Alaska Marine Highway System, 2019 Version

(Sections of this post are taken from Alaska On the Go: Exploring the Alaska Marine Highway System with Children, by Erin Kirkland)  “What a beautiful sight that was. We could take our car, or walk on board, and GO SOMEWHERE! Our highway had arrived!” ~ Betty J. Marksheffel, describing her first view of the ferry […]

Sailing the Alaska Marine Highway: What you need to know for 2017

The Alaska Marine Highway System is a 3,500-mile route along some of the state’s most scenic coastline, and provides visitors an in-depth approach to adventures in the 49th state. Moreover, it’s a vital link for the rural residents living and working in roadless areas of Alaska, where rocky cliffs or distant shores prohibit passage by […]

Unalaska Dutch Harbor: Finding the heart of the Aleutians

I rather feel as if our family has accomplished a true Alaska rite of passage by sailing the Aleutian Islands chain to Unalaska-Dutch Harbor. We’ve put in our miles around the state, to be sure, but it’s trips like the one we completed last week that truly cement my assertion that we are, truly, Alaska’s […]

Traveling the Alaska Marine Highway Southwest Route: Family worthy?

In choosing to write my second book on the subject of Alaska’s storied and historic Marine Highway System (AMHS), our family accepted the challenge of traveling all four routes identified by the State’s ferry system. From Bellingham, Washington to Juneau we sailed on the Southeast Route; between Juneau and Whittier we jostled along via the […]

Tour Southwest Alaska Aboard a Ferry: Unalaska-Dutch Harbor await

In 48 hours, the picnic supplies, coffee press, non-perishable food, DVDs, chargers, and other miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam of our upcoming Alaska Marine Highway (ferry) trip will be safely aboard the MV Tustemena, bound for Unalaska-Dutch Harbor. This much-anticipated trip represents the last AMHS route on our sailing list as I write the manuscript of […]

Alaska Marine Highway Adventures Await: 2015’s far-flung ferry ride

Today is Thursday, better known as “Book Day.” It’s how I get through my week. There’s “Me Monday,” “Magazine Wednesday,” and “Freelance Friday.” I thrive on structure, and as a journalist who works from home with distractions at my elbow (or under my feet, ahem, AK Dogs), a schedule like mine is often the best […]

Alaska Marine Highway Unaccompanied Minor Policy: AKontheGO weighs in

Yesterday, the Alaska Marine Highway and Alaska Department of Transportation issued a new policy regarding unaccompanied minors traveling aboard their ferries. As of November 20, 2014, all children under the age of 18 must travel with a parent, legal guardian, or other individual at least 18 years of age who also carries a notarized letter […]

Alaska On the Go: Exploring the Marine Highway with children

For those following closely the saga of Alaska On the Go: Exploring the 49th state with children, you will know that barely seven months after its release, the book is still hopping off store shelves around the country. This makes me feel pretty good, so good that in a fit of memory loss not unlike […]

Alaska Ferry Travel Tips: What to bring, what to leave at home

Please, somebody tell me I am not the only traveler who pulls out a pad of paper mid-trip and starts writing down a list of stuff if “ever I do this again”. Yeah, so maybe I am. Regardless, my trip tips have become legendary in my family, as I am usually the one who has […]

Whatcom County Full of Family-Friendliness

I’ve known about Whatcom County and the city of Bellingham since I was a kid. We passed through town on our way to Canada, and I visited the forested campus of nearby Western Washington University during my pre-college years, trying to make a decision that would secure my future. Funny how much I missed. Ever […]

Alaska on the Go: Living the dream of family travel on the Alaska Marine Highway

After three full days of sailing Alaska Marine Highway between Juneau and Bellingham, WA, the MV Malispina safely delivered these family travel pros to our terminus early Friday morning. Chugging reliably along the nation’s only water-based scenic byway and All-American Road, the Malispina provided us with views, wildlife, and characters from around the world, as […]