Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Alaska! Summer 2016-Post 3

The original reason for the trip to Alaska, as I mentioned previously, was that Frank had a business trip there. He was part of an event that included meetings, speeches and a booth at the hotel we stayed in. On the last day of the event there was an activity that all of the people were invited to participate in and they told Frank that he could bring me along as well.

We drove about 2 hours north to a little town called Talkeetna.
The group was to meet up at the Talkeetna Lodge for a ride up the river in a jet boat.

We went out onto the deck of the lodge to see this amazing view:

So much more amazing in person.  
I wish I could really show you but I only brought my iPhone camera so this is all I've got.

I have never been on a jet boat, didn't even know what it was and didn't know anything about the planned activity but it turned out to be really great!

The boat took us over 50 miles up river through amazing, uninhabited areas of Alaska...really out in the middle of nowhere.  Our captain grew up in Talkeetna and his parents were homesteaders in the 70's.  We went past their old homestead as we went up the river.  He told us about how they lived for 5 years as a young couple in a 14x16 log cabin that they built themselves with no running water and no electricity! It was only after she got pregnant with her son (our captain) that they moved into town.
It was really fun to hear his stories of growing up and living in Alaska, where bear sitings are treated like a normal thing...one you should be prepared for and not treat lightly, but normal nonetheless.

Here is the inside of our boat.  Windows all around for great views!

The views along the river were spectacular.

I know you can't tell, but there is a bald eagle sitting on that piece of wood.

Here is a clear water river coming into the river that we were on.  The smaller river was a clear green/blue that was so pretty!  The main river was pretty muddy looking due to glacier run-off. It was a pretty high and fast flowing river.

He then took us into what is called Devil's Canyon.
This canyon has world class rapids all the way up to Class VI
(I-VI is the ratings for rapids with VI being the highest)
this Canyon has never been successfully rafted because it is so violent.

Only two people have made it all the way through in a jet boat and that was his father and one other person.

So the jet boat was specially made to handle rapids and is a very powerful boat.
I was glad to be in such a powerful boat as he took us into the level 4 and 5 rapids!

Then he stopped the boat right on the edge of a level 6 rapid.
Again, the pictures just cannot do justice to the sight.

It was amazing and crazy.
The water was rushing by so loudly, quickly and violently that it was scary.
He had to do a lot of maneuvering to keep us in that spot as we all took pictures and oohed and ahhed and, if you are me, imagined what would happen if someone went overboard.

After the rapids, we turned around (which was pretty amazing as well considering where we were) and headed back down the river.
Along the way we stopped and did a little nature hike.
Our guide brought a big rifle along in case we ran into a bear...like I said, they are prepared.
We didn't see any, thank heaven!

Here is our boat tied up to the dock as we went on the nature walk.
Doesn't look like much, but it was an impressive boat!

If you are ever up near Anchorage, Alaska, we highly recommend this tour.
Mahay's Jet Boat Adventures

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