Anchorage

Trip Start Jul 29, 2014
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Trip End Apr 12, 2015


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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Monday, August 4, 2014

A bar brawl that rolls out onto a downtown street is just what I expect to see of a Sunday evening in Juneau. We cruised up and down the very steep streets, passing up the ones accessed soley by flights of wooden steps and, after five minutes, had seen most of town, although Alaskan architecture is worth a look; badly in need of paint clapboard with a slight list, an unpainted chipboard addition accessorized with a pile of tires and brightly colored broken toys. Unique. In the morning making our way up the coast to Anchorage the weather started out quite good and we had a great view of the coastline - that lasted all of thirty minutes until we hit the ocean.  By the time we were within thirty miles of town we had rain, dark skies, wind and heavy fog, with no alternative but to turn back to Valdez.  
 But first a short stop at Tatilik, a gravel strip beside a small indigenous community of tidy wooden houses.  As we taxi off the runway along comes an old pickup driven by Gus.  There being no restaurant and the only commercial enterprise being a store that opens at 7p.m., Gus took us on the grand tour explaining about the Indian council and corporation,  the school almost closing for lack of students, the slow recovery from the Exxon Valdez oil spill and how the community had gone from having one pay phone to wifi.  And, if we needed, they had a place to spend the night.  Unfortunately we got in to Valdez, just ten minutes away and had to stay in a real hotel.  
 There being nothing to do in Valdez besides stare at the stunning view of waterfalls and glaciers or drink we left for Anchorage in the morning.  No view flying through the mountains though as the cloud cover was thick nearly all the way.  Checked into one of two rooms at the pilot lodge at Merrill Field Airport where looking out the window affords a view of hundreds of small planes.  Does everyone in Alaska travel by plane?  At dinner not only did we eat crab cakes and crab legs and salmon and rock fish, we watched a hundred people stand knee deep in freezing water while they fished for salmon. The next day we drove to Whittier where the cruise ships dock.  There's nothing in the town but a few shops catering to the cruisers and an apartment block built to withstand the abuse of 2500 men but apparently not of being near the center  of that huge earthquake in the sixties.  It's been standing empty and decaying ever since. But of course the scenery is beautiful.
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Comments

Laura Mercer on

Hi Veronica and Tom. Awesome to hear from you. You guys are having such a great time. Today Gary got his plane flying. I have a short video I'd love to forward to you. Where could I send it. Safe travels. We have so much to learn.
Laura.

Debra Sharrah on

What a fantastic way to share your trip with everyone you meet along the way!

Wes on

T&V - I'm lovin' it! The write-up, the pics and, of course the 'selfy'---- Beauty and The Beast (Barbie and Mister Scruff) .
I can't wait to see that country through the Highlander windows ;-)

Bob Gannon on

Thom and Veronica,
Sounds like you are having a grand time.
Enjoy,
Bob Gannon

wijewardena
wijewardena on

Thanks for posting your experience of the air trip.I really enjoyed it.

Art Mortvedt on

Thom and Veronica,
The geese have headed South - and I see that you folks have also! Cold short days here - rivers and lakes frozen - airplane on skis - but viewing the beautiful Northern Lights. Wishing you safe and enjoyable travels. Best Wishes, Art

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