Anchorage, city of flowers

We  read about the 400 miles of trails in Anchorage, so we were excited and anticipated an active stay in the city. But it seems this is not the normal summer in Alaska so we heard.  It appears that there is a big chill here in the middle of summer and this is the coolest July on record!  We can’t complain much,  the lower 48 is steaming hot and the rain and cool may very well be better than heat and sweat!  So we just have to play in the rain and make the best of it.

Hovering rain clouds

Upon arrival our first order of the day was making appointments for our Honda for maintenance, haircuts and doing the “chore” stuff around Betsy and the laundry.

Later in the evening we met for dinner with the bloggers of “Roadlife,” Ann and Chuck.  We have been  following their blog as they were ahead of us a few weeks in entering Alaska.  We learned from their blogs  what to expect on the road ahead and they alerted us about the road closure near Watson Lake.  It was quite exciting meeting other travelers we communicated with initially  thru comments on a blog.  It was fun and we had a great time sharing our experiences here in Alaska.  Also interesting, they used to live in the San Francisco Bay area so we had something in common other than RV’ing and traveling.  Food at the Glacier Brewhouse was very good, thanks to Ann’s restaurant research. Check out “Roadlife,” for more perspective about Alaska and their interesting tales.

with Chuck and Ann of “Roadlife

The following day after the car was checked out I went on my own exploration as Steve was working on his mini projects on Betsy.  First, I checked the Alaskan Native Heritage Center where I learned about Alaska’s many native cultures.  I watched a demonstration of one of their native games which I found to be a test of balance and endurance.  I found the center to be informative and interesting.

Students demonstrating one of the native games.

Women’s headdress and parka, One of the many exhibits at the Heritage Center

Next stop was downtown Anchorage.  Walking around downtown I saw hundreds of hanging baskets overflowing with marigolds and trailing sapphire lobelia.  These colossal blossoms are an unexpected and welcome treat.  As I went around I saw more colorful and huge flowers like the  dinner-plate sized dahlias, fuchsias, begonias and more – it’s floral nirvana!  I love flowers so I took time and enjoyed their bloom displays.  The pictures could not capture their size but trust me they were huge blooms!

Huge Blue Lobella

Huge hanging flower baskets on streets

Dinner size plate Dahlias

Begonia’s at the Visitor Center

Huge Lupines and more

More hanging baskets, sorry can’t help it !

Saturday was market day and so we went and looked for the gigantic vegetables.  We were not disappointed, one giant size zucchini was sold for $10 and a head of cabbage is $6.  Well check out the pictures, these vegetables are gigantic, and that is because of the 19 hours of sunshine they get.

I noticed that each table has hand wipes for eating customers, nice touch!

BIG squash

Galloons of Cole Slaws can be made out of one cabbage  head

$10 each Zuchinnis, can also be used as baseball bats…

Despite the clouds and drizzle we forged on and checked the many hiking/walking trails.  First stop was  Earthquake Park which is just a short stroll to the displays about the earthquake of 1964.  We hiked for about two miles around the inlet, then drove to Point Woronzof.  If the clouds had lifted we could have another view of Mt Mckinely, but no such luck. Next we went to Kincaid Park where there were a lot of activities going on.  That park is huge with seven soccer fields.  The rain was by now pouring so we turned around and went back home.

Our impression of Anchorage is that it’s pretty much just another “big city”, which we usually try to avoid as much as possible.  The beautiful outlying areas and many hiking/biking trails make it a bit nicer, but we preferred the Fairbanks area.  The farmer’s market in Anchorage is definitely one of the better we have seen though, lots of good food and unusual products make it a “must do” if you can.

Reading displays at Earthquake Park

View of downtown Anchorage from Earthquake Park

At Point Woronzof

The bluff at Cook’s Inlet, which sank and slid hundreds of feet into the ocean during the 1964 earthquake.  Many homes were swallowed up, and several people killed.

Ship Creek in Anchorage, the tents in the background are at the Farmer’s Market we checked out on Saturday.

We stayed at Golden Nugget RV Park close to Costco. The sites were tight and was just an ok park to stay for a short time.