Hope, Mt. Alyeska, Anchorage

posted in: Alaska 2003 | 0

7:05 a.m.

Hard to believe that by the end of today I’ll be back in Anchorage. Five days ago, the thought of being in Anchorage was thrilling. Today it just means that my Kenai adventure is over.

Yesterday on the road to Hope along Turnagain Arm, we stopped to check out the bore tide coming in. It was a wave, and we could easily follow its leading edge, rolling at a good clip. Patrick said that if the wind is blowing against the tide, and it’s a particularly high tide, it creates a wall of water, and he once watched someone surf it!

The thermometer reads 41 degrees as I sit here on the porch of my cabin, watching the creek and listening to its roaring rapids. Feels wonderful! Happy 4th of July!

1:00 p.m.

After a nice pancake breakfast made by Barb, we said goodbye to Todd, Barb, and Liam–they were heading to Seward to watch the Mt. Marathon race. Then we loaded up and went into “downtown Hope” and learned to pan for gold from Gold Rush Peck. From there, we visited the town’s historical museum and then hit the road.

Seaview Cafe
Gold Rush Peck

We’re at the Portage Glacier Visitors Center now. I’m sitting on a rock alongside Portage Lake. The joke (a true story) is that they built this beautiful center for viewing the glacier, with all kinds of exhibits and viewing windows, and then the glacier receded, and you can’t even see it anymore unless you take a boat out on the lake. The center was so overrun with tourists that it made me squeamish, so I dashed through the exhibits and came outside to enjoy the brilliant sunshine and fresh air.

3:20 p.m.

I’m sitting on the top of Mt. Alyeska. None of the others in the group opted for the tram ride up here, so I have a few moments of solitude. I’m watching a paraglider travel down the face of the mountain and listening to the sounds of a few other visitors, an occasional airplane, and the noise from Forest Fair, a local Girdwood 4th of July celebration. Lunch was at a wonderful little sandwich shop in Girdwood with beautiful baskets of begonias and other flowers out front.

Stretched out in front of me is the valley (not sure what they call it), fanning out into the waters of Turnagain Arm. On such a bright, clear day, I can’t think of anywhere else to be right now.

8:10 p.m.

I’m back at Kate’s B&B. Even though the tour was loose and relaxed, and I enjoyed the people, I’m ready for it to be over and to strike out on my own. I just hope the clear skies hold up for a few more days.

After we left Mt. Alyeska, we made a couple of stops, first along Turnagain Arm at a really nice view spot…

…and then near the airport at Point Woronzof, where there was a view of Mt. McKinley and downtown Anchorage.

Mt. McKinley from Point Woronzof
Anchorage skyline

I got dropped off first and took a shower. I felt so hot and sticky. Yes it’s summer, but, goddammit, this is Alaska! I feel so much better now. Walked over to New Sagaya Market and got some food for dinner, and I’m sitting out in the back yard of the B&B. Kate and her friend invited me to come over — 3 houses down — for margaritas, so I guess I’ll do that. I’m doing laundry, and then I’ve got to repack for my 3 days to Denali. I decided to walk to the train station in the morning since it’s not that far and I won’t be that heavily loaded.

OK, I’m off to Margaritaville!

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