Our Last Day in Alaska

Trip Start Jul 04, 2013
Trip End Jul 21, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Saturday, July 20, 2013

Today was, sadly, our last day in Alaska. We had no specific plans or reservations today, so we all slept in later than normal (Dad actually being the last one up for a change – very refreshing!). As everyone was getting showered and ready to get some breakfast, we were also packing our bags. We had our breakfast at the hotel and discussed things we might do with our day. We came up with a short list and just headed into downtown Anchorage.

There were a number of street fairs and weekend markets taking place today, so we parked the van near one of them and decided to just stroll around. After waking up to rain showers, it turned out to be a perfect day in Anchorage. The sun was shining and the temperature was around 70 degrees or so. The market was a fun place. Everyone was out and about, enjoying the beautiful day. We strolled through all of the various "streets" in the market ducking in and out of tents to see the things everyone was selling. One of the first things I noticed was a vendor selling many different flavors of popcorn. He was providing free samples of his flavors and some customers were discussing how much they liked the popcorn. Of course, I went right up to have a few samples of my own! I tried the Golden Nugget (salty, buttery, caramel popcorn), which was really good. SteveB went right for the very spicy Habanero popcorn. It turned out to be quite HOT and I believe basically took his breath away! The funny thing is, after he regained his composure, he bought a bag of it!

In addition to the strolling and shopping, we did run into a couple of people along the way. One was a vendor who came out of her stall to say “Boooo Lehigh” to Steve, as he was wearing a Lehigh t-shirt. She had ties to Lafayette, so it made sense. Another guy we ran into had a t-shirt that said “Make it idiot-proof and someone will make a better idiot”. I think that's a very true statement actually.

After hanging out at the market for a while, we decided to head over to the Alaska Experience Theater to take in a few films about Alaska. They were pretty good and gave everyone a little break from walking through the markets. After the shows, we were all using the restroom when the fire alarms started going off, so that made for a little bit quicker exit than expected.

We continued roaming through Anchorage for a while, before deciding to have a late lunch/early dinner. Since we were close to Humpy’s (where we had eaten a couple days before), we headed over there. We had a nice meal and just relaxed. We talked about the trip in general and how much we missed having Patty with us for the last couple of legs.

From Humpy’s we took a drive out of town, to Potter Marsh. This is an area with boardwalks that are used to view wildlife. We still had a bit of time before we needed to head to the airport, so we just spent some time enjoying the weather. We were told there was a bald eagle nearby, so we went to check that out. It turns out the eagle was in a distant tree. We could see it, but needed the help of a spotting scope that was mounted on the boardwalk.

We definitely had a very relaxing day today, but all good things must come to an end. It was time to head to the airport and head home.

I think we all agree it was a great trip, but at the same time we were looking forward to getting back home. We saw so many amazing things and had quite a few adventures along the way. We saw humpback whales, killer whales, sea lions, harbor seals, more sea otters than we could count, many bald eagles, and had the opportunity to watch the grizzly bears at Brooks Falls for two days!

In addition to all of the wildlife, we ventured to areas of Alaska only accessible by float planes or boats, we stayed in the remote town of King Salmon, cruised the Inside Passage, clearly saw Denali three days in a row (very unusual), saw more glaciers than we could count (including some amazing views from the flight out of King Salmon last night), watched the glaciers calve ice into the water, saw an iceberg roll over, and listened to all of the sounds the glaciers make as they move and break apart (something you just have to hear for yourself).

It seems like it was quite a long time ago that were in Vancouver (and I guess it was). We covered a lot of ground in the last couple of weeks. We’ll take some time to reflect on this year’s trip and get some much needed rest before contemplating what next year may bring our way.
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