My trip to Alaska was packed with adventures, scenery, laughs and tears with my friend Becky and memories that I can only share with her; I don't even know where to start. Perhaps I'll just begin by discussing FISHING. I had no idea why the plane was overbooked on the way to Anchorage(on the way back too!) until I noticed my fellow passengers. I've never seen so many middle aged men in baseball caps and Cabela gear, toting their fishing poles. :) Apparently, "The reds are running!" We call them sockeye and from the people I met, both the red neck types and the wealthy urban ones who flew in from Atlanta and Nashville, the fishing in Alaska is legendary; they practically jump onto the hook. They have to ship back 250 pounds of fish and love to tell their "fish stories." They do what Becky calls "combat fishing" where they actually hook other fishermen in the cheek because they're so close to one another. I admired the incredible beauty of the mountains, and constantly sunny blue sky(apparently unusual); I drove through the poverty areas and discussed the issues in Anchorage because Becky knew I would be interested; we visited libraries, bookstores, fantastic museums and a bakery where I got the best scone I have EVER had. Many times we reminisced about our common childhood since our parents were best friends. Being a bit paranoid, I worried about some local grizzly bear attacks, although the most dangerous animal I encountered was a mosquito. The drive to Homer was incredibly worth it for the views and the chatting in the car; our inn in that city exceeded all expectations. What I discovered on this journey is that there are connections everywhere if you just look for them or nurture them. And here are just a few of the quirky photos I took; I apparently need work with my panoramic shots. :( I really wanted those, but they didn't turn out very well.
Everything is vast and huge, not just the land. The flowers are enormous because of the constant light, as are the vegetables. Did you know that Alaska has more coastline than all the other states COMBINED? And if you split it into two parts, they would still be bigger than any other state?
When is the last time you've seen a dime store Indian? How about a video store? (Blockbuster Video is still open up here) With respect, people who choose to live in Alaska are a different breed and searching for a life more off the grid. Many of them are also wackadoodles, but I'm trying not to judge!
Need I say more? ;) On our trip to visit Homer, we saw many Old Believers who have a settlement on the way there. I never even knew they existed!
At our luxurious inn in Homer, we sat and read in these chairs, while looking out at this incredible view:
We sat outside and drank a few Stella Artois(only one for me, in spite of this photo); Becky and I chatted with our fellow travelers and found out about their journeys. $700 for bear watching? Trips to Kodiak where there are definitely lots of bears? I simply smiled and said nothing, while thinking, "You're NUTS!"
One of my Ram Ladies group wanted me to look up a friend of her son's (and a local boy) when I went up to Homer, so we stopped