Do you know how the tuxedo got its name? Apparently a casino owner from Tuxedo NY was so enamoured of the outfit when he encountered it on a trip to England that he brought the concept home. (I have no idea whether this story is apocryphal or not, but it made for some excellent trail-trivia!)
After a spell of oppressively hot and unpleasantly humid weather, we were delighted to note that the forecast for the weekend was offering a reprieve, so we made plans to go walking with a friend. However, he wasn’t going anywhere until the morning football game was over, and since England were playing we felt we ought to show willing, so at just after 10am we found ourselves in a beer hall in Jersey City with a bunch of (mainly) England supporters from both sides of the Atlantic.
I could write posts and posts about our Alaska cruise, but I’m trying not to! In the interests of not boring everyone senseless, I’ve condensed the entire week into this single account, itself a lightly-edited version of the brief notes I took each day. We sailed with Princess cruises from Anchorage (Whittier) south through the inside passage to Vancouver, past the glaciers of Yakutat bay and Glacier Bay national park, stopping at Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan, and then caught the decidedly unglamorous but perfectly convenient Greyhound bus down to Seattle for a cheaper flight home to Newark.
Along the way we saw harbour seals and Steller sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, humpback whales and a lone orca, and, magically, the Northern Lights. We shared a dinner table with some extremely nice people, and met all kinds of fellow travellers around the ship. We ate lots of food, drank plenty of cocktails, and generally had a lovely time – looking through my notes and photos is making me wish I was back there right now!
Denali National Park is particularly concerned with preserving as much land as possible in a pristine wilderness condition. Consequently, there are only a handful of areas within the park boundaries that visitors are permitted to access, and across its 6 million acres there is just a single 92 mile-long road, only the first 15 miles of which are paved. Visitors can travel the road by means of the park bus service, there are a handful of campsites along the way, and a few lucky individuals can take a backcountry hike with a ranger each day.
(Interrupting the coverage of our holiday with a post about the long weekend.) Memorial Day is one of the few holiday weekends which coincides with a bank holiday back in the U.K., and it always feels rather nice to be doing long weekendy things at the same time. Unlike back in the U.K., when our bank holidays usually used to involve heading out of town to visit friends or relations, go hiking, or lengthen a trip to somewhere in Europe, here we often tend to use them as an excuse to veg out at home. Not so this time, however, when each day involved something fun with different sets of friends, although we did still manage a decently lazy morning on Monday! Continue reading →
Our latest excursion was a truly epic roadtrip between Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. As always, it was a treat to get out into the wilderness (especially as we apparently missed the first proper heatwave of the NYC summer), and we spent a most enjoyable 9 days driving just over 1300 miles through mountains, forests and plains.