Tuesday August 9, 2016

We’re home. (You probably guessed.) In fact, we’ve been home for a week. (Sorry, I forgot to tell you.) And I’ve yet to tie up the loose ends and post the final entry to this blog. (Slack eh?)

Well, we ended our Alaskan adventure in that country’s northern-most outpost: Fairbanks – once a rough-and-ready goldrush town, now the region’s Golden Heart City. Fairbanks is just a couple of hundred kms from the Arctic Circle. In summertime (like now) it’s still twilight at 1am in the morning – and darkness lasts barely three hours. During Alaska’s frigid winter, of course, when temperatures drop to 40-below (or worse), it’s daylight that’s in short-supply. But that doesn’t stop the Fairbankers from having fun. Their far-north town is Start-Line for the Iditarod 1000-mile dog-sled race. It’s also Ground Zero for viewing the weirdly wonderful Aurora Borealis in the northern night skies.

We didn’t experience any auroras, regrettably. But we did sample a slice of Fairbank-life aboard a lovely big paddle-steamer, Riverboat Discovery … going ashore in the rain to tour a traditional Athabascan Indian village … eyeballing a restored steam-dredge … and panning for gold (again) in the hope of a lucky strike!

By this stage, it was all over bar the shouting. We caught a southbound flight (via Seattle) to Vancouver: the magnificent City of Glass … celebrated a noisy Mad Midlife Farewell Dinner at the Dockside Restaurant’ on Granville Island … crawled into our huge beds for the last time in North America … and then dragged bags and bodies back to the airport for our 14-hour Air New Zealand flight home to Godzone.

Alaska? It’s totally amazing! So you’ve gotta add it to your ‘bucket-list’. We’ve had a BALL, we truly have! And we’ll never forget our lovely long weeks in these vast wild regions …

PEOPLE-NEWS: One lucky-last quacky yellow duck has left the nest …

  • Trevor received our Accident & Emergency’ Award – for causing a right royal disturbance during breakfast in our posh hotel. Poor Trevor had hurt his wrist when slipping over on a glacier several days earlier – but instead of going to a medical centre like most people would’ve done, Trevor called a doctor and attending nurses (all from our group) to his breakfast table. Then, pushing aside his bacon-&-eggs, he had them bandage his injured limb right there in front of the hungry crowds! The manager of the busy restaurant finally asked our Kiwi crew to disburse.

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S. If you’d like to read earlier chapters in this Alaskan Blog, just click on ‘PREVIOUS’ or ‘OLDER POSTS’ – either at the start or finish of this entry. If you want to receive future Mad Midlife Travel Blogs in your INBOX, just sign-up (top-right) for your free Email Subscription!

This entry was posted in 2016 Alaska by John Cooney. Bookmark the permalink.

About John Cooney

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs. They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe, the UK, Singapore, Vanuatu, the USA, Israel, Egypt, Africa, Dubai, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And their recent (and most pleasant) memories are of the places ancient-and-modern that border the Mediterranean. John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity. Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!


  1. What a trip … look forward to hearing about when the next one to Alaska is a happening thing.
    Great to have you back in our NZ Paradise.
    Thanks for allowing us to share in the fun … so appreciate it.
    Cheers Kerkys

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