I’ve always liked having a birthday so close to the end of the year (Dec. 28, for those keeping track) because it means my goals for my personal year and for the calendar year can line up pretty nicely. And with my 29th birthday just 11 days off, I’m plotting out travel goals for the last year of my 20’s. Looking at you, 2016.
My No. 1 priority next year will be finishing the 50 states before my birthday, and luckily, I’ve only got two left to go. Those are Idaho and Alaska, and–even more luckily–I think I’ve saved two of the most spectacular for last.
They are, however, pretty far away from both DC–and from one another, which may spell two trips out west. Personally, I’m fine with that, but we’ll have to see if my bank account agrees.
Right now, I’m thinking Idaho deserves a roadtrip–coupled with Montana, a state I’ve been to but really haven’t done justice. Some kind of circle that includes Boise, Sun Valley, Craters of the Moon, Bozeman, Whitefish and Coeur d’Alene might be in order.
And for Alaska, I want there to be some kind of cruise component (it would be my first, and maybe only ever), as well as an overland trip to Denali. And I just read that spending three nights in Fairbanks increases your chances of seeing the Northern Lights to 80%…
Transportation up there will be the more difficult bit, although it looks like Alaska Airlines (partner of American–miles$$$) has $370-ish non-stop round trips to Seattle. From there, it’s a $26 Amtrak to Vancouver, which I expect to be the site of the cruise ship’s departure. One-way flights back down from Fairbanks, also on Alaska, seem to be in the $100s–so doable.
We won’t talk just yet about how badly it’s going to bankrupt me to go on a cruise. Gotta save something for later, right?
Anyway, if I can somehow squeeze a trip to the San Juan Islands near Seattle and a day on the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler into this agenda, we can pretty much just label it “dream trip.”
And now, I’m WAY ahead of myself, so I’m gonna cut this post off before I decided to quit my job and embark on a 6-month PNW expedition.
*Disclaimer: That’s not a photo from Idaho or Alaska, but rather one I took flying into Vancouver. I’ve never been to those states, remember?