As usual with travel, I'm fighting two competing instincts. Or, I should say, priorities. Because only one's an instinct. So on one hand, there's the notion of relaxing and have a, you know, vacation. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not bad at relaxing. I am, at heart, a lazy son-of-a-bitch. But not on vacation.
Which brings us to the instinct -- to cram in as much as possible. They always say to travel like you're going to be back to the place you're visiting. I rarely apply that, because there's so much I still need to see. Plus, in this case, it's freakin' Alaska! It's not on the way to much.
So the question comes down to Denali. That's the place to see Bears and other pretty major wildlife. On the map, it's very close to Anchorage. Of course, Alaska's twice the size of Texas, so it's actually 4-plus hours away. Just look at this thing!
At bare minimum, it takes a whole day to see, plus another day of travel.
Anyway, the relaxation option still offers plenty of memorable experiences. I'll no doubt see plenty of wondrous stuff. Moose, eagles, and maybe some whales. Orcas would be especially cool. Not to mention non-animal stuff: glaciers, mountains, fjords. And I'll have a chance to catch some giant fish.
Oh, and books. Sitting around reading books. Happy hour on the deck. Games.
Two things I won't see that kinda tick me off. The stars and the aurora. Aurorae? It doesn't get very dark there in the summer. Just sort of twilightish from about 1 to 4 am. Sleeping should be some trick.
Anyway, I'm also a guest. So it's not ENTIRELY my decision.
More research to do ...