Who Knew Just Getting to Alaska would be an Adventure?

June 13, 2013

Well, our trip to Alaska began in superb Rodgers’ fashion.  Our flight out of Milwaukee was to leave at 6:50 AM.  So naturally, we set a couple of alarms for around 3:30 AM to ensure we would have plenty of time to get to the airport, check bags, and get through security.  And somehow… we slept through all of the alarms.  Thank goodness for my internal clock that gets me up by 5:30 AM, a habit left from the school year.  So at 5:24 AM, I sat bolt upright, saw the sunshine streaming in, and panicked.  Fortunately, Matt heard my exclamations of “Matt, it’s 5:24!” right away and we switched into high gear.  We were on our way to the airport in less than 10 minutes.  Thank goodness for good teamwork.  We even remembered all chargers, somehow.  We arrived at the airport at exactly 5:50 AM.  Once again, good teamwork allowed me to check the luggage, while Matt parked the car.  The security line was pretty short, so we managed to arrive at our gate 10 minutes before boarding even started… leaving Matt enough time to get his cup of coffee before the flight.  Matt and I spent the rest of the day marveling at our good fortune and trying to figure out how we managed to make that first flight.  The rest of the travel day proceeded smoothly – Milwaukee to Dallas, Dallas to Seattle, and Seattle to Anchorage.

As many of our readers can probably imagine, our first stop upon arrival in Anchorage (after picking up our rental car), was REI.  We had a lot of fun, as it was a larger REI with many new food options available.  After stocking up on food needed for Denali National Park, we headed to Palmer, AK to spend the night en route to Denali.  It’s going to take some getting used to, because we went to bed at 11 PM, and it was still very bright out.  Apparently, sunset is around 11:40 PM, and the sun rises again at 4:10 AM… so we slept through any darkness that occurred.

June 14, 2013

So I (Allison) am the early riser in the Rodgers duo, so I got up around 6 AM and decided to take a walk.  I was hoping for some great scenery pictures, but we we’re staying in the middle of Palmer, and the buildings were in the way for great mountain pictures, even though we are surrounded by them.  However, I did find a very interesting memorial nearby that was dedicated to the Matanuska Colony Project.  No, worries, I had no idea what that was either, but they had awesome boards of information.  Apparently, during the Great Depression, the U.S. paid people living in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin to go start a colony in Alaska named…. Palmer, AK!  So they had a memorial with the names of the colonists from each state that came to Alaska to settle.  I know I’m turning into my dad with these historical connections, but I thought that was pretty cool, right?

The dedication plaque to the colonists who had moved to Palmer, AK.

The dedication plaque to the colonists who had moved to Palmer, AK.

One of the Matansuka Colony Project informational signs.

One of the Matansuka Colony Project informational signs.


The list of colonists who were from Wisconsin.

Anyway, we are headed the rest of the way to Denali today.  The plan is to talk to the rangers about a backcountry backpacking trip, as well as good day hikes.  Then, if there is time, there is a Dog Sled Demonstration at 4 PM.  Tomorrow, the real adventures start!  And don’t worry everyone, we got our grizzly strong bear spray 😉

The mountains surrounding Palmer, AK.

The mountains surrounding Palmer, AK.

Published in: on June 14, 2013 at 11:53 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey! Nothing wrong with a little history to put things in context!

  2. Nice recovery after oversleeping! I witnessed your amazing teamwork first hand in Mexico several years ago. As I recall, the two of you were high school students at the time and managed to assemble more framed walls for the mission project home than all of the other teams. Most teams had one adult male and at least 3 teens.

    Thanks for mentioning your possession of the grizzly strong bear spray Allison. You know Michelle and I well don’t you! : )

  3. It is always fun to read about your adventures. Have a great trip.

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