Our Alaskan adventure started with 42 Sanctuary Ski & Snowboard members flying out of O'Hare on a clear Thursday morning, with 5 additional members flying out of Oregon, California, and Chicago on different flight. We flew to Denver for a very short layover that caused some members to almost miss the connection (a certain trip leader) in search of food for the 5hr flight to Anchorage. What can I say... girl has to eat!
Upon landing, we were welcomed with cold weather and very strong winds! Nothing that us veteran Chicagoans couldn't handle, of course. We landed late afternoon in Anchorage so everyone had a chance to settle in , explore the city a bit, grab dinner, and unwind from the long journey.
The following two days were spent exploring Anchorage and all that the city has to offer. Some people checked out the snow sculptures competition, the Anchorage Museum, took a dog sled ride through the park, checked out all the fabulous shops, or hiked at Earthquake Park. Friday evening we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Captain Cook hotel and closed the night out at Whale's Tail. Saturday we saw the ceremonial start of the 2017 Iditarod and Alaska's famous running of the reindeer race before making the scenic drive down to Girdwood for our skiing portion of the trip.
Saturday evening we arrived at the luxurious Alyeska Resort where some took advantage of the salt water hot tub and pool or spa amenities before hitting the slopes the next day. Although cold, skiers took to the mountain and enjoyed good skiing conditions with no lift lines. The non-skiers took to the sites around Girdwood including fat tire bike rides, snowmobiling to ice caves, hiking across a frozen lake to a glacier, helicoptering to a glacier, and visiting the conservation center.
On Monday, 33 of us took a 2hr ride down to Seward for a 4hr boat ride at Resurrection Bay. Although we didn't see any whales as we had hoped for, we did see plenty of wildlife and gorgeous scenery.
After a week of sight seeing and skiing, we said goodbye to Alaska and made our long journey home overnight.