I’ve been traveling through Alaska on a media trip hosted by Princess Cruises. My first week was spent exploring Fairbanks and Denali National Park. The second week we’ll be cruising through Glacier Bay and touring Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan on the Diamond Princess. I’ve been reporting along the way.
So Let Me Tell You a Little About Our Tour Guide.
When vacationing, I’m not usually a guided tour kind of girl. Let’s just say I’m happiest striking out on my own and discovering things at my pace. But in Alaska, it’s a really smart idea to have a tour director to manage the land portion of your trip. The territory is so vast, and the excursion options can be overwhelming and confusing. It’s great to have a point person who can help you figure out what to do each day–someone experienced, who knows the optimum times to hike or go flightseeing. Someone who can tell you which is the best hiking trail for your level of expertise. For us, that person is Lori Butler, who manages land tour groups for Princess Cruises. She has lived in Alaska for many years and is a wealth of knowledge about the state.
Lori is part concierge, part den mother. Not only does she arrange everything for her groups, she travels with them throughout the land tour. Today she rode with us on the train from Denali Princess Lodge to Mt. Mc Kinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, sharing lots of interesting anecdotes about the sights and the Alaskan culture along the way.
Say hi to Lori, our amazing tour guide.
She made sure all 37 of us made the train with plenty of time to spare.
She was prepared for anything! We have a number of families with young children on our trip, and she bought crafts books and stickers to keep them busy. I think that goes beyond the call of duty!
How cute is this paper dolls book! I liked it so much, Lori gave me one of my own.
Lori has been such a valuable member of our group. Her stories and her wisdom have brought the Alaskan culture alive for us. She taught us that the random ponds we see are called kettle ponds because of their tea kettle shape. She told us all about fireweed, and how when it blooms all the way to the top, it means summer is over. And she gave us some good safety instructions: If you come upon a moose and her baby in the woods, walk slowly away. But if mom moose pulls her ears back, it means she’s going to charge, so you’d better hide behind a tree. Luckily, we never met up with a charging moose! But if we ever do in the future, we’ll know what to do, thanks to Lori.
Unfortunately, we will have to leave Lori behind when it’s time to board the ship. She’ll have a new land group to lead, and we have some glaciers to see. But we will never forget her, and feel so fortunate to have had her guiding us through the Alaskan wilderness.
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