Back in the 1970s travelling around the United States took some creativity for young adventurous travelers and backpackers. Many were often travelling to similar destinations but it was not easy to find affordable transportation where everyone could stay together. The green tortoise was created by taking buses and retrofitting them with beds to accommodate up to 36 passengers. Carpooling at it’s finest, they crisscrossed around the US to major cities like New York and San Francisco and the famous Burning Man in Nevada. The Green Tortoise has grown since then with trips in Central America, Mexico and Alaska.
Every year the ‘big green tortoise bus’ makes a stop at Base Camp Anchorage to relax between trips from Seattle to Alaska. Bernie Blaug has been leading trips for the Green Tortoise bus for several years now and his passion for the outdoors resonates at our hostel. We enjoy exchanging stories and learning about their travels as they wind their way through Canada and up to Alaska. To read more about the Green Tortoise Experience, check out their website here:
We had the privilege of having Dr. Krishna Sriperambuduru and his daughter Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru stay with us here at Base Camp Anchorage in early July. Dr. Krishna made almost-daily delicious Indian cuisine dishes to share with other guests here in the hostel and we learned about the accomplishments of he and his daughter. Both experienced mountaineers, Jaahnavi is 14 years old and attempting to become the youngest girl to ever climb the 7 highest summits on the 7 different continents. She has already climbed Mount Kosciuszko in Australia (7,310 ft), Mt. Elbrus in Russia (18,510 ft), Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa (19,341 ft.) and most recently Alaska’s own Mt. Denali (20,308 ft) which she summited on July 10th of this year. ‘It was the hardest climb yet’ Jaahnavi said afterwards. Her next climb will be Mt. Vinson in Antarctica (16,067 ft) which she will be heading to in December of this year.
We are proud of Jaahnavi and wish her and her father the best on their climbing adventures. You can follow her during her travels or donate to help her on her upcoming climbs at her website here:
Our friend Domnic from Toronto is a talented photographer and stayed with us earlier this summer during his travels of Alaska. He was fortunate enough to have a very close encounter with a few bald eagles, golden eagles, and sea gulls on a beach during his drive to Homer on the Kenai Peninsula. These shots were taken with a Nikon D610 camera. Enjoy the moments he captured, as well as some of his other impressive photography. All the best to you Domnic!
For many travelers, the moment arrives when your spirit yearns for adventure. It takes courage to leave the comforts and security of home to explore the unknown. Maud Scheid heeded life’s call and took one year off from work in France to ride her bicycle around North and South America. She begins her journey in Alaska and will be bicycling down to San Francisco over the next 5 months. She will then fly to Peru and continue her trip in South America. It was a joy to have Maud stay at our hostel during her travels. Carrying all your possessions on a bike for one year takes organization and endurance. We wish Maud a safe journey filled with friendship and adventure.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
We started our hostel season a few weeks ago with a celebration and special performance by the Bergamot. An Indie folk pop band duo based out of New York, Jillian and Nathaniel have been touring the country sharing their beautiful music. With over 12 years experience singing and writing music, they have created a special synergy in their performances. We were honored to have them perform at our hostel while on tour in Alaska. Check out a brief video below of their performance with us and visit their website at www.thebergamot.com
Base Camp Anchorage Hostel Staff
May began the start of our third season as Base Camp Anchorage. We are excited to welcome the courageous travelers coming through our doors. Our hostel’s success begins with our staff. This year we welcome Jake, Britanie, and Corey to the family. Jake and Britanie both come to us from Minnesota. Jake has a passion for music where the piano is his calling and Britanie is an adventurous traveler. Together they decided to venture cross country exploring the United States in their van. They have put thirty thousand miles since February and arrived in Alaska this April. Our paths crossed in slab city California and they headed Alaska’s call.
Corey loves traveling to Latin America and is a long-distance hiker. He has hiked both the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. I am excited to have them join the family and look forward to another year of community driven social exchange focused on our love of nature and Alaska.
Happy Trails !!!
Many outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to Alaska’s mountains. During the winter, the backcountry is a skier’s paradise. Luc Mehl has explored hidden gems all over Alaska. Last winter, he and some friends traversed 150 miles from Thompson Pass to Palmer near Anchorage. Below is a video produced with Fairweather Ski Works showing a close look at back country skiing in Alaska. Fair-weather Ski Works harvests and handcrafts their skis in Haines, Alaska.
Neal Brown lives in Fairbanks, Alaska and is passionate about the Aurora Borealis a.k.a “Northern Lights”. On Jan 20th he took an amazing video with his sony camera of the Northern Lights as it looks to the human eye. We send Neal enormous appreciation for capturing and sharing this gorgeous display.
James came to Alaska in the summer of of 2015 with the hope of getting a job salmon fishing. He got his opportunity in Kodiak, a beautiful island off the southern coast of Alaska known for some of the biggest brown bears in the world. For many travelers the soul yearns for adventure. The outer physical journey is often only a vehicle for the spiritual growth of the soul. Thank you James for staying with us at Base Camp Anchorage and becoming part of our family. Below are some of his reflections of his experiences in Alaska.
“… I want you all to know I carry your love with me and it keeps me pushing forward to chase new adventures, to continue to dream out loud. I could tell you about how I do not feel any older, or some other cliche. The truth is I am older, but I have never felt more alive and free. Some of you may know I have been salmon fishing all summer in Kodiak, Alaska. This summer in Alaska has opened up my eyes, my mind, and my heart. I have seen things I have only seen in photos. I have seen the sun shine for 24 hours and the grace and beauty of the northern lights. I have learned that the mind can push the human body farther then you could ever imagine. I have learned another new way of living. I have opened my heart up and let me tell you it feels liberating. Experiencing a love that is body and mind numbing. And that same love to be the source of a pain so fierce it purifies your soul.
If I had to give my past self some brief advice I would say :
Breathe it all in. Dive into your surroundings and appreciate its unique beauty. Let love in. Let it all the way in. Let it burn. Feel it to the depths of your being. Let it take you for a wild ride. And just when you feel the need to hold on for dear life, let go and put your hands in the air. Chase your day dream. The dreamers of the day are dangerous, they act on their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.
I will leave you with this. One of my closest friends, a beautiful human, once said, “Why grow up when you can grow in so many other directions.” “
Climbing Mount Denali in Alaska is an arduous journey. Ultimately it is the mountain that permits you to pass when conditions are favorable. At 20,310 feet (6,190 m), Mount Denali has some of the coldest temperatures of any mountain in the world. Temperatures of – 100 F or -73 Celcius have been recorded. This past Spring, Wojciech and his three friends from Poland arrived at Base Camp Anchorage to prepare for their climb of Mt. Denali. They left our hostel on May 17th and by May 31st they had reached the summit. They had ideal weather windows with many clear skies and calm days. Often mountaineers become stranded at base camps along the mountain for days or weeks waiting for weather to improve. We congratulate Wojciech and his friends with their successful summit of North America’s tallest mountain.
Upon returning from Mt.Denali, Wojciech’s journey wasn’t finished. He purchased a motorcycle and cruised throughout the United States and south into Mexico, Central and South America down to Patagonia, Argentina.
We send Wojciech an abundance of joy and love from the Base Camp Anchorage family!
Below is a photo of Denali taken by Eric Chandler on May 31st, 2015 the day Wojciech summitted Denali.