Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Anchorage, Alaska

We left homer early, around 7 and headed for Anchorage.  We arrived at the Golden Nugget RV Park, just off Debarre Ave and right across from COSTCO.  How convenient is that?  What we didn't know was the stats on Anchorage. 
From Wiki:  Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage) is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost city in the US with more than 100,000 residents and the largest community in North America north of the 60th parallel. With an estimated 298,610 residents in 2012 (and 380,821 residents within its Metropolitan Statistical Area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough), it is Alaska's most populous city and constitutes more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in the state's most populous city.

Folks waiting at the RV park for the bus.

Our second day there, we were taken on a tour of Anchorage.  Above, we were driven to Upper Huffman Hills (I called it Upper Crust Hills) for a view of sprawling Anchorage.  The average price of a house up here according to a website I located, is $557, 000.  Hence, Upper Crust Hills...It was rather foggy this morning, so you can't see much.
The above pic I borrowed off the Web.  It really is a beautiful city.  It is truly a modern city, but relishes it's rich "Last Frontier" history & heritage.
Next stop on the tour was the Ulu Factory.  OK, what's an Ulu?  From Wiki:  An ulu (Inuktitut syllabics: ᐅᓗ, plural: uluit, English: "woman's knife") is an all-purpose knife traditionally used by Eskimo women, both Yupik and Inuit. It is utilized in applications as diverse as skinning and cleaning animals, cutting a child's hair, cutting food and, if necessary, trimming blocks of snow and ice used to build an igloo.
There were a lot of Ulus bought by our group, including two by us.  Not sure what we're going to use them for though!
Above, folks shopping in the Ulu factory store. Below, a lady was giving a demo on how to use the ulu knife, sharpen it and how to use the cutting bowl.
Above, Sharon shows us how to mount the musher's sled outside the ulu factory.  We then went on a one hour drive through other parts of the city, including the large airport.  The airport had the most unusual planes with tundra wheels, float planes, and sled-runner wheels for landing on ice.  We were shown the downtown areas where the neat shops & eateries were, and were told to make reservations, no matter where you wanted to eat.  Speaking of eating...How about the Sourdough Barbecue? 
What a yummy lunch, served family style.  Ribs, Halibut & chicken...slaw, waffle fries, and big, puffy corn fritters with honey butter.  And for desert, ice cream with all the toppings.
I thought the broiled Halibut with Panko/Mayo topping was the best.
I saw a lot of folks reaching for extra portions of their favorite entries.  They were all good.
Then it was time to cross the street and buy some fudge & chocolate (dark for me), other gifts, T's & take in a short movie in the theater on the Alaska, The Last Frontier.  Look at that chocolate falls above & the large chunks of chocolate! 
Awe, isn't that romantic?  After all, isn't this a fantasy tour?  Time for boarding the bus & a drive back to the RV park.
Next morning, the wagon masters treated us to a freezer-bag omelet breakfast.  Huh?!  That's right!...After putting in about a cup of eggs/milk whipped previously, add a few extras like ham, onions, peppers & cheese, you squeeze out all the air & zip it and toss it in a pot of boiling water.
It took a little more time for all the omelets to finally get cooked, as we had to wait a little while for the water to re-boil.  So, there was some story-telling going about our road adventures.
It was a fun time though, even though it was a cool morning.  Later in the morning, I went fishing with John over in Ship's Creek, near downtown.  Saw a lot of Silver Salmon caught, but we just didn't have the right lures to entice the fish.  There were folks standing 20 feet apart trying to get their three-fish limits.
After breakfast, Sandy presented our wagon master Ben a T with some post-it type reminders as to what he must do while his wife (THE REAL WAGON MASTER :-)) attends her son's wedding next week, and will be gone for a couple of days.  Ben will need help.  :-)  Lots of laughter!...
Now, on a more serious & sad note.  We learned that our tail gunners Bill & Kathy will be detained in Anchorage for perhaps up to two weeks.  :-(  Bill has had some issues with his eyes and learned the day before that he had a detached retina in one eye and some issues with the other one.  So he will undergo some surgery on Thursday (our day of departure from Anchorage) Aug 15.  He was told that he will need to recuperate/heal for a while before attempting any driving or most other normal things.  He announced this after breakfast & we all just about died.  They are family to us and we already miss them.  Love you guys and we are hoping to see you in Prince George at our departure dinner end-of-tour on Sept 6.  Below, Bill & Cathy at the round up in Coeur d' Allene.
So, that about wraps up our visit to Anchorage.  Our next stop will be Denali National Park, about 250 miles up the road towards Fairbanks.  This blog written & published from Rainbow RV Park in Mount McKinley, AK, just outside the NP.  Till the next blog, RVing Beach bums Joe & Nancy getting ready for Lasagna prepared by the wagon masters.