Two of my long time friends (one I’ve know since 1st grade, the other since 9th grade) moved to Anchorage about two years ago and I’ve been yearning to visit them, meet their beautiful & intelligent daughter Marin, and experience Alaska since their move. Well, I finally found a good deal on a flight and had enough time off so, with only a month in advance, booked the flight.
I landed on Thursday, July 23rd around 10:30 Alaska Time, tired and excited greeted by one of favorite humans, Girl Kyle. (Oh FYI my two friends who live here are married and both named Kyle – so for future posts they will be referred to as Girl and Boy Kyle – that’s what I’ve always called them). When we got out of the airport and up into the parking garage, all I saw was mountains. Being a Floridan I was in awe, it was breathtaking. Girl Kyle insisted that this would be the worst view I would have of the mountains. I was skeptical since it was so beautiful, but after being here for almost a week I realize she was right.
On my first day, I was initially not as jet lagged as I expected to be. Both of the Kyles were at work but they left me with a car and off exploring I went. They suggested a park called Thunder Bird Falls so I traveled about 25 miles north of Anchorage and hiked a mile to these beautiful two tiered falls. The hike itself was lush, covered in commanding trees and sprinkled with stunning bright flowers. Once I made it to the waterfall, I wanted to get closer so shed my backpack and walked across stones to get a view so close that I could feel the mist from the waterfall.
After the falls, I looked on the map and realized I was close to the Knik River (the K is pronounced). So I drove north a little bit more in hopes to find a place to park and explore, which I did. I pulled up, saw a trail for Reflections Lake and decided to take a quick detour to see what it was about. After that, I walked down to Knik River and hiked under the two bridges to see it open up to a picturesque view of the mountains behind the river.
Here is a short video of my first three days, which included footage from the falls and Knik River.