Alaska: See the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights?
Alaska has been on my list of my top five dream destinations for years, and my plan is to finally explore the Last Frontier in 2010. The question I can’t seem to settle on, though, is when in 2010? Known for both its sun- and ship-drenched summers and its star-bright winters, Alaska has proven a challenge to my decision-making skills.
Highlights of a summer trip would be long days spent hiking green hills, kayaking the Inside Passage, sipping a local Summer Ale, and spotting wildlife in Denali National Park (where visitor services drop off dramatically after mid-September).
Winter would mean catching the Northern Lights at their peak (possibly even at an 11-year peak), attending the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, taking a ride with sled dogs, watching the Running of the Reindeer, and warming up at Chena Hot Springs. It also means donning nearly all the cold-weather clothing pictured on the cutest weather warning I’ve ever seen.
Every time I think I’ve made up my mind, I see or read something that makes me flip-flop. (Ooh, flip-flops. I guess I can leave those at home, even if I go in summer?)
What would you do: bask in the midnight sun or bundle up for the Northern Lights?
Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member 12CGTV
My name: Michelle Doucette
How I earn my keep: I'm an editor at IgoUgo.com.
Favorite way to get around: Some of my favorite trips involved renting cars in foreign countries and driving through the countryside, stopping on whims. You get a feel for the culture away from the big cities and meet interesting people on the road, including, I must admit, an embarrassingly high number of local policemen. I suppose it would be prudent to learn all of the traffic laws ahead of time.
Best meal I've had while traveling: Since a succession of gelato cones probably doesn't count as a meal, my favorite must have been a fresh crabmeat lunch prepared by a St. John sailboat captain while we took a break from snorkeling in the Caribbean. Sharing baklava as the sun came up over Paros, Greece, (while, once again, not technically a meal) was also memorable.
Travel ambitions: Since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I've figured out that I'd like to keep trekking while traveling. I've got my eyes on epic hikes in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru.