That’s how the tour guide described my marriage prospects during my recent trip to Alaska with my mum. Luckily I like beards or the odds wouldn’t have even been that favourable.

It was mum’s 70th last year so she wanted to go somewhere different and as she isn’t hugely keen on the heat or foreign food Alaska seemed like a good choice.

The first thing that hit me when getting off the plane was the weather – after four months of searing heat in Turkey, the sight of drizzle and grey skies was a wonder to behold – for the first 2 days anyway!

p1070995So, what can I say about Alaska? It’s big, it’s roomy, it’s not highly populated, it’s a tad nippy and there’s lots of animals there that you wouldn’t invite to join you on the sofa.

The highlight for me was a visit to the husky kennels which has led to me becoming completely obsessed with the Iditarod (a 1,150 mile annual husky race across Alaska) so that’s my 50th birthday treat to myself sorted – no, not doing it (I’m not an idiot), but going to see the start of it in Anchorage. Did you know that not all Huskies are the typical fur laden, blue eyed dogs that you see on the big screen? No, me neither, but they come in all shapes and sizes, all of which are beautiful obviously.

I doubt any visit to Alaska is complete without a visit to Denali National Park – 6 million acres, 1 road. The Scottish Highlands on steroids. A 7 hour (yes, 7) bus tour only shows you a little bit of it. That 7 hours was made all the more joyful by the little baby who poo’d itself shortly after we got going (bless) – I’ve never been so glad I chose to sit at the front of the bus, and thank the lord for windows!

14388810_10154226901365141_1811242726_nOf course, the more comfortable way to see everything is on a glass roof domed train journey, watching the vastness go by as you tuck into a hearty breakfast then move on to smoothies (my mother is going to hate this picture!).

And, Alaska being Alaska, there were glaciers and icebergs to visit. Now that, I think it’s fair to say, was a pretty chilly day. Luckily though we were kept warm with clam chowder and, even more luckily, weren’t added to the ‘ships hitting icebergs’ statistics.

Speaking of ice, the icing on the cake was getting the opportunity to sit on Santa’s knee in September but if you are going to visit a town called North Pole you’d be very disappointed if it was Santa’less wouldn’t you?

p1080109All in all it was a pretty memorable trip and if you like wilderness then it’s definitely one to try.

As for me, well no bearded Alaskans caught my eye so I’ll have another look next time.