Tuesday morning and back to work. As I entered the office reception area I removed my sunglasses from my jacketless body. It was 47 degrees farenheit on my way in . The receptionist greeted me with a big smile and said “Girl, that was a long way to travel for just a long weekend!”. I smiled back at her and told her I’d tell her all about it as soon as I got the opportunity.
Prior to Deeanna bringing it to my attention I had not thought about how far I’d be traveling. I just took advantage of a day off of work due to the office being closed on Monday. My coworkers were betting that I wouldn’t be back to work on Tuesday. Come Tuesday morning I was the first one at the office.
I travelled over 8000 miles over the course of 4 days.
I’m currently sitting in a really chilly Anchorage airport writing this blog as I wear gloves to keep warm. The temperature outside is currently 0 degrees and I can see that the tarmac is iced over. What a wonderful experience Alaska has been. The last frontier is very beautiful, unspoiled and still in its natural form. Today I saw two eagles flying high in the sky on my drive from Girdwood to Anchorage. I came here in hopes of capturing some pictures of the Northern Lights but unfortunately that didn’t happen as the moon was just too bright. I’ll see them one day.
Things I had never seen before until I saw them in Alaska.
- Salmon Jerky
- electric plugs on the fronts of cars (Engine Block Heaters)
- rental cars equipped with ice scrapers
- reindeer sausage (no, I did not try it)
- towel warmers in the bathroom
- mud-room benches
- real icicles
- airplane de-icing
- avalanche poles
- avalanche warning road signs
- Han Solo at an ATM machine
At 9:00 a.m. this morning the sun was still not up. As the sun finally started to rise it illuminated a fog hovering low in the mountains around. I saw lots of new things this weekend and had new experiences. I made 3 friends here in Alaska 1 in Barrow, 1 in Girdwood and 1 in Anchorage. They helped me with my numerous questions before and during the trip. I got some amazing recommendations for things to see and tips on cold weather photography.
Upon returning from last night’s dinner and after adding an extra layer of clothing I ventured to the top of Mt. Alyeska one more time. I was one of the last people up there at that time. I saw ski patrol turn off the lights that illuminated the slopes just before they rode their snowboards down the slope at the end of their shift.
After having a look around the dark cold mountain and observing the night sky I carefully walked back along the iced over path back to the tram and waited in the cold car for 10 minutes before descending back down.
The hotel had a big welcoming fire burning in the fireplace. Maybe I was suffering from early symptoms of hypothermia but I’m pretty sure I just passed by Han Solo withdrawing money from a Wells Fargo ATM machine. I went back to check and can confirm (unfortunately without pics) that it was Han. Yep, even in Alaska, in the midst of winter there was a Star Wars convention going.
The following day I made it into Anchorage by the afternoon and watched the Super Bowl at a Buffalo Wild Wings along with a bunch of locals including a couple that was kind enough to let me sit at their table since the restaurant was at maximum capacity. She was from Idaho and he was from Nebraska. I asked her how she ended up in Alaska and she told me that she fell in love with Alaska and became a tour guide. We talked about the various hikes in the area. I think most everyone there was rooting for the Eagles so needless to say it was a good party there. As for me, well I was rooting for J.T.
Have you ever seen a frozen tarmac or an airplane’s wings get de-iced before take off? This is what it looks like.
Plane is boarding ANC-DEN
To be continued…
It’s just after 4:30 a.m. and I Just landed at Denver International Airport where the airport is SO big that you will find 4 lanes of people movers nearly everywhere you look and the bathrooms smell like artificial pine (sort of nauseating).
I spoke too soon about not being able to see the Northern Lights because as I was dozing off in the airplane I looked out the window and there they were! I snapped a couple of photos with my iPhone but it’s really hard to see. I tried taking better pictures with my camera but could not remember what iso settings were appropriate and I was not able to access the notes that I saved because I was in airplane mode. The lesson here is that not everything in life has to be documented on social media platforms. Sometimes it’s just nice to enjoy a moment for ourselves.
Until next time Alaska….stay beautiful.