Three years ago, I noticed that airfares to Alaska in September plummet to crazy low levels. I've seen sub-$400 airfares from NYC pop up! As a frequent traveler who compulsively checks airfare deal blogs, I knew these prices were enough to justify a weekend mileage run if I needed an extra status boost. I missed my chance that year, but tried to convince a friend the next year. She was understandably wary of my harebrained scheme. No dice.

When I saw the airfares start to plummet again this past year, I couldn't pass it up. I made it my mission to convince someone - ANYONE! - to humor me and head to the last American frontier. As they say, the third time was a charm. Despite the unreliable nature of September weather in Alaska, I convinced my friend Jen to head up north for a long weekend. She's been on a cross-country journey all year and was completely game for the adventure.


We set out with a plan to explore Kenai Fjords National Park, but got way more than we bargained for. We hiked on glaciers and saw them calving into the ocean, we cruised next to pods of killer whales and watched sea lions basking in the sun, and we got up close and personal with wild animals at a nature preserve. And oh, the fall foliage! We hiked through amazing forests of yellow aspen, spread out for miles and miles.

The vast wilderness of Alaska was completely and utterly overwhelming. I can't wait to return.

All photos shot with my Pentax 645N & various medium format lenses. Kodak Portra 400, I think.