How I Honeymooned Your Father, Part V: Followed By a Rainbow

If you’re just tuning in to our Alaska adventures, here are the links to Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV. Where did we leave off last? I fell down part of the glacier, twice, and bruised myself in areas that aren’t usually bruised. Worth it! I had chickened out on the first ice climb (with ice picks) but I had somehow found myself maneuvering up the rope for the second steep ice climb. After that, it was all downhill and back – through different paths than we had first seen. I never fully relaxed.


And I’m certainly happy about that.


See me? (below) I’m a dot on the right – talking to Nick. We were either talking about Game of Thrones or imminent death.

Alaska travel

Somehow we made our way back to a picnic table, with Cassidy and Nick having to help me across crevasses that spiraled down, down, and down. I have zero fear of heights, but I certainly tested that a lot during this trip. Finally, we could take our crampons off, even though there was still ice under the dirt. Like I said, I didn’t fully relax until we were back in the parking lot, and I looked back in wonder. I was mostly feeling accomplished that I’d hiked for five hours, and partly feeling disappointed/relieved that it was over, and also wondering if we’d ever see it again. Will we get back here? And if we do, will the Matanuska Glacier be ever more different? Only time will tell. Hopefully not too much time. And not too much changing.

After we were back in the Suburban, we decided to take Nick up on his offer to get a beer at a lodge outside the glacier. Yes, there’s a beer lodge outside the glacier. It just sits all alone, but somehow stays in business for weary hikers, rafters, tour guides, and the like. Truly, I’m astonished. I went for curiosity and to talk more with our tour guide and because I really wanted, if not a beer, something to soothe a glacier-weary soul. The restaurant/lodge was full of animals (taxidermed? taxidermied?) and they all had “Do Not Touch” signs on them, and you know some idiots tried to ride them or touch them.

Not us, of course. We admired without touching.

Cassidy ordered a drink. I think? I ordered a double scoop ice cream bowl of Caramel Caribou and Moose Tracks. I couldn’t decide which. Also, I think Nick said that no other tourists he’d ever taken there had ordered ice cream. And the waitress said that no one there had ever ordered both ice cream flavors instead of choosing one. So it’s pretty good to be a pioneer in the field of ordering ice cream at a random, isolated beer lodge next to a glacier. Also, I get the feeling Nick does not invite all of his clients out for a beer, so I was going to eat that ice cream, NOT grope the animals, and love the whole experience. The lodge sat over a moose-filled field, but there were no moose that day. Nick said our drive home would be full of moose.

It was full of something, I’ll tell you that.

The view was already flawless, but this moment of sunny rain. It was so good. It was so good that people who live in Alaska were pulled over and taking photos too. I think we were all equally stunned, no matter where we’re from, by this evening.

(The little egg on my forehead is my reaction to my one Alaskan mosquito bite)

Ok, those were all photos from Cassidy’s cellphone, which is so nice to reference. Now I took a few photos with my camera too. It was raining. And sunny. And raining. And stunning. And that’s probably when we both fell in love with Alaska. Here:

The color changed by the second so I kept taking what I thought was the same picture.

The subtle changes are what got me.

And then we rounded a bend..

We didn’t see any moose on the road from Matanuska Glacier to Anchorage. It’s about a two hour drive maybe? Time is not really relative so maybe it was one hour. Or three. All I know is that the rainbows followed us all the way back to Eagle River.

Here’s the finale.

Now if you remember, this is still the first full day in Alaska. We had landed in Anchorage the night before and spent the night with family. Then we woke up and had breakfast at Snow City Cafe, checked into our cabin in Eagle River, and then went on our reindeer/glacier/rainbow adventures. We went back to Eagle River, with the double rainbows, and didn’t even get dinner after that long day. Instead we went out looking for moose in Eagle River by the Nature Center. Cassidy’s eagle eyes saw a cow moose by the river. We drove back and forth and later saw her still there, but this time there was another cow moose too – bathing in the river. I like to imagine they were having quite a conversation! I don’t have pictures from this because I was tired and it was so dark! We were starving and went to the Pizza Man for a midnight dinner. Remember, the sun didn’t set until after 10:00pm. Remember, everything is awesome. This day is when it happened. Falling head over heels in love.

With Alaska.

Coming up..believe it or not, even after eating at midnight, we set our alarms for 5:30am for some early morning moosing. What do you think? Will we really get up before dawn? Will we see moose? What WILL we see? Oh dear god – SO MUCH.

See ya SOON!

Part VI

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  1. Wow, wow, wow!! Seriously those pictures of the sky colors and the rainbow, too were just amazing and fantastic! I can’t even imagine what you experienced and still can’t believe this was only the first day. 😉

  2. Wow that was some mosquito! They must be bigger in Alaska! I am totally scared of heights. Not sure seeing down. down, down would have been something I could have done, so my hats off to you 🙂 Why has no one ever ordered 2 scoops of ice cream before at that place? It just boggles the mind!

    1. I never even saw the mosquito. I just had that little egg for a day! And it itched. So I guess I don’t really know what did it, but that’s my leading theory.
      A fear of heights, eh? Well I have much scarier things coming…
      I think people had ordered two scoops of ice cream, but never one of each flavor! Boring people doing two of Moose Tracks, or two of Caramel Caribou, or worse – two of plain vanilla!

