Dreaming of Alaska


Whales of all types visit Alaskan waters.

Whales of all types visit Alaskan waters.

I had lunch this week with a friend who has just returned from in her words, “the most incredible, awesome, fantastic trip ever. What a beautiful state!”

Then she handed me her numerous photos and proceeded to tell me all the things she loved about the state.

I salivated at her memories—because, of course, I love that state also. Not only for its beauty and awesome sights, but most of all because my oldest son has made that state his home. Part of my heart will always be there.

But I also developed a serious case of lust for one of her photos. I found it incredible that she was able to get such a shot with her little camera. I want a copy of that photo. If she gives it to me, you will surely see it on this blog.

Why do I want it? Because while I’ve seen mountain sheep while I’ve been in Alaska on various trips, I’ve never been close enough to get a photo such as she did.

Waterfalls everywhere during snow melt.

Waterfalls everywhere during snow melt.

Where did she take it? Why Denali National Park which is a place everyone should see/visit.

And lucky woman that she was, the whole time she was in the park the weather was perfect and she had great shots of Mount McKinley or Denali as it is sometimes referred to. That mountain peak is so huge and high that it can create its own weather systems. Thus a visitor might be enjoying a sunny warm day in the Park but never glimpse McKinley because its peaks are shrouded in snow clouds.

And shroud is a great word to describe the clouds that can hide that beauty from a person’s view.

But all this reminds me of a note I received from my son recently. He was talking with a co-worker whose mother was reading and loving my book Fireweed which is mostly set in Alaska. Anyway, the co-worker’s mother wanted this message relayed to me. She loves my Fireweed book and wondered if I had been raised and lived a long time in Alaska. The mother said it reminded her so much of things she’d done when she and her husband first moved up there.

Glacier have deep crevasses in incredible blue.

Glacier have deep crevasses in incredible blue.

I was humbled and thankful to that reader for taking the time to send the message through my son. I got that message just before I left for the writers’ conference last weekend. And guess which of my books sold the most copies in the book sale there?

Right. Fireweed.

And how did I get those details correct so they would please a long time Alaskan resident?

My son gave her the perfect answer. Good research, long visits, and lots of phone calls to him and his expert friends.

I would have added one more item. Reviewing often the haunting photos of the state I’ve taken over the years or friends have shared with me from their trips. Photos help you relieve the moment. Find the essence. Feel the emotion and air. Smell the atmosphere.

And days can be moody and haunting...

And days can be moody and haunting…

They are memory’s friend.

Have a great week. 🙂

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16 Comments on “Dreaming of Alaska”


  1. A trip to Alaska is at the very top of my bucket list. I love to read about it and can’t wait to see it for myself.


  2. Jamie,

    I hope you make it soon. It’s so worth it. Next week I’ll post some wildlife photos taken in Alaska.

  3. Edie Ramer Says:

    Every person I’ve known who’s been to Alaska has loved it. Of course, none have gone during winter. 🙂 I definitely want to go there.


  4. Edie,

    You know me! I’ve been there 3 times in winter and loved it then also.


  5. Casey, Edie reminded me. Although I lust to see such beauty … I would so love to see the arora borialis up close and personal. Have you? Thanks for another great post 🙂


  6. Really a lovely post about Alaska, Casey. I don’t know if I’ll ever visit there since I don’t like the cold yet I’m assuming there are months where this is not a problem (?). And it’s a testimonial to your research that the woman felt as if she were reliving times in that state.


  7. As always, love the post and pictures!


  8. Florence,

    I have not seen the Aurora Borealis which I regret and hope to see before I die. I do have a great story about that phenomenon. My hubby and one of my son’s friends drove a new truck up to my son in Alaska late one February. They were driving along with gear for well below zero weather when they saw this incredible display of AB.

    They left the truck’s cab and sat on the fenders of the truck to watch them, It was so warm that evening that they didn’t need their jackets. Hubby still talks about that incredible experience.


  9. Patti,

    Alaska does have a beautiful summer and with the sun shining most of the 24 hours the flowers and vegetables get just huge! Often in winter if you are in the area where the Japanese current affects the weather, many days in winter are warmer than here, but then you wouldn’t like it much here either. 😉

    Thanks for stopping by.


  10. Stacey,

    So glad you love the photos and the post.Hope you had a good week.

  11. Anne Parent Says:

    So beautiful! Love the photos. Makes my wanderlust grow!

  12. Rose Says:

    Casey, your post could not be more timely for me. Our daughter and son-in-law moved to Alaska ten months ago. On June 29th, my husband and I will make our first trip to the “Land of the Midnight Sun,” and are very excited to see the beauty everyone is talking about. A tour of Denali is booked as well as a of the glaciers. I am sort of glad we will have endless light since it sounds like there is little time for sleep anyway! If we are really lucky we will see the Aurora Borealis; my daughter and her husband have seen them twice! The first time within a week of their arrival.

    I will be ordering Fireweed today! I need a good read and more Alaska background knowledge.

    Best,
    Rose


  13. Rose,

    I know you will love Alaska and hope you will let me know if you’ve seen the Aurora Borealis. I also hope you enjoy Fireweed. It’s a very special book for me.

    Sometimes people find it difficult to adjust to the almost constant light. I just found it amazing that people would be outside near midnight and mowing lawns or working in their yards.

    You’ll be humbled by the glaciers.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  14. Anne,

    I think you and Ray should put this state on your “to do” list, but not in the winter. 😉

    Have you rested up yet?

  15. Brenda Says:

    I’ve been twice and can’t wait to get back there. It is a true vacation! Such a beautiful state full of history and riches. It’s beyond description. But, whenever I’m down in the dumps, thinking about Alaska always brings a smile to my face! Thanks for sharing the photos. Both times I was fortunate to see my 2 favorite whales – the Orcas and Humpbacks! I could hear the Humpback’s song:)

  16. Emma Says:

    Hello to every one, the contents existing at this web site are really awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the good
    work fellows.


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