Traveling To Alaska

Traveling to Alaska is a must for your bucket list. The beauty is breathtaking, activities endless, and the people — very kind. My trip was one of the most memorable trips of a lifetime.

Stacy Lyn Harris standing in creek with gear for fly fishing in Sitka, Alaska
Stunning natural beauty and fantastic fly fishing are two of the biggest draws for traveling to Alaska.

Traveling to Alaska: A Trip Full of Fun and Adventure

I went to Alaska with my husband, Scott, for a work/fun trip! Actually, I had a great time working, too; so ultimately, it was a fun/fun trip.

So what set us traveling to Alaska all the way from Alabama? I was the visiting guest chef at Talon Lodge in Sitka, Alaska (Alaska’s first capital). There I, along with the 4 incredible lodge chefs, created a meal to linger over and remember from the Southern menu I’d created for this amazing opportunity.

Stacy Lyn serving as guest chef, prepping food in kitchen at Talon Lodge in Alaska
Traveling to Alaska for fun work: serving as guest chef with the great chefs at Talon Lodge

I brought along some of my favorite Southern ingredients in my suitcase: green tomatoes, red jalapeños, and self-rising cornmeal. I had big plans!

Stacy Lyn's menu for Talon Lodge in Alaska

Stacy Lyn’s Menu for Talon Lodge in Sitka, Alaska

Night One:

  • Fried Green Tomatoes with Halibut and Dungeness Crab Salad
  • Garden Salad with Shrimp, Puffed Quinoa, Spiced Pecans, and Avocado Dressing
  • Blackened Salmon with Sweet Potato Hash and Asparagus

Night Two:

Light Appetizers and Demo:

fried grits cakes and shrimp with dill sauce, plate balanced on railing above view

Traveling to Alaska? What to Do While You’re There

If you’re traveling to Alaska, you’ll find almost endless possibilities for what to do there. Here are some of my favorite Alaskan experiences.

Fishing for Halibut, Salmon, Rockfish, and Lingcod

A trip to Alaska is worth it just for the fishing. It was outstanding; we brought home halibut, salmon, rockfish, and cod. The halibut gave me a run for my money. I was sore and exhausted after the big fishing day but got to go back to cook for the guests, which took my mind off the soreness.

This Lingcod was something else to reel in!

Plus, the fishing was loads of fun!! Thankfully, it was a calm day, so I didn’t get seasick. I can’t say I wasn’t a little worried about that.

ATV Exploring – A Great Way to Travel in Alaska

traveling by ATV to explore Alaska: Stacy Lyn in ball cap and fishing gear on ATV

One of my favorite activities during my trip to Alaska was exploring one of the islands by ATV with our guide, Ted. Scott and I had a blast seeing a few bears in the grasslands on the island.

In this same area, there was a new ingredient, sea beans, I’d never heard of, much less used. We pickled them to top the Shrimp and Grits I served as one of the night’s the entreè.

Picking sea beans for dinner.

Hiking in Alaska: Moss Lands, Salmon Berries, and Bear Tracks

Another interesting thing about the terrain was the sphagnum moss lands. They are known to go down 200 feet. It felt like walking on a sponge – something I’ve never experienced.

Sphagnum moss in Alaska.

We hiked across that and found a beautiful creek we climbed down to continue exploring.

The terrain is gorgeous around the creeks; salmon berries are everywhere, and I ate more than my fair share as we walked along the way.

As we ate lunch on the beach of the island, we spotted bear tracks and a huge net up on the ledge of where the land meets the beach. That’s where we hung out for a bit.

Fly Fishing in Alaska

We spent several days with Ted fly fishing, which has become my new favorite sport! I’ve fly fished before but have never quite enjoyed it as much as I did in Alaska.

Stacy Lyn fly fishing in creek in Sitka, Alaska
Fly Fishing in Alaska.

We caught Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden, a salmonid fish native to cold waters.

Stacy Lyn smiling in fly fishing gear in Alaska creek, holding fishing net and large fish

I only fell in the creek once! The interesting thing is that I hung my wet shirts in my room to dry, and three days later, they still weren’t dry. It doesn’t feel all that humid in Alaska, but it proved to be – just ask my hair!

Packing for Travel to Alaska

Based on our experiences, here is my list of what to take with you when traveling to Alaska.

  • Waterproof Shoes – make sure they are comfortable!
  • Waterproof Jacket – It rains a lot. I love my Lands End Jacket. Scott loves his KUHL.
  • Lots of Layers – hoodies are a must – I like the Free Fly Hoodie  and the KUHL hoodie.

Where to Stay in Alaska

I was “cheffing” at Talon Lodge, and I can say I would go there as a guest any day. The employees (now my friends) are the kindest, do-anything-for-you people I’ve met in a long while. And when I say this, I mean every one of them.

They feed you breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The accommodations are very nice, the lodge and surroundings beautiful, and the eagles…they were lovely!

scenic view of Talon Lodge in Sitka, Alaska with beautiful blue sky

And by the way, remember to bring a good sleep mask if you are traveling to Alaska in the summer. There were only 5 hours of darkness from 11pm – 4am. This is what it looked like at 11pm.

Alaskan summer sky at 11pm

With so many great memories, I left Alaska dreaming of making more. I’m planning my trip back! Next time we’re traveling there, I want to explore the volcanos, see more bears, hike, and fish more — especially fly fish!

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  1. I enjoyed seeing your gorgeous photos from Alaska! God’s creativity is so amazing! So glad y’all had a fantastic trip and shared the beauty with us. I know they loved having you prepare those southern dishes for them.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos. I have about 300 more! I had the best time and do hope they enjoyed the Southern food!

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