Into the Wild! Alaska.

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The majority of people in Alaska live in the area highlighted on the map to the left.  All other places are difficult to get to – accessible only by boat or plane… even the capital of Alaska (Juneau) can’t be driven to!  Only accessible by ferry or plane.  However, if you fly into Anchorage, then you’ll get to see some really cool areas of where the majority of people live.  Since Alaska only has a few major roads, it’s super easy to hitchhike everywhere!  People are only driving in two directions: north or south.

I hitchhiked (all the highlighted roads on the map) over 1700 miles (2736 km) when I was there and loved every second of it!

CLICK HERE to read my stories about hitchhiking and how I got to experience Alaska like I never thought possible!

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SOUTH OF ANCHORAGE…

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Mile Marker 108.5 on Route 1


Driving south on Route 1, there is a pipe that sticks out of the side of the mountain.  You’d never notice it while driving, but what you will notice is a few cars pulled over at this spot with everyone carrying huge water jugs.  The locals know that this is the best tasting water and they fill up whenever they drive by!  It’s amazing! Try it!

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Girdwood


A cute little hippy ski town about 40 miles (50 minutes) south of Anchorage.

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Seward


Seward

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Exit Glacier


 

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Homer


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Kenai Beach


“Dipnetting” is the way the locals fish for salmon each year… and it’s exactly how it sounds: you dip a huge net into the water and just wait for the salmon to swim into it.

Only an Alaskan state resident is allowed to legally fish this way and there are regulations of how many salmon one is allowed to catch: 25 fish for the head of the household, and 10 fish per each additional person that lives in the house.

Each year, thousands of locals go to Kenai Beach to dipnet in July.

So why Kenai and why July?  Well, because Kenai Beach is at the mouth of the river and (in July) the Salmon swim from the ocean, to the mouth of the river, and try to swim upstream to spawn.

I was lucky to catch this scene!  I didn’t even know what this was, so I’m really glad that I randomly stumbled upon this true Alaskan activity with some nice locals that let me tag along!

I ended up staying for three days straight without ever leaving the beach once.  The atmosphere was great – everyone with their 4-wheelers and pick-up trucks full of salmon, campfires, hotdogs, and beer each night, amazing scenery overlooking four volcanoes and picturesque sunsets every night at 1am… I didn’t want to leave!

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NORTH OF ANCHORAGE…

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Talkeetna


I LOVE TALKEETNA!  I would live here if I weren’t so addicted to traveling all the time!  The town is super cute and has lots of things to do in and around it.  If you like the outdoors, you’ll love Talkeetna!

CLICK HERE to read the amazing story of how I got to Talkeetna as well as what I did when I was there!

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Denali National Park


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Denali Back Country Lodge

I had just arrived in Denali and was walking to the well-known pizza joint in town.  I wasn’t even in town for more than eight minutes when I randomly met up with workers of the Back Country Lodge.  We all went to the pizza place, had some good pizza, beers, and laughs.  I was then invited to go back with them to the Back Country Lodge, 92 miles into the park.

The bus ride takes six hours and costs over $700 for the ride and one night stay (I learned this afterwards when looking for prices).  I was so lucky to make awesome friends in just a few minutes of getting there!

Here are pictures of where I stayed for two nights, deep in Denali National Park:

 

Miscellaneous…


Fireweed – A pink/purple flower (see above picture in “Seward”) that grows all over Alaska.  Some locals say it tastes very good – especially boiled and served as a tea.  Locals also know to watch this flower to know about the seasons.  Fireweed grows upward, blooming from the bottom first.  As soon as the last blossom blooms on the top, locals know it is the end of summer/fall and to prepare for winter.

Hitchhiking – Is super easy! Basically, you only have two options: north or south of Anchorage.  Everyone driving is going in these two directions, so it’s super easy to get picked up by someone who is going a long distance in either direction.

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CLICK HERE to read about the amazing things that happened to me while in Alaska!  I definitely experienced euphoria multiple times on these ridiculous travel highs!

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