Get to reunite with my good friend Mark, who in his rugged outdoorsy way has moved out to Alaska. Got on a DIRECT flight and was on my way! The first immediate thing to get used to was SUN, sun, SUN even at midnight. So it still feels like noon with its 9pm. We caught up and grabbed a quick dinner at Bear Tooth, which also shows cool movie series. Tip: Anything with salmon will be amazing and everything has salmon. Also managed to work in some bad timing as the Swan Lake Fire spread and smoke started covering the usual scenic views.
Started the day at the Anchorage Museum, a great mix of culture, art & design. Then headed to the Anchorage Market with stuff I love: crafts, woodworking from local artists and great random stuff. Also got to hear some great stories about what it is actually like to live in -49 degree weather. NEGATIVE 49! After, we drove down the Seward Highway which was one of the most gorgeous drives, even rivaling PCH! Stopped and took a walk across Potter Marsh and did some amateur bird-watching. I was at least able to spot out some eagles. There were tons of other birds, I just couldn’t name them. Definitely worth stopping and picking up binoculars on the way. (Good call, Mark!).
Dinner was at Glacier Brewhouse & was a super yummy smoked salmon salad. Then we just sat in the sun the night. It really does throw your brain off.
Today, we did some more scenic driving down Seward Highway to Portage Pass. Start of some great hikes, we walked down and up to get to see Portage Glacier.
Definitely a few insights on the hike.
1. Realized what determination is when I saw an elderly woman pass the other way with her oxygen tank on.
2. Gained a new appreciation for bear sprays, bells and all other things that kept us from not being lunch 😉
Mark was up for another hike at Flattop but I was wiped out. Instead we had dinner with Trivia! Woo at 49th State Brewing. Team name = My dog has more followers than me. Spent some time writing out postcards with Swift, the cat nibbling on my pen as I wrote.
Endless gorgeous views. Today we headed to kayak at Lake Eklutna. For awhile, we had the whole lake to ourselves!! I being me, went foraging for driftwood and Mark humored me as I packed my bag with wood and rocks. It was such a relaxing time on the water.
Then took a break and got my favorite at Rochelle’s Ice Cream Stop. It’s always worth it to stop for ice cream.
Then started the climb up Hatcher Pass and the 20 year old Honda held up really well! Woo! Also wouldn’t be a good road trip with pretzels & jerky & even a moose sighting.
Not planned but also found this gem, Independence Mine!!! Do I love my creepy, abandoned lots? Yes.
Dinner at Pizza Man in Eagle River and headed back home.
Mark humored me once again and we visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and stared at bears. Awesome way to end the day at Girdwood Brewery.
This guy had peanut’s wiggle.
Actually still have my rock and driftwood.
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