Swanson Visit

I know that all things must come to an end, but I’ll never claim to be good at handling it. I always get sad when a book ends, or a concert comes to a close… I always want one more chapter, one more song…

My mom and dad just spent a week in Alaska with us. We managed to squeeze every second out of every day, and truly shared the trip of a lifetime together.  Over the course of seven days we went backcountry camping in a yurt and cooked moose burgers over the fire (my parents’ first camping experience), flashed back to the 70’s at the Girdwood Forest Fair, canyoneered at Crow Creek Mine, whitewater rafted down Glacier Creek, explored Prince William Sound on a six-hour glacier cruise, jetboated the Twenty Mile River and rode an aerial tram to the top of Mount Alyeska for a blue sky wine picnic.  Ooohs and ahhhs were on repeat.

Whew, I’m worn out just thinking about all that!  My parents hit the ground running and were game for anything we threw at them.  I bet they need a vacation to recoup from this vacation!  I can also bet they never felt more alive as they did here in Alaska.  Anyone who knows my mom knows she isn’t much of a daredevil, but on this trip she proved to us and herself that she’s capable of a lot more than she thought.  🙂

One of the perks of Scott’s job is access to a pile of awesome outdoor equipment. We took full advantage of this perk and Scott was our own personal adventure guide throughout the week. My mom trusted him enough to step into a harness, and after a crash course on canyoneering, repel herself down a 50’ rock face!  And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, on the third repel her shirt got caught in the belay device, forcing Scott to scurry up the cliff and cut her free.  What a thrill!  I’ve got to hand it to her, despite the shirt incident and her fear of heights, she handled the trip with courage and grace.

I caught myself stopping frequently to consider the magic of the moment. I loved watching my parents take in the all beautiful scenery for the first time. The sense of wonderment spilled out of them and made me fall in love with Alaska all over again.

But enough words, I believe the trip is better summarized by photos.  Here are a few of my favorites from the week.  Mom and Dad, thank you for sharing in our Girdwood summer. We couldn’t have scripted it any better, I love you both.


Hiking the Albert Loop trail to the Eagle River yurt

First obstacle! Scott made a bridge to help us cross the river

Enjoying breakfast outside the yurt

At the trailhead in Eagle River, Alaska

Girdwood Forest Fair

@ the Sitzmark in Girdwood

Canyoneering at Crow Creek Mine

Jetboating the Twenty Mile river with Mark and Shoman

Whittier harbor before the Prince William Sound glacier cruise

Surprise Glacier!  We saw bits of ice “cave” or break off and drop into the sea

Mom taking in the scenery

Elk basking in the sun at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

SW Dude Ranch

Turnagain Arm photo shoot

Scott pumping up the raft as we crossed the Winner Creek hand tram

Dad gearing up for whitewater rafting

Thumbs up and ready to go!

Taking the aerial tram to the top of Mount Alyeska

On top of the world


One response

  1. Brooke

    What a wonderful experience for your parents – It looks like you had an amazing week with them. 🙂

    July 11, 2011 at 5:36 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s