Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2038
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:58 pm
Location: Michigan--LP(troll)

Day 9, 30 June 2007--Anchorage.2

Woke up w/a sinus infection! Great, and four flights between now and home. Probably caught it when the HVAC system broke down on the train. So much for their vaunted hand sanitizing system... Crowded conditions, lack of sleep, and did I mention "It's a rule."; any really big trip, I get sick. Period. I also get MUCH CRANKIER! Can you tell yet? Thank God the spouse brought an arsenal of medications for just such occasions (guess we've been married long enough).

Anyway, walked around Anchorage today, downtown is pretty doable on foot. Oooooh, but guess what I saw? Segways! Somebody leads Segway tours of Anchorage! Dang, if only I'd known, cuz my dogs were already hurting! Did the bulk of souvenir shopping here. Caveat: If you want true AK souvenirs, look for the following symbols--a bear and her cub in a circle; or a silver hand. Most of the cheap stuff will either be made in China or the Phillipines, or only "assembled" in AK. You have to pay attention to labels as there are knockoffs of those, too! Not everything with a polar bear label is actually made by folks living in AK. We stopped at Trader Jack's, which ran the gamut. I picked up some porcupine quill earrings for mom, a Mats Jonasson crystal sculpture (which caused great grief later), a really cute polar bear in an igloo stuffed toy, and some more tees. Then went to the official AK Visitor's & Convention Bureau shop, and picked up a couple of prints by AK residents and some postcards to supplement my photos, and more tees. Then, oh then, to Oomingmak! This is the retail arm of a co-op formed by Native Alaskan villages along the west coast of AK. They raise musk oxen and spin their underfur (quiviut) into the most heavenly clothing. NOT CHEAP!! But this is a consignment arrangement and provides income for the women in the villages. These are remote bush villages that don't get tourist dollars otherwise, subsistence villages. Each village has its own pattern of weaving. I got a Harpoon cap. Lighter/stronger than silk and every bit as warm as wool or down. The yarn is a milk chocolate colour; they do mix it with natural-coloured silk for a "tundra and snow" effect. Hats, scarves, tunics, etc. Yeah, unabashed plug for the place. BTW, musk oxen don't smell "musky". BTW #2, it's pronounced KEE-vee-ute or KEE-vee-uht.

Tried to get out to Earthquake Park, but once again I forgot the skeeter spray in the hotel room, and they drove us out! In town you don't notice them, but go to any green space and AAAAGH! Did get a couple of pix of some of the monuments there commemorating the 1964 quake. I forget the magnitude, but in many places the earth dropped eight feet! Afterwards folks couldn't figure out why the tides were higher until they realized the shoreline had dropped! Also went to Fish Creek and walked over the fish ladder to watch the salmon run. It wasn't quite the right season yet, and they were kinda small, about 2.5' long. Yeah, that's smallish for king salmon.

My famous navigation skills (I blame the bad placemat-map provided) failed and we got a nice, brief, tour of the local military base before getting pointed in the right direction for the fish ladder.

Many more sights to see/native and cultural things that we just didn't have time for. We had an early flight to Juneau the next day so we gassed up the van, headed to the hotel, and turned it in. Now wheel-less we order pizza and wait. And wait. And wait. Two hours later we call and are told it should arrive momentarily. 30 minutes later it finally arrives, but by that time yours truly has taken nighttime meds and cannot eat thereafter. So, to bed without supper. That'll help the sinus infection! Footsore, hungry, full-blown sinus infection--what more could one want from a vacation? But I got my quiviut! Nighty-night!

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