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Alaska is a different country - Part 2

Packed with more snow, adventure and beauty- here's part two of my trip to the last frontier!

If you haven't read part 1 of my Alaskan trip, first go take a gander at it HERE. Once you've read it, come back here and continue on!

You've read about the snowmobiling experience on the river, but I left out the part where I chased a fully grown moose, damn near 7ft tall! Here's how it went:

My guide and I were zooming down the Susitna River- the whole time I was completely blind as my glasses had fogged up, my visor had frozen over and I was going full throttle towards the only smudge of orange (my guides coat) that I could make out in all the ice- when we suddenly came to a grinding halt and I almost flew off my snowmobile. I looked up after having my life flash before my eyes and saw the BIGGEST moose I've ever seen. Not that I've seen many, but hey - it was huge.

This moose could've walked over to me and killed me by merely sitting on me, it was that huge.

Instead, it took off and we took off after it with no good reason whatsoever.

I couldn't see much while we rode a pretty straight path before we came across the moose. Now, with the turns and sudden changes in route, I was a goner.

We chased this poor moose for probably 5 minutes before... it happened.

I crashed.

Yeep. I didn't realize my visor had completely frozen over and I was now looking at nothing but ice. I went straight off the path and into a fallen tree and toppled over.

Fun, right? It was, actually. Don't get me wrong, it hurt too! The log sent me clear into the sky, probably 10ft from the carnage.

Having walked in plenty of fresh snow many times before, I expected a somewhat cushion-y landing.


This snow wasn't fresh. It was days old and was now just.. hard ice.

Taught me a lesson for sure!

I got what was left of me, back to the camp and we decided to go on a dog sled ride.

For any of you who haven't been on one or don't even know what it is, here's a picture:

These things are SO COOL!

You don't really sit on the sled unless you're in the very front. The person in the back usually is in control of what happens. If you can't make it out by the picture, there're pegs right in front of my foot that I can stand on when I want to stop the dogs from running. They'll dig into the snow and bring us to a halt, cause the dogs will keep running, no matter what.

But let me tell you something about these incredible animals- they're the most hyperactive dogs I've ever seen. They LOVE running.

While they're not trained like a house dog to not jump on people, or sit when you tell them to- They're trained to be runners and by god they are trained well at that! When my guide, Rick, said 'Ready!' these guys IMMEDIATELY quit horsing around and stood at attention, ready to run. The second he said 'GO'... They. Took. OFF.

These dogs bolted like they were born to run. Only six of them were hooked to my sled but holy cow, they could GO!

The real challenge came in when we took sudden turns. Those are the tricky ones, especially when they sneak up on you.

One minute you're in the road, looking at the scenery, next minute you're in the scenery looking at the road!

When you fall off, they don't wait for you. You'd better run and jump back on or you're getting left behind!

I truly am annoyed with myself for not wearing a GoPro during the ride. We went through some absolutely fairytale-like lands. This one isn't my picture but it looked EXACTLY like this:

100% of all the times I almost fell off the dog sled was because I was in complete awe of this exact scene. I felt like I was in a disney movie.

If you ever get the chance to go dog sledding in Alaska, go to my man Justin at Snow Hook Adventure Guides of Alaska. You'll definitely have a trip to remember.

Oh, and his dogs are the COOLEST.

Having said my thank you's to Justin, Rick and his team, I headed out to explore the town of Whittier. The place where all the cruise ships come in. My reason for going however, was not the cruises- not that there were any coming in January anyway.

I went there to see the Buckner Building- One of Alaska's most haunted buildings.

Getting here was no simple feat either, I drove 2 hours southeast of Anchorage along some gorgeous sights, and went through the longest tunnel in North America.

This tunnel was no joke.

At 2.5 miles, the Anderson Memorial Tunnel is the longest tunnel in North America.

What's really cool about this tunnel is that it's a single lane tunnel. oh, and it's shared by trains too.

Yes, really.

It's a single lane tunnel, for two way traffic AND trains.

It works like this: every 30min it opens in one direction for the flow of traffic, then it alternates for the other side. When a train comes along, they pause traffic and let the train through. pretty wild isn't it? It was created in the early 1900's during WWII for military trains to take cargo to and from the Town of Whittier.

There're 6 lanes with traffic lights on each side of the tunnel, so people can line up and go as per the lights. This is how it looks:

Once the bottom of the hour hits, you're off!

You have to go super slow in the tunnel and you can't stop no matter what. But man oh man, it's a long one! Here's my video of going in the tunnel. You have GOT to see it:

Once at the other side, I explored the tiny town of Whittier. Being the winter time, there wasn't much going on- just how I liked it.

I went on and had a look at the Buckner building, this thing was COOL.

It was once one of the biggest buildings in Alaska. Built during WWII, it was a secret military base, and it consisted of: a small hospital, a 320-seat theater, a 4-lane bowling alley, a 6-cell jail, a church, bakery, barbershop, library, radio station, rifle range, photo lab, commissary, a huge cafeteria and kitchen, an officers’ lounge, and more than enough rooms for the military and their families to stay in at the time.

The military ran out of uses for it after the war and in 1964, an earthquake destroyed a good part of it.

Today, it's abandoned and known as one of Alaska's most haunted buildings, with people hearing whistling and clapping at times. It's restricted from public access but.. well, I took a peek. It was pretty spooky, if I may say so myself.

Still a super cool building. Here's me driving past it:

On my way back, I almost got stuck in Whittier. There was a railroad I had to cross to get to the main road to take me to the tunnel, and there was a train... just parked there.

It was 5:45pm and the tunnel was going to close for the day at 6pm. If I didn't make it, I was going to be stuck in Whittier for the night.

I hopped out and ran to the conductors compartment at the front of this endless train and told him I needed to get through, and it took him 10 minutes before he got the authorization to move the train enough to let me pass.

At 5:55pm, I managed to zoom to the tunnel and scurry my way through. I watched as they lowered a gate behind me, closing the tunnel for the night. Quite a close one!

Heading back home, I passed by some more gorgeous views. One thing I love about Alaska, no matter where you go, you'll always have a beautiful view.

All in all, Alaska was an incredible experience that I won't forget anytime soon.

I spent several nights chasing the northern lights, heard wolves howling into the night and almost fell into a frozen river, but I'll just have to catch them in Norway instead (which is where I plan to go for my birthday next year).

If you want to see more of my Alaskan videos/photos, go to my GALLERY.

Keep up with my travels by following me on INSTA!

Traveling- It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller
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