Neelam: This trip was one of the best I have ever taken. This was also my maiden voyage with the esteemed Pathfinders of Four Seasons West. Alaska had sat on my bucket list for some time and I just had to sign up, despite initial apprehension. All doubts were relieved when I attended the pre-trip meeting and got to meet some of the attendees as well as the most gracious hosts, Nita and Amir, who were so welcoming and simply outstanding people as I further learned on the trip. In fact, every single person on the trip felt like family by the time we were done.
We traveled via Seattle to Juneau, Alaska. Every day was filled with activity and there was always a back up plan just in case the weather was too incumbent for a hike in an assortment of terrains. Jeff was our hiking leader and he was so patient and made sure we were safe. The hikes were marvelous and took us through amazing ecosystems where we enjoyed the beauty of Juneau and its untouched wilderness.
During our visit, we hiked to two glaciers; Mendenhall and Herbert, attended a Salmon bake, took a tour of Glacier Gardens, visited the largest Salmon hatchery in the world, hiked through the historical Treadwell MIne, kayaked and saw a beautiful seal, some us went zip lining, we ate the most delicious seafood and to end our visit, yes, the grand finale - whale watched. The whale watching was glorious! They put on a wonderful performance for us before we headed to Juneau airport for our journey home. To sum up, the excursions were well planned and Christine did a great job.
Usman and I had the most memorable vacation ever and got to meet and make friends with so many new faces.
I have one question that has been looming over me for since our return home ........... where and when do we sign up for the next one?!!!!
Thanks to Nita, Christine and Jeff for putting this together!
"I've hiked with the Pathfinders for several years. Together we have traveled to many national parks, all over the USA. This trip to Juneau, Alaska was one of our best ever. The terrain was surprising. The last thing I expected was to traverse amazing rain forests that resembled Hawaii and Costa Rica. This lush, green expanse was amazing to see. We hiked to glaciers, saw salmon in the wild, and experienced incredible scenery. The whale-watching on the last day was unlike anything I've ever seen. It felt like we were in the middle of a National Geographic documentary. Those whales were having a party...and we were happy to join them! It's a unique experience participating in adventures like this with the wonderful people of this group. Join us for the next journey!"
Edwina Nita, Mine is a little long.
This was my maiden voyage with Pathfinders. I live in the Bay area, love hiking and always wanted to go to Alaska, so, when I heard about the trip from a friend in So. CA, I figured I had nothing to lose -- the price was reasonable and someone else was in charge of planning. Any doubts I might have had were squashed by the gracious and uber organized Nita, who took care that I had all necessary details, and by the welcoming group of veteran adventurers who attended the pre-trip luncheon hosted in their home by Nita and her husband Amir. On the trip, our able hiking leader, Jeff, brought his “A” game and offered interesting and enjoyable alternatives when the weather prevented us from taking our planned hikes. And I thank Christine for securing fun side adventures such as kayaking and zip lining. The efforts of the organizers ensured that we saw the best of Juneau – beautiful waterfalls, blue glaciers and whales breaching from the ocean like popcorn. This was a wonderful adventure. I look forward to the next one.
Hi Nita! I finally got to it. I cannot thank you enough for that amazing trip! I wish we were all still there. I miss everyone...
Hope all is well!
Juneau, Alaska Adventure:
When a friend of mine forwarded to me some information on a trip to Juneau, Alaska with a group I had not previously traveled with I thought: “Why not?” I must admit that Alaska has never made it to my short list but since I’m always game to go where I haven’t been before, I signed up. And.... Wow! What a once in my life-time experience it turned out to be! This was my first excursion with 4SW and the group on this trip was awesome! Everything was so well organized and easy, even when plan B had to be implemented our leaders made it appear seamless. I was honored to spend six days with this group of truly wonderful people with whom I hope to share many more adventures.
And Juneau? I loved it! The people were all so friendly and helpful. The city was adorable and easy to get around. The food, oh the food!, the memory still makes my mouth water.... And our outdoor adventures revealed such magnificent landscapes that I lost track of how many times I said “Wow! Look at that!” Each day took us on a new hike and a new display of Mother Nature’s awesome capacity for beauty. Mendenhall and Herbert glaciers, the Tongass National Forest, Treadwell Mine National Park, Mt. Roberts, Glacier Gardens (I want an upside-down tree planter box!), all a little different and all spectacular. It felt so invigorating to be hiking in the clean Alaskan air, surrounded by lush green forests with water and waterfalls everywhere. And then there was the kayaking, the zip lining, the perpetual luminosity of the night sky, wild flowers, bald eagles, salmon, seals, porpoises, and for our grand finale: a family of humpbacks breaching over and over again like whale pop-corn.... Would I do it again? Absolutely!!!
Thank you 4SW for this unique and awe-inspiring experience!
Hi Nita. Probably the last one but hopefully not the least. We love you guys. Take care.
Rebecca and I traveled from Alabama to be a part of Jeff's farewell led hikes in Juneau, AK and to reconnect with some of the other great people we had met during our time in California. We had made two previous trips with the Pathfinders to Rocky Mountains and Smoky Mountains National Parks since moving away. This one was the longest distance for us but later seemed short because we enjoyed the five days so much
Jeff, Nita, Amir, and Christine rock! Everything was so thought out, well planned, and organized as usual. We weren't adventurous enough to sign up for the kayaking or zip lining but actually hiking to view the Herbert Glacier was awesome. I don't remember whose idea it was to visit Glacier Gardens, but it was a personal favorite for me.
We celebrated our wedding anniversary on the last day. The whale watching excursion and seeing those humpbacks breaching was simply breath taking. We will always remember it. Great friends, making some new ones, great experiences, and good food; life doesn't get much better than that. Hope we can get together again somewhere next year. Take care.