Wow, I have tried to write this a few times now, but it has been a rough road.  

I haven't made any mention here yet but in just a few days, I will be off to Anchorage Alaska for a few days, and then carrying on via the Alaska Railroad to Fairbanks.  The goal of my trip is to come home with a hundred gigs of beautiful photos.  

To keep my camera safe, on recommendation from plenty of personal friends and stellar reviews, Pelican's 1500 below.  This is a hard case, very well padded, waterproof, and air tight with automatic pressure release.  Sound cool? It is!  And the best part is you get to carve out the spaces for your gear! Let me tell ya, I have a slight OCD side, and putting everything in an eye-pleasing way took some planning! ;)

Pictured below, I'll be taking my 5D Mark III camera, the new 70-200 f2.8 IS II lens, the 24-105 and the 16-35 lens.  I was very tempted to also bring my 150-500mm lens for more reach, but instead, I've decided to add a 2x extender which will effectively give me 400mm of zoom.  While it would be nice to have the 500mm (and it's 2x extender making it 1000mm), it adds a lot of weight and would have to be checked.  As I already have to pack my tripod in my suitcase, I'm stretched very thin on weight (and space) already!

I have been asked plenty of times if I am excited.  That really isn't the word.  I'm nervous.  It is entirely dependent on weather.  January isn't a particularly pleasant time to be outside up there.  Right now the weather is above freezing, but a lot of rain.  Not really great for electronics.  My plan is to shoot landscapes and animals by day, and the night sky (complete with Northern Lights) after the sun goes down.  

I have several tours planned, one of which should take me to the Arctic Circle so this trip should be a memorable one.  If the weather cooperates! 

Stay tuned - if I am able, I will post some unprocessed shots in a blog entry while I'm on the road if I get access to a computer.  If not, well... Hopefully you'll check out my blog when I'm back!