Today we bid Denali a fond farewell and traveled for over 700 Alaskan miles. We took the scenic route back to Anchorage … eleven hours with my Dad and Cole in a four-passenger car. I would not say it was exactly a long day, but for those of you who have taken road trips with kids, dads, moms or even spouses, you will understand when I say at times things could become a little tense. However, tense moments were often broken by a moose sighting. My dad insists we are on meese twenty-seven. I think he might be exaggerating just a little, but hey, it’s his story so I am sticking to it.
Today’s Show and Tell:
We started the morning at Rosie Cafe in Healy, Alaska. I am only telling you this because I think this would make a great start for a murder mystery. “I never thought I would find myself at Rosie’s Cafe in Healy Alaska. The steaming mug of coffee could not warm my hands through my wool mittens. It was cold. It was dark. The town was almost completely empty. Summer workers had returned home almost six months ago. My team had left three months ago. Why had I volunteered to stay and wrap up the geological details we had worked on over the summer?” Suddenly, Rosie’s door burst open … (okay now what??)
Moose 27: Don’t you just want to kiss that sweet nose!!
The Alaska Pipeline. It was a lot more interesting in person then when I studied about it in school. Cole wondered if anyone had ever stuck their tongue to it. I guessed yes. You know someone just had to try it. Imagine, a giant pipe running through the North Slope of Alaska to the northern-most ice-free port in Valdez. We followed it for several hundred of its eight hundred miles. It covers three mountain ranges and over 800 rivers and streams. It cost over eight billion dollars to build, and was completed in 1977. As of 2010, the pipeline has shipped almost 18 billion barrels of oil. The Exxon Valdez oil spill did not directly involve the pipeline. You might think it was an eyesore on an otherwise pristine environment, but in my opinion, it oddly adapted to its environment.
Red Salmon: The mighty Copper River is considered one of the swiftest and most rugged rivers in Alaska. Twisting and cutting deeply through the Wrangell and Chugach mountains, its 300-mile stretch of pristine glacier-fed waters are riddled by hundreds of rapids. Every May, around the 15th, the first salmon of the season return to the rivers and streams of Alaska with the Copper River being one of the first. Here’s an Odd fact about salmon: they have 300 degree vision. They can see in all directions except directly behind them. Cole and my dad have eaten salmon most nights for dinner. It’s very fresh, delicious and surprisingly expensive at between $26.00-$33.00 a plate.
Golden Eagle: We identified three Golden Eagles on today’s drive. My dad is an avid birdwatcher, with an impressive life list. He had hoped to add to his list on this trip but we have all been amazed by the lack of Alaskan bird activity. So it was especially exciting to see three of these magnificent birds. Golden Eagles soar with the royal title, “King of the Birds.” Flying with their wings flat, they reach speeds up to 80 MPH. Odd fact: It is believed the eagle’s feet are stronger than the human hand. I only wish I had taken this picture but alas I did not. My pictures were on the blurry side and a Golden Eagle deserves more than blurry!
Is any vacation complete without a visit to a tacky but fun tourist trap? No. Ours happened to be a stop at North Pole, Alaska and a visit to Santa’s House, conveniently located down the street from Subway.
Tomorrow we continue our journey back into Anchorage, and I will head back to Chicago tomorrow night. Cole will travel on to Homer, Alaska with my dad. He is in charge of the blog post for that portion of the journey. If I don’t update tomorrow, I will wrap up with you on Monday. Thanks for traveling with us! It’s been FUN sharing our Alaskan experience with you! We have especially enjoyed all your comments!
Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to drop by any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!