Wrap Up in Anchorage

We wrapped up our epic journey to Alaska in Anchorage, the largest city in the state.  With a population exceeding 300,000, nearly half the state’s residents call Anchorage home. Our hotel, the Westmark, included in our cruise package and owned by Holland America, was well-located downtown. We arrived early in the evening before an afternoon flight out of Anchorage the following day allowing us time for just a brief look around.

IMG_5027

Panoramic view from our balcony at the Westmark Hotel, Anchorage

Dinner at Humpy’s came with outside seating made more enjoyable after the brief shower ended. Jim especially liked his caribou sausage but I had seafood again. Thankfully, salmon and halibut would soon be delivered to our door so it wasn’t my last meal of Alaskan seafood.

IMG_5023

Jim and Sheryl outside Humpy’s

The following morning we got an early start to make the best use of our time. Anchorage plants more than 80,000 flowers in 270 flower beds throughout the city and we were happy to encounter more than a few on our walkabout.

IMG_5033

One of the many flower beds planted around Anchorage each year

Our visit coincided with the Slam’n Salm’n Derby on Ship Creek, an annual fundraiser for the Downtown Soup Kitchen. I was intent on seeing this event so we headed straight for the creek. We overshot the mark, however, and ended up further upstream and found ourselves in a seedier neighborhood than we intended. In retrospect, if we had simply walked directly to the Information Center, we could have explored the area from there. The upside of getting off the beaten path, however, was seeing the Streambank Restoration Project to protect salmon habitat.

IMG_5042

Ship Creek Trail

IMG_5046

Fishing for salmon on the bank of Ship Creek for the Slam’n Salm’n Derby

IMG_5051

More derby fishers at the Bridge at Ship Creek

IMG_5077

Derby fisher weighs his catch

I later read the Derby winner for 2015 was a woman who caught a 37.55 lb king salmon early in the 10-day event.

We visited the nearby Ulu Factory and watched a craftsman work on a traditional ulu knife. With a history over 3000 years old, this tool was fashioned and used by native Alaskans and is still used today. We bought one for ourselves and one for a gift. I especially like it for chopping herbs since I don’t skin many seals.

IMG_5058

Craftsman working at the Ulu Factory

IMG_9367

My Ulu with cutting bowl

IMG_5056

The Ulu Factory and Store

IMG_5064

Jim with a dogsled displayed outside the Ulu Factory

A quick stop at the Visitor’s Center told us there was plenty more than we had time to see, and we would have to be content with the briefest of tours.

IMG_5110

Anchorage Visitor Information Center

IMG_5103

Downtown Anchorage

We decided to spend some of our precious time on an exhibit and video presentation of Dave Parkhurst’s photographs of the aurora borealis.  Photography of his work in the exhibit wasn’t allowed but you can check out his images on his website, The Alaska Collection. We once viewed the northern lights in northern Wisconsin and Jim saw them another time while driving in Iowa on I-35 but this show was phenomenal. As a result, I now want to see the aurora borealis in either Alaska or Iceland.

IMG_5119

Video presentation of images of the Aurora Borealis by Alaskan photographer Dave Parkhurst

Then it was back to the hotel to grab our luggage and catch a taxi to the airport. As we said goodbye to Alaska, we were treated once again to views of Mt. Denali. What could possibly provide a more lasting impression of Alaska?

IMG_5390

Mt. Denali

IMG_5148

Mt. Denali

 

 

 

Based on events of June 2015.

 

 

Categories: Anchorage, cruise, Denali, Travel, Uncategorized, USA | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Post navigation

4 thoughts on “Wrap Up in Anchorage

  1. Another beautiful post and I giggled when you wrote you used your knife to chop herbs since you don’t have many seals to skin. 🙂 What? No seals in Iowa? Lovely trip —thanks for sharing.

    Like

  2. The colors are gorgeous! I have loved seeing Alaska through your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks great! Alaska is so much to visit. I have yet to see Anchorage but these pictures are lovely. Don’t forget to come visit me over at http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com, and if you see anything you like, leave a comment!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: