We spent three days in the Denali National Park area, including stays at two different lodges. The highlight of this time was a bus tour on the only paved road inside the park.
We took the train to the Pacific Ocean, at Whittier, and boarded the cruise ship to continue our journey. The first stop was a day cruise in Glacier Bay National Park, which was spectacular!
As we continued towards Vancouver on the cruise, we sailed through Alaska’s Inside Passage and stopped at three well-known cities: Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan. In each place, we went on some great day trips away from the ship.
Our time in Belize was primarily in the southern portion of the country, near Placencia. Here we relaxed at our beachfront bungalow and took a scuba diving lesson.
Tikal is one of the major sites of Mayan civilization, inhabited from the 6th century B.C. to the 10th century A.D. It was the ceremonial center and contains superb temples and palaces, and public squares accessed by means of ramps. We spent three days view this and other ruins in the vicinity.
We spent the first day of our 4×4 off-road trip through Death Valley National Park in the south side of the park. After visiting Saratoga Springs in a remote section and viewing the rare pupfish, we joined the main road to see Artists Palette, Badwater from Dante’s Peak and Zabriskie Point in the afternoon light.
Our visit to the north portion of Death Valley National Park included a tour of the historic Scotty’s Castle and a 4×4 drive to Eureka Dunes. We enjoyed the solitude and beauty of the sand dunes as we explored them and camped there at night.
The last portion of the trip to Death Valley was spent in some of the most remote part of the national park. We visited the mystery of The Racetrack, exploring the rocks that move across the dry lake bed. After a beautiful drive through Hidden Valley we spent the night on Hunter Mountain, where snow the next morning really surprised us!
To begin this cross country journey, we went north by train to Oregon, where we had to resort to taking a replacement bus to meet our connecting train that left Portland before we were due to arrive. Once on the second train east, we made our way toward Glacier National Park. The scenery during the 48 hour journey was spectacular!
The first few days of our time in Glacier National Park were spent on the west side of the continental divide. Here we enjoyed our lakeside hotel room, drove along scenic roads and took several day hikes to beautiful lakes.