Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 9 And Our GREAT Adventure Out Of Alaska And Back Home

On our last day in Alaska we woke up to big giant snowflakes.  It snowed all night long again. Our last look our room tells how much snow we had.  
So the plan was to know take a ferry from Valdez to Whittier....remember the place I called a Zombie Town?  

The ferry is part of the Alaska Marine Highway System, which travels back and forth from Valdez and Whittier only two times each week.  We were lucky it was leaving Valdez on Sunday morning...We were going to catch it! 
When Mom and I checked out the Alaska Marine Highway online, we went to the Facebook page.  I learned they were celebrating their 50th birthday.  How cool.  This has been giving rides for a long time. 
                                        
Since we were going to ride on the ferry for about 6 hours, we wanted to take food with us.  We went to the Safeway.  Dad had been there to get things for our hotel room but it was Mom and I's first time.  We were SOOOO happy to see how nice it was.
                             
Especially Mom!  She loved all of the vegetables and fruit that they had and bought some for the ferry ride.  

Dad and I got breakfast too.
And of course, we had to take Mom through her favorite coffee place in Valdez. It is called Sacred Ground Espresso. 
People even came to get their coffee in the snow.  This is where I would get the caramel apple smoothies I love too.  

When packed up and were all ready to leave.  I was so happy to see my friend Carol one more time before we left.  
We got into the big shuttle van for a ride to the ferry.  
There were a lot of people trying to escape Valdez.  Dad sat in front of me and Mom. 
This is what the Valdez Ferry Terminal looks like in the summer and this is what it looks like in the winter....

There was snow all around the building and on the docks.  
It was very nice inside....they even had the internet so I played Minecraft when we waited. 

And there were A LOT of librarians getting out of Valdez.
We took our stuff and walked down this long sidewalk to where the boat was on the dock.  
We came into the bottom of the boat where the vehicles were.  This is a boat that you can drive your vehicle onto and they will take you to where you want to go.  

We then got into an elevator because we had a lot of luggage.  It took us to the top of the ferry. 
The first thing I saw when I got off of the elevator was this awesome sign telling us we were on the an Alaska Scenic Byway.  
In Alaska there is a whole bunch of these.  We want to come back in the summer and go on all of these scenic byways.  
They told us we could go up above, in the movie theatre, in the cafe....Our library friend Robin from Anchorage came down and helped us upstairs so we could hang out with them. 
How fun...I would see out so good on the ferry.
Nicole and Robin were trying to figure out their Twitter on their iPhones....just like what Mom has.  She helped them of course. 
Dad, Mom, and I went outside before the boat left.  The water looked so cool because there were frozen circles on top all over.  

We saw the life boats and life jackets.  Just in case. 
Behind the boat there were great big oil tankers.  On the same day, March 24th, in 1989 the Exxon Valdez ran into a reef in Prince William Sound.  It spilled tons of oil into the same water we were in now.  

We could watch where we were on these big screens.
I really loved spreading out and getting comfortable on the ferry.  Mom got the big blanket we use on the plane and they made me a nest. I ate some strawberries and watched The Hobbit on Dad's laptop.
We ate lunch in the cafe.  They had a lot of things to pick from.
I had hot chocolate to drink. The girl that helped us put lots of whipped cream on the top.  It was good.  
The tables had all the birds in Alaska on them.  I learned about different birds when we ate lunch. I wish we would have seen more birds.  I wanted to see a puffin. 
When we were going along the captain told us things he saw.  I was super excited when he said there were whales on both sides of the ferry.  I saw them!  But it was hard to get a picture of them.  I tried with my iPad and Dad tried too.
I could see Whittier out the windows.  It still looked like a Zombie Town.  And they had more snow too. 
We went to the bottom of the boat and we had to walk out and up the ramp that the cars drove out on too.  It was slippery and it was snowing a lot.  We got very wet.
We needed a ride now from Whittier to Anchorage so our new librarian friend from Anchorage asked her parents if they could give us a ride too.  And they did!  They were very nice and had a van.  We sat in the back.
We made it to the tunnel in time because remember it is only open for 5 minutes every hour to go back through.  
I was getting a little sleepy.  And we had a long way left to Van Meter.
When we got to the airport in Anchorage the doors on the van were frozen shut so we had to climb through to the front.  It was funny.
There was hardly anyone at the airport. 
I was glad because I just wanted to rest.
We went to a restaurant to get something to drink and wait for our plane.   
We laughed when Mom got this on her phone.  We thought it was snowing a little more than "light snow."  
There was a lot of snow and it just kept snowing and snowing.  
We saw giant cargo planes from Japan or China.  They were so cool to see.
We were sitting there and look who walked in!  It was Susan!  She had rode on a charter bus out of Valdez.  We were very happy to see that she made it to the airport too. She told me that she had to fly to Chicago and then to New Hampshire.  
When we got on the plane I couldn't believe how much snow was on the wings.  They used this water stuff to get the snow and ice off.  

We left Anchorage at 9:45pm and got to Minneapolis at 6:00am.  I slept most of the time.  
We found the truck.  Mom and Dad got coffee.  And we drove back to Van Meter.
I was so happy to see our house.  We got back there at 11:00am.  My wiener dog Charlie was very happy to see me!  I couldn't wait to see my sister Brianna too.
And my Mom made it to school and taught all of the elementary kids.  I was happy I didn't have library...I would have went.

As you see I had the trip of my life.  I love Alaska and all of the friends that we met.  I loved playing on the giant snow hills and riding in the small plane.  I can't wait to go back in the summer.

Maybe next year we can.  I hope.

3 comments:

  1. I wish I could have been there when you shared some of your trip highlights at school, Hagan. You've done an excellent job of bringing us along via your blog.

    Hoping that the snow is gone when my husband and I visit Alaska in May!

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  2. hey you are a awesome blog writer, that trip sounds fun.

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  3. You blog was good.Many picture in your blog.

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