of ice (how it forms, why it’s actually blue, that sort of stuff). Once we were in the air again, he took us over to Colony Glacier so we could see Lake George, then flew down near the mouth of the Knik River so we could see the ice bergs.
Sadly the tour ended, so we checked out of our cabin and headed on down the road to Palmer. We stopped a couple times along the way to see the sights and ended up at Vagabonds for lunch. I showed her around town, taking her to the visitor’s center, the Presbyterian Church, the Half Moon Creek Gallery, NonEssentials, Fireside Books, and the second hand store. And to top off our visit, we ended up at Mother’s house and got a tour of her gardens.
It really was a great weekend.