Friday, August 25, 2006

My Alaska trip....….a hodgepodge of memories

The long layover in Chicago passed very quickly after I struck up a conversation with 2 young gals from Oklahoma, Hippie-Chick and Tater. They were fun-loving, free souls on vacation from their jobs on the magazine “Planet Biker”. They couldn’t have been nicer and I loved sharing their escapades and plans for the future.

I was visiting my niece Paula and her family in Alaska. Her mom (my sister) Peg and husband Clif were there too so it was a type of family reunion. The second night I was there we all attended a “goodbye gig” at the "Organic Oasis" in Anchorage. Their son Matt’s 7-member band, The Emeralds, was breaking up after 9 years...all of the members heading off to College with the exception of Matt who has one more year to go in High School. They are an amazingly talented group and have become quite well known in Alaska, even producing 2 CD’s. It was a thrill to be present for their big farewell. Matt is an outstanding fiddle player, as is his brother Jamie and it was fun to listen to them improvise at home with their dad.

Peg, Clif and I did an overnight in Seward. We took a 6 hour boat tour of Resurrection Bay and marveled at the wildlife… Otters, whales, seals, puffins and eagles. The highlight came when we drew within yards of the Holgate glacier, listening to the loud “Cr-r-r-ack” deep within the glacier and the resulting break-off of ice. We returned to shore just in time to watch the weighing-in of the day’s catch. One halibut was almost 300 lbs.

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center brought us eye-to-eye with black and brown bears, Grizzly‘s, Wood Bison, caribou, moose, musk oxen and lynx. The Alaska Native Heritage Center and the Anchorage Museum were fonts of information about the culture, traditions and history of the Alaskans present and past.

A random drive around Anchorage led us to an imaginative garden that a lady had designed using discarded autos and all sorts of “junk”. It was right in the heart of the city, next to a dumping area. I couldn’t resist having my picture taken there.

We lucked in to 3 balmy days of the 5 that I was there and the hospitality was outstanding. Thank you Paula, Peter, Matt & Jamie.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a unique garden (?) Very different.
I've always heard great things about Alaska from everyone that's visited there and it seems you're no exception. Sounds like a spectacular place surrounded by so much nature.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounded like a very enjoyable trip. I am still going to get there one of these days myself I'm a hoping.

Arkansas is famous for those 'junk' gardens. However, if you ever come down for a tour be sure and just refer to them as 'gardens'.

5:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, looks like you had a great time. I enjoyed your photos. Alaska looks like an interesting place too. And nothing like a family reunion to cheer you up.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exciting life adventure still!

8:14 PM  

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