Alaska, Fairbanks

Day 1: Atlanta –> Dallas –> Seattle –>Fairbanks

Travel from Atlanta to Fairbanks

Travel from Atlanta to Fairbanks.

I know, I know, you’re tired just reading the title. Today was a really long day of travel, comprised of multiple flights, layovers and transfers… 15 hours and 5,000 miles to be exact.

We started the day in Atlanta around 4am, with a 4:30 transfer from the airport Westin to North Terminal, where we got checked in for our Southwest flights. I had been up 24 hours prior to check in online for a good place in the boarding line, which was sort of unnecessary seeing as the first flight was half empty.

On the second flight from Dallas to Seattle was a lovely old lady who had never flown. She wore a tee shirt that said, ‘No prayer is too small.’ The brave old gal took a window seat and three-quarters of the way through the flight looked at me and said, ‘There’s really nothing to it.’ We were taken great care of by our Southwest crew and upon descending in Seattle, were afforded views of The Cascades, Mount Hood, Mount Rainier and Mount Washington. In previous trips to Washington and Portland, I’d yet to see any of these mountains, so that was a real treat and we haven’t even arrived anywhere yet.

Aerial views en route to Alaska.

Aerial views en route to Alaska.

Mt. Rainier from Alaskan Airlines flight.

Mt. Rainier from our Alaskan Airlines flight.

In Seattle, we transferred to Alaskan Airlines. Finally it was sinking in that I’m going to Alaska, but we still had almost a three hour flight ahead of us. We took off, with stellar views of Mount Rainier behind us, and quickly passed over Vancouver Island. Now the landscape began to drastically change, and we were flying over mountains, glaciers, inlets and lakes of various shades of blue. We were meant to land in Fairbanks to wet conditions but the sun held on for us, and by the time we were descending, Fairbanks was illuminated in end of day light. It was literally glowing

An aerial view of Fairbanks

An aerial view of Fairbanks

gold, as all the birch trees have turned bright yellow here already.

We transferred from the small Fairbanks airport to the Westmark Hotel and were in our room by dinnertime. This left little time for exploring the city unfortunately. We were pretty exhausted from the long day of travel and opted for a bite and a beer at the hotel. On draft, two great beers from Alaskan Brewing Company – Amber Ale and Alaskan White. Come to find out the brewery is located in Juneau, where we’ll be stopping in a few days’ time.

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