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Alaska 2
My world-traveling cousin, Emily, just got back from Alaska. Here are her words to describe her recent trip:

“My first backpacking trip took me through the Himalayas in Nepal. Honestly, after such a wildly foreign and extreme inaugural experience, I figured no other backpacking trip could compare. And then I arrived in Alaska. I can unreservedly say that Alaska is the most breathtakingly scenic place to which I’ve been. Over the course of a 20-hour car ride to the trail head, my jaw was permanently dropped. I was in awe of how enormous everything was. It was like someone had fed steroids to the scenery. My friends and I (a group of 8 women in total) hiked the famed 33-mile Chilkoot Trail, which was used by over 100,000 fortune-seekers during the 1898-1899 Klondike Gold Rush (Google it! It’s fascinating stuff!). We covered the 33 miles in 5 days, with our third day being our longest and most challenging. We rose at 4:45AM and began a 12-mile hike that carried us all the way up and over the famed Chilkoot Pass (a very steep, very rocky ascent to tackle while carrying a 35-pound backpack). Granted, the day we crossed the pass the weather was misty and a low fog clung to the mountains, but the experience wasn’t diminished in the least. If you get the chance, visit Alaska. Hike the Chilkoot, perhaps, but don’t stop there. Alaska is replete with magnificent and well-kept camping sites, scenery, trails, and mountain hikes. Seriously: add Alaska to your bucket list. You won’t be disappointed.”