Saturday, August 24, 2013

Anchorage



It was all my idea. After a six-hour flight, we arrived in Anchorage at 3:45 a.m. Thursday morning. So the decision to bike the Tony Knowles hike and bike trail, a 22-mile excursion around Cook Inlet, made sense. After we got some rest, of course.

We rented a couple of Cannondale bikes and stretched our legs and filled our lungs with fresh Alaskan air. The 40-minute bike rides we had been enjoying at home certainly would have prepared us for this first day’s adventure. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong. By the 4.5 mile marker, I was certain it should have read 11 or 10 or even 9! My legs were burning from all the slow inclines and the small bottle of water I had sitting in the water bottle holder was already half gone. The weather was perfect for biking, mid 60s, cloudy but with spurts of sunshine. We were determined to see this ride through to the end and finished in just over three hours, exhausted! We had made it!

The trail was just as it was described: wide pathways with blue spruce, balsam pines, red-berried sumac with yellow and purple flowers. We did not have the opportunity to see any beluga whales but did watch two moose chomping on lunch leaves. They were probably just yards away from us. That was a thrill.

We slowly made our way back to the hotel but were fascinated with a few items that caught our attention in some of the gift shops: Alaskan Marmalade, Salmon Jerky, Merlot Moose Sauce and Salmon Berry Jelly. I must admit the few bites of an Alaskan Reindeer sandwich I had were pretty good, and I noticed later that it is offered in a variety of ways for breakfast in place of bacon, for lunch in a quesadilla, and for dinner alongside a helping of spicy potatoes.

Like most American cities, Anchorage is a blend of ethnicities with strong Russian influence and very friendly people. I relearned that Alaska was purchased from Russia in the late 1800s. If you are aware and have a bit of an investigative eye, you will notice a store here or a restaurant there solidifying the state’s heritage. I noticed the round, colorful nesting dolls. Did you know they represent a family with round healthy bodies? Also the dream catchers and mandellas that promise abundant, promising lives, good health and prosperity?

Until next time, enjoy the life we are blessed to live,



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