Adventurous Winos: “Take a sip on the wild side!”

In Alaska Travelgram by scott

Pretty drinks all in a row at the top of the Alyeska Tram.

“Take a sip on the wild side” is the slogan for Angela Thompson’s business, Adventurous Winos.

It has a nice ring to it, eh?

Angie and her crew offer three itineraries from Anchorage for folks who want to see lots of Alaska in just one day. One itinerary includes hiking on the Matanuska Glacier. Another excursion features a glacier and wildlife tour in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Angie and Pam, two of the guides with Adventurous Winos.

My whole life was waiting behind Door #3: critters in deep, glaciers up close and cocktails up high. In the brochure it’s called the “Southern Coastal Adventure” and includes a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a cruise to the face of Portage Glacier on the mighty m/v Ptarmigan and a ride up Mt. Alyeska on the tram for some drinks with KILLER views.

Three fun things in one day….it’s a trifecta, eh? I thought so. Scroll down for the photos.

Our guides: Angie and Pam, are childhood friends from Anchorage. They both have incredible stories about Alaska today—and how it used to be (even before the giant earthquake in 1964).

Rob (center) and Carol (right) pose with Pam (left) at the top of the Alyeska tram.

Our guests: Carol and Rob from Ottawa, Canada.

Another beautiful day on Turnagain Arm.

To get in the “Wild Side” vibe, we start the trip with a drive down Turnagain Arm. It was a beautiful day for spotting Dall’s sheep. Not so much for beluga whales—but we were watching.

Juniper and Willow are two new residents at AWCC. These Musk Oxen are less than two months old. Photo: Sarah Howard

Our first stop was at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. The Center is close to our hearts for the work they’ve done to repopulate the wood bison population in the state. Everyone loves visiting, though, because you can get close to the animals. Angie knows all of them by name. The bears. The moose. The musk oxen and the porcupines. Angie has plenty of stories about taking care of wild animals. Just ask her! 

Beautiful image of “Patron” by Nicole Geils

Everyone loves looking at the critters, but there’s more to see and do! 

The m/v Ptarmigan sails on Portage Lake to the face of Portage Glacier

Just down the road in Portage is the mighty Ptarmigan boat to take you to the face of Portage Glacier. Captain Joy got nice and close after reminding everyone to bundle up against the cold wind which whips down the glaciier! The boat is the only way to get up-close to the glacier these days.

Captain Joy is at the helm, while Angie wants to “see what this baby can do!”

Driving up in to Portage Valley offers a great vantage point to view the other hanging glaciers. You have to use your imagination to picture the entire valley was encased in ice. Those of us who call Alaska home can definitely see how Portage Glacier has receded over the years. QUICK: come see it before it’s gone!

 

Rob and Carol pose for a Christmas card shot in Portage Valley.

Along the way between Portage and Alyeska Resort there are several spots to stop and take photos of the beautiful Alaska wilderness: the lakes, the trees, the glaciers and the rivers. Depending on when you go, you might see salmon swimming in the stream. It’s just beautiful—and we were lucky enough to visit on a beautiful day.

Riding the Alyeska tram.

If you haven’t taken the tram at Alyeska Resort—hey, what are you waiting for. It’s a fun ride to the top, with fabulous views.

Take a sip on the wild side!

This is the part of the adventure when we all can share a meal and a beverage. We had LOTS of toasts to our tour guides, Pam and Angie. We talked about other trips we’d taken, about other critters we’ve seen up close and about other mountains we’d hiked or climbed.

So many sips.

But we couldn’t even sip our drinks until Angie set up the “Take a sip on the wild side” shot with the drinks set up on the railing. Looking out over Turnagain Arm really was dramatic…and it was worth the wait. Almost. HAHAHA

Another view….I swerved a bit to get the tram in!

Call Adventurous Winos and…ahem….take a sip on the wild side this summer! 

Below: Carol and Rob saved  a bundle using a coupon from the Alaska TourSaver

Rob & Carol saved a bundle!

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