experiences

25 Hours in Alaska

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My recent mileage run this past weekend gave me 25 hours in Anchorage — just enough time to do the flightseeing tour I missed last time. I was staying in Anchorage and couldn’t make up my mind if it was worth it to drive to Talkeetna for a tour that did a glacier landing or if I should save myself the 4 hour drive and fly out of Anchorage without a glacier landing.

The information on Alaska.org was really helpful in weighing the pros and cons, and since I had nothing else planned for the day, I decided I’d rather spend more time on the mountain even if it meant a pretty boring 4 hour drive roundtrip.

So I woke up after only about 5 hours sleep and called my operator of choice (based on travel forums), Talkeetna Air Taxi, to see how the weather conditions were and to see if they’d let me book online in order to take advantage of a free glacier landing with code LAND FREE. They said yes they’d honor it, and told me to call back in an hour so I jumped out of bed and started getting ready.

At 9AM I was downstairs getting the Sheraton to link my adjacent reservations so I wouldn’t have to take all my stuff (I forgot when I checked in), and hit the road, calling Talkeetna Air Taxi shortly after. The weather had cleared, but a storm was coming, how soon could I get there?

They guessed I could get there by 11:30, but called back shortly after to see if I could get there by 11:15. I promised to make as good time as I could. At 11, I was turning onto the Talkeetna spur, on track for an 11:15 check in.

Mt. McKinley glacier landing

The flight was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life and well worth the $296. Aftwards I grabbed some food, my first of the day, and headed back to the hotel. I arrived around 5PM and debated getting delivery or room service, but wound up falling asleep before I could decide. I’d had the window open as I drifted off, lulled by the gentle sound of rain and the clean crisp air blowing in. And I decided that next time I come back, I’m not going to overschedule myself. In fact, I’m going to plan for at least an entire day that could be spent doing nothing but resting or gazing leisurely at the Alaskan mountains in the great air.

I woke around 11PM in time to shower, pack up, check out, and head to the airport for my 1:43AM flight. It was a rough trip, but the flight over Mt McKinley made everything worth it!

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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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