Alaska – Sept 3 – Anchorage

The tour speaker said despite that it being Labor Day most all the attractions will be open today. There may be a few small shops closed so people can get in the last of the camping and fishing for the season but larger places will be open. I was surprised to hear the number of people who plan to make a run to Walmart.

The forecast in the daily program calls for sunny skies and high of 65 degrees. Keeping our fingers crossed. No big plans today. The last time we were in Anchorage, we arrived by train from Denali at dinner time so really all we had time for was dinner and a brief walk around the block. We had an early tour the next morning so we didn’t stay up late.

Today we had breakfast in the dining room and sat with 2 other couples. One couple was from Michigan. They were very familiar with Adrian. I don’t think the other couple ever said where they were from. We were all pet lovers so we spent most of the time talking about our pets. I had the eggs benedict again but today the eggs were a little cold so that was disappointing.

Best day weather-wise that we have had. Started out with blue skies and 42 degrees. Temperature rose to a high of 61. Just gorgeous. Chuck opted for shorts and wore his light jacket. I wore jeans and had my heavier jacket.

Since we docked at an industrial dock, we were not allowed to walk through it so we had to board tour busses that took us downtown to the Convention Center. Right around the corner, at the Visitor Center, we boarded the 1 hour trolley tour.

The tour guide was a retired teacher who had lived in Alaska since 1977. She and her husband, who had been born in Alaska, raised 5 boys. She was very knowledgeable and had a good number of stories. We saw the Moose Gooser, a little engine that would travel in front of the coal trains to shove the moose off the tracks so the big train wouldn’t hit them. We saw EarthQuake park where you can still see the rolling mounds that formed when the earthquake hit and swallowed up some homes. Since the 9.2 earthquake hit on a Good Friday in 1964, many buildings were closed so only 19 people in Anchorage died, mostly those who had houses that got swallowed up.

After the park, we drove through some neighborhoods that had houses for sale at around $500,000 which in La Fayette would go for about $125,000.

She talked about the moose problem in Anchorage. Though we didn’t see any, she said they roam throughout Anchorage as they wander in and out of the mountain ranges. We did see a lot of moose crossing signs. People who plant apple trees must pick or clean up all of their apples before they are fermented as the moose will eat them, get drunk, and run amok. She had a story of a local Moose that the newspaper named “Buzz Winkle” because he seemed to have every apple tree location memorized and would stagger from tree to tree around the city. They even had a picture of him leaning against a wall of a tavern and not far away was a drunk man leaning on the same wall. One time he got tangled up in Christmas lights and had them wrapped around his antlers. I would like to have seen that sight.

She told a story that she had walked through the woods to borrow some eggs from a neighbor and when she was walking back, she realized 2 baby moose were following her. She started running as she knew Mama was not going to be happy. The Mama came crashing out of the brush and she had to crouch down between her car and the garage but the moose was ramming her car. Her 8 year old heard the commotion and was smart enough to start throwing fire crackers at the moose which scared her away. She really doesn’t like moose.

After that tour was over, we waited for the Zoo shuttle. We rode it out to the Anchorage zoo. It is not the largest zoo we have seen nor the smallest. It specializes in animals native to Alaska. We enjoyed strolling through it, eating our popcorn (coupon compliments of the trolley tour), and looking at the animals. Some were asleep in the sunshine (polar bear, brown bears, tigers), some were roaming their enclosures (wolves, snow leopard), many were eating (goats, musk ox, camels), and one was not in sight at all – the wolverine. Many of the information signs said that the animals either came to them as found orphan animals or were injured and could not go back to the wild. Others were on loan from other zoos. It was a well kept zoo and seemed to have a lot of patron sponsors, both people and corporations.

We got back to the ship early afternoon and ate at the Dive In burger place. Enjoyed the sunshine and music on the back of the ship.

Tonight between 11:00 and 1:00 was supposed to be the best time for a sighting of the Northern Lights. We decided that we would eat an early dinner in the Lido and then take a nap until 11:00. We would then go out on the back of the ship and wait for the lights.
Everything went off like clockwork. Chuck had the special tonight – clam and corn chowder with spare ribs. I had the sea food pot pie. We rarely eat dinner in the Lido but we are always pleasantly surprised at how good the food is. After enjoying a little more sunshine on the back deck we headed for our room. Luckily, the stewards had already serviced it. Set the alarm for 11:00.

At 11:00, got up and dressed and back up to deck 8. There were several hardy souls doing the same thing. Unfortunately, I heard someone say that the conditions didn’t turn out that good for the Lights like had been predicted. With hot cocoa, we made it to midnight but decided to give it up. Back to bed we go.

Tomorrow is Homer. Tonight’s towel animal is a turkey.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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