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North to Alaska - Pt. 1

For our five year wedding anniversary earlier this year, Mbala and I embarked upon a lifelong dream trip for the both of us – Alaska. It's taken awhile to process all the photos!

Musk ox playing soccer!

Humpback whale in the inland passage.

Hubbard Glacier - amazing colors!

We started off spending time in Palmer at the musk ox farm, thrilled with the chance to get some hands on experience with this incredible domestication project. We plan to raise musk ox on the farm eventually so it was wonderful to get the chance to see how the farm is set up and day to day care of musk oxen. We collected qiviut (natural wool shed - an amazing material!) and did rounds on the farm - it recently changed ownership and has had a lot of changes lately and I was really thankful that the crew took time with me to help us on our endeavor. :)

One of the young musk oxen, I believe this was a yearling female.

I apparently make amazing faces when I ask questions.

Mbala is just making fun of me with his photo editing - dreaming of future musk oxen roaming our land.

A few of the adult males.

One evening in Palmer we visited the big reindeer ranch there - this was the tame resident moose.

And of course, reindeer!

There were quite a few baby reindeer wandering around after their mothers. Too cute!

Mbala was unsure of the reindeer at first (the photo also gives you an idea how small most reindeer are - people seem to assume they are much larger!)

Checking each other out.

The reindeer were incredibly gentle, and especially food motivated.

Velvet antlers.
After our time north of Anchorage, we met up with the rest of our group and toured the coastline on a cruise with sixteen of our friends – it was an absolute blast!

Duncan and Takaza did a fantastic job organizing the cruise itself for everyone - it made the process much easier! Mbala and I had never been on a cruise before so we didn't have any idea what to expect.

After meeting up with the group, we took a train down to the port at Seward.

The train had open areas between the compartments that you could lean out of.

Glacier in the distance.

Nearing the boat in port at Seward.

Getting closer!

Panorama of the cruise ship, the Celebrity Millennium.

One of our first stops on the boat - Hubbard Glacier.

We got quite close to the glacier thanks to nice weather. There was a lot of wildlife around as well - sea otters, seals, and seabirds galore around the ice chunks floating near the ship.

We wandered around Juneau, and hiked up to the Mendenhall Glacier.

We decided to go ziplining through the alpine rainforest which was a blast!

I guess these are the longest lines in Alaska :)

I will continue next time with a trip to the Yukon. :)


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)
I'm so in love with your photos. =)
Jan. 19th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
i LOVE your travel photos!
Jan. 19th, 2012 02:46 am (UTC)
I'm so envious of the trips you guys take! You post the most amazing photos. <3
Jan. 19th, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)
Remarkable! Your photos never disappoint. You've certainly inspired me to travel more.
Jan. 19th, 2012 04:06 am (UTC)
Alaska was the most amazing vacation my husband and I ever took. We are dying to go back there some day. It looks like you guys had a great time. Thanks for sharing the pics :)
Jan. 19th, 2012 06:06 am (UTC)
Wow! Good for you! I'm jealous as well, I will not lie =)
The man and I are planning a trip to Alaska ourselves, hopefully around June; our intention being to stay there awhile. Seeing your pictures is really stoking the motivation-fires!
Jan. 19th, 2012 08:03 am (UTC)
I really want to go to Alaska too some day. :3
Jan. 19th, 2012 09:07 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing, these are great :) I can't wait to see the rest!
Jan. 19th, 2012 11:10 am (UTC)
WOW~ Those photos are so beautiful~
Musk oxen and reindeer are so cute! ><
Thanks for sharing~~~
Jan. 19th, 2012 11:43 am (UTC)
Lovely photos. It looks like you had a great time.
Jan. 19th, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
I was wondering when these pictures would start turning up :-) Thanks for the awesome picture of Takaza and me - I'm totally stealing that )with credit, of course!). Looking forward to Part 2!
Jan. 19th, 2012 01:08 pm (UTC)
Muskox ranching! They did mention that muskoxen like to ram things? Imagine a bighorn ram, but a 300 to 400 kg bighorn ram, ramming trees, posts, walls... Those fences looked flimsy, but I suppose there's a hot-wire barrier, and there were several males together.
Jan. 19th, 2012 02:26 pm (UTC)
Oh yes! The fencing is actually pretty hard core - there are huge 5-6 inch metal posts with bracing and really thick wire gauge panels. They also have a lot of big wooden posts with tires attached as shock absorbers and more specialized paddocks for breeding boys. They actually don't use electric fencing at all since with such a thick coat they found it to be totally ineffective on musk ox. For us, we're going to try to create a smaller super paddock area for breeding and then hopefully the water obstacle (moat) + reinforced fencing will keep a few in. :)
Jan. 19th, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
A moat plus a slope up to the fence beyond should make ramming the fence less interesting, at least in the summer. If they don't learn to avoid a hotwire, it can do a lot of harm if they get tangled in it. For fun, in the winter, build giant snow columns for them to destroy. Your (future) boys will dance and sing. ^_^
Jan. 19th, 2012 01:13 pm (UTC)
Oooh, you did the zipline! I wanted to do it, but I was dangerously close to the fat-bastard weight limit where they charge you more money, so I decided against it.

Love the whale photo.
Jan. 19th, 2012 03:42 pm (UTC)
Wow, so many great photos! It looks like a super trip :3 I'm totally jelly.
Jan. 19th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
Awesome pictures!
Jan. 19th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
Ok, I'll admit it - I am so jealous! Love the pictures. :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )