Entries in ‘Alaska’ Journal

Cruising Alaska for “Noncruisers”

Friday September 19, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 2 Comments

Mega cruise ships the size of small cities not your cup of tea? While I love exploring the world from the deck of a cruise ship, not everyone feels the same way towards cruising. My husband is one of those active adventure travelers who feels that he would go “stir crazy” trapped on a cruise ship – no matter the travel itinerary. I have found the answer to the “noncruisers” dilemma. The company is called Un-Cruise Adventures and it is my answer to cruising Alaska for the noncruiser.
 

"Safari Endeavour" Alaska

Safari Endeavour for the noncruiser. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Discover Alaska’s glacier country

I had the chance to explore southeast Alaska and Discover Glacier Country on an eight day, seven night voyage with Un-Cruise Adventures. Our journey began and ended in Juneau, Alaska with stops at Glacier Bay National Park, Chichagof Island, Icy Strait and Stephen’s Passage, among others.

Other than covering the Iditarod Dog Sled Race in Anchorage, Alaska, this has been one of my most memorable experiences to this “Great Land” of 3 million lakes, 100,000 glaciers, 33,904 miles of coastline and over 3.2 million acres of State Park lands.
 


 

“We don’t like the ordinary or the typical,” noted Carole Heaton of Atlanta, Georgia (seen above in the video with her husband Mike Morrow). “This has been a unique experience that got us on a boat for a week.”

 

"Un-Cruise Adventures" Alaska

Our journey with Un-Cruise Adventures


 

Over a series of blog posts I will share with you, my dear reader, my experiences kayaking next to Lamplugh Glacier, following bear tracks on Chichagof Island and watching humpback whales bubblenet feed off Admiralty Island. I will share my video on how to pack for an Alaskan outdoor adventure and offer my insider tips on what it’s like to sail on an 84 guest small ship cruise line and how you may discover Alaska’s glacier country for yourself. What a trip!

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @UnCruise on Twitter.

 
If You Go:

UnCruise Adventures (888) 862-8881
3826 18th Ave
W. Seattle, Washington 98119

Article written by, video and photo courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Un-Cruise Adventures. All opinions are my own.

Steger Mukluks Travel Gear Review

Friday April 16, 2010 at 7:07 AM | 4 Comments

"Fairbanks World Ice Art Championships"

Nancy Brown wearing Steger Mitts and Arctic Mukluks for a travel gear review in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Iditarod sled dogs wear lightweight boots to protect their paws over 1,049 miles of Alaska’s wilderness. I wear Steger Arctic Mukluk snow boots while I watch the Iditarod sled dogs run in Alaska’s Last Great Race.

As this was my first time to Anchorage, Alaska in the winter, I didn’t own proper snow boots or mitts. In fact, packing for a winter trip to Alaska required more planning than I had anticipated.

Thanks to my tweet on Twitter, a micro-blogging platform, I was able to learn what type of boots and mitts were needed for a winter trip to Alaska. Fairbanks, Alaska resident Nancy DeWitt suggested I try a pair of Steger Mukluks.

Steger Mukluks are perfect for standing around in the cold while watching dog races or viewing ice sculptures. Plus, you can go from -40 to a restaurant in them and your feet won’t get hot. They don’t slip on ice, either. I practically live in mine all winter. Well worth the money,” adds DeWitt.

 

Steger Mukluk Snow Boots

"Steger Mukluks"

Steger Arctic Mukluk Trave Gear Review

I had no idea what Mukluks were until my Arctic Mukluks arrived compliments of Patti Steger, owner of Steger Mukluks.

After I had sprayed my Steger Mukluk snow boots to make them water repellent, I wore them around the house to break them in. The Steger Arctic Mukluks are very lightweight and comfortable to wear all day long. Fortunately for me, Steger Arctic Mukluks come in wide sizes for my wide feet.

Mukluks are a common site in Alaska. In fact,  the mukluk snow boot plays an important part in the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Each Iditarod Sled Dog Musher writes his name on a slip of paper and drops it in the ceremonial mukluk. As the musher names are drawn from the ceremonial mukluk, the musher announces the order he has drawn and his bib number for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

 

"Ceremonial Mukluk"

Ceremonial Mukluk, Steger Arctic Mukluk Travel Gear Review

It wasn’t until I arrived in Anchorage, Alaska at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race that I realized I was not alone in my preference for Steger Mukluk snow boots. I also spotted the snow boots in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Made in Ely, Minessota and retailing for $179.95 (with the decorative ribbon on top) Steger Arctic Mukluks were the perfect lightweight snow boot for my Alaska adventure.

 

IF YOU GO:

Steger Mukluks (218) 365-3322

33 East Sheridan St. Ely, MN 55731

Related Posts:

What to Pack for an Alaska Winter Vacation

Sled Dog Ride in Fairbanks, Alaska

Sled Dog Ride in Fairbanks, Alaska

Friday March 26, 2010 at 7:07 AM | 3 Comments

"sled dog"

Chena Hot Springs Sled Dog in Fairbanks, Alaska

You can hear the sled dogs barking before you reach the kennel. The sled dogs run circles frantically around their dog houses; some bark, while others wait patiently with eager anticipation.

“Pick me! Pick me!” the sled dogs say with their piercing blue eyes, bushy wagging tails and excited sled dog howls.

Once the sled dog selection process has been made, the sled dogs of Chena Hot Springs kennel are clipped into their harnesses and ready to go to work.

Typically, Iditarod sled dogs are not the furry white pure bred Siberian huskies that Disney has marketed to us in movies. In fact, the best athletic sled dog is a mixed bag of energy and stamina, has a thick fur coat and a desire to race.

While the sled dog ride at Chena Hot Springs Resort is only 15-20 minutes in total ($60), the excitement and energy from the sled dogs is contagious as soon as we slide into the sled. The Chena Hot Springs sled holds four people and a sled dog musher. Once the sled dog musher gives the command, the sled dogs are off and running. Our ride is a scenic loop around the property, crossing alongside a beaver den.

There are many places to go for sled dog rides in Alaska.

"Nancy Brown on Dog Sled"

Chena Hot Springs Sled Dog Ride in Fairbanks, Alaska

Iditarod Sled Dog Racer Dallas Seavey and the Seavey family run Ididaride Sled Dog Tours in Seward.

Four-time Iditarod Champion Jeff King offers a chance to hold sled dog puppies during a Husky Homestead Tour at his Goose Lake Kennel in Denali Park.

In Fairbanks, the Riverboat Discovery stops at Trailbreaker Kennels, home to Dave Monson and the late four-time Iditarod Sled Dog Champion Susan Butcher.

If you have a chance to take a sled dog ride in Alaska, make sure you read “How to Pack for an Alaska Winter Vacation.” On my March 2010 visit to the Chena Hot Springs Resort, it was 20 degrees below zero. If I hadn’t been wearing an Apocalypse Design Parka, Icebreaker murino wool socks or Steger mitts and mukluks, I wouldn’t have been dressed properly for the cold weather conditions.

Have you been on a sled dog ride? What are your favorite things to do in Fairbanks, Alaska?

YouTube video and Chena dog sled photo by Nancy D. Brown