    1. That’s how I felt about the rainbows! Unreal. The ones we saw later were neon. Just nuts. Neon in a dark sky of rain. Not even sun. It was so crazy there.

  3. I look at these photos and just am so thankful for the beauty and wonder of creation! I don’t think I’m planning to hike a crevasse anytime… ever, but I can appreciate the breathtaking awe of it all. I’m also a little put off by the mosquito bite – I thought black flies in September were bad. That said, my (I’m guessing) future son-in-law is from Alaska, so never say never!

    1. I hear you, Seana! It just makes you gasp in awe.
      The mosquito bite was weird but I have no proof that’s what happened. I had an itchy bump on my forehead for several hours and then it was gone, so I just assume mosquito? I may never know!

  4. OMGoodness you sure captured some amazing shots and so did Cassidy. I love the panorama shots the most though. BTW all your Alaskan photos do is make me want to go to Alaska even more now and that rainbow is gorgeous. I also saw the knot on your forehead and thought, did she bump her head, but that is one awful mosquito. I’m not a fan, especially with Zika virus scaring everyone. Anyway, can’t wait to see more.

    1. I’ll let Cassidy know you love those shots the most! He is skilled at the panoramic phone photos. Me? Not so much.
      The mosquito bite was strange and I never saw one, so I’m not positive that’s what it was. I would have thought I bumped my head but it itched, and didn’t hurt. And left without a trace that night!

  5. I hope you are planning to frame at least a few of those shots because I personally would want to look at that every single day. The panoramic views are insane!

  6. Oh, these rainbows… they don’t even look real. Like they go through the picture and extend and continue on forever. So beautiful. So much pretty and nature there, eh? Just looks like you were taking in the freshest air imaginable.

    That looks like a pretty painful mosquito bite. I didn’t notice it at first, but that’s kind of what happens to my skin when I’m bitten. Also I love that you were invited in for some beer in a random isolated lodge in the middle of nowhere with taxidermied animals on the wall.

    1. The rainbows do go on forever, don’t they? And they lasted for hours. It was.. strange. Magical. Alaska! Just like that!
      The mosquito bite didn’t feel like anything really! I only knew it was a bite and not a bump of some kind, because it itched and didn’t hurt. And it went away fast! I’ve never had that reaction to ones here? I hate mosquitoes!

      And yes, your last sentence. You noticed the amazing, random, total fun.

  7. Seriously, Tamara – you should sell prints of some of these photos. The rainbows…unbelievable! I would have picked ice cream over beer too.

  8. It is so cool that you got a picture of the END of a rainbow. Wow! Rainbows make me so excited. So since you’re the dot in one of the pano’s, is that Casey’s photography via iPhone? That’s excellent if so. Those are awesome. I can’t be still enough to get one isn’t jagged-ey.

    Who knew you’d get bitten by a mosquito in Alaska. I had an egg on my forehead once. We were staying at a B&B in Va and they had a movie night outside (June). I put on jeans and then had on bug stuff EVERYWHERE but my face. You know the rest. I had a sun visor to hid mine.

    1. Yes! It’s the END! I am still looking for my pot of gold?
      Cassidy is an ace with the iPhone panoramas. So yes – to answer your question. Mine always look demented!!!
      How long did the egg on your forehead last? Mine was gone by the end of the night!

  9. Everything is sooo beautiful I could cry! It’s like straight out of a fairytale book and even more beautiful. I had to stare at the photos for quite some time. I love the rainbows!

    PS: Good thing that beer lodge has ice cream. 😉

  10. STUNNING STUNNING STUNNING!!!!!!!!!! I am in awe of it all, Tamara!! And I am SO PROUD of you for taking those scary steps UP and DOWN those icy glaciers… I couldn’t do it. I’m TERRIFIED of heights.

    Those landscape images literally look like they are fake. And I also thought of The Sound of Music with a few of them!

    Rainbow pictures are BREATHTAKING!!

    And pizza at midnight? Girl, you KNOW I would do the same! 🙂

    And this is all just the FIRST DAY? Wow. Wow. Wow.

    I love that you ordered both ice creams too. You’re adorable.

    1. It’s weird because I have many fears and hang-ups, but I have zero fear of heights. Which is good! I’ve photographed weddings in which I had to sneak up a rickety ladder to place they ring the church bell to take aerial shots! In heels! No room for fear of heights.

      The hills are alive with the sound of music!

      It’s only 10 here but I’m eating cheese poofs!

    1. We ran into so many people on cruises, who wished they were free to roam the land like us!
      And we wished for more time at sea.
      See any amazing things?? Of course you did.

  11. I would love to look at the glaciers from the safety of a helicopter but there is no way I would be comfortable climbing on them. Heck just being in a boat in deep water is hard enough….I am THAT scared of heights!

    1. Aw, understood! My husband and son have slight fear of heights. I don’t because of my photography career, but I have fear of speed and spinning, so it all evens out!

  12. What an awesome adventure! Not many can say they’ve hiked a glacier (so glad you weren’t hurt too bad). I love the moose head shot and the rainbow shot was pretty too.

  13. My husband always talks about the mosquitoes in Alaska. So much goodness and it’s just the first day! P.S. Love your top in these pics :)!

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