Heading to Anchorage, but first the Happy Trails Kennel

You know that good kind of tired? The kind where you’re exhausted because you’re having a great time? That’s the kind of tired we’re experiencing. We’ve been doing a lot since Tuesday. Today we got to sleep in, kind of. We started our day at 8 am (we started at 6 am yesterday). It was 4 hours of scenic driving with a rest stop before we ended up at Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel.

Scenic highway driving in Alaska.

Scenic highway driving from Denali to Anchorage.

Alaska scenic driving

Our driver Mike slowed down so we can take in how high we were from the bottom.

Best of Alaska cruisetour

We were making good time so we stopped at this veterans memorial site on our way to Happy Trails Kennel.

Best of Alaska

We were hoping to see Mt McKinley (Denali) make an appearance but again, it was too cloudy today.

Along the way, we saw an area that looked like it was recovering from a forest fire. Then I remembered what Jen, our Tour Director, told us about forest fires in Alaska. Unlike in California where there are attempts to calm down the fire and put it out, in Alaska, that doesn’t happen. She said there were two reasons: a) nobody wants to pay for it and b) it’s part of the natural forest life cycle. Forest fires happen naturally.

Finally, around noon we arrived at Happy Trails Kennel where we were greeted by the great 4-time Iditarod Champion, Martin Buser. What an inspirational man! Dog mushing is a serious physical challenge, but also one heck of a mental one. In his most recent race, he dislocated his left pinky finger (and it still looks dislocated!) and the sled ran over his leg, resulting in torn ligaments in his ankle. He still went on to finish the 1049 mile race and came in 6th place!

Martin Buser Happy Trails Kennel

Martin Buser in the foreground. This is the least fittest he and his dogs are during the year. As the weather gets colder, both he and the dogs get leaner from the increased activity in preparation for the race.

We got to meet some of the adult dogs and at the end, we got to play with some of the puppies, too. I could’ve stayed there all day and I think most of our guests feel the same!

Martin Buser Happy Trails Kennel

 

Martin Buser Happy Trails KennelAt the end, we were handed booties with a card! What a pleasant ending to the visit!

Happy Trails Kennel Booty

I got the booty of Single Leader Lionel :)

As Jen pointed out, who knew the highlight of our day would be at a kennel hanging out with Busers and getting booty?

About an hour afterward, we found ourselves in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city and where more than 40% of the state’s population reside. We ended the day together with an included dinner in downtown Anchorage. What an amazing Great Land experience it’s been. New friends, local Alaskan hospitality, and magnificent scenery… This trip really is the Best of Alaska.

To see more photos of this trip, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’re boarding the Crown Princess tomorrow — hope you continue to follow along!

About Vanny

Vanny is Cruise Experts Travel’s Social Media Coordinator. She is a passionate world traveler and has been given an exciting opportunity to share experiences, tips and advice on everything cruising and travel in Alaska.
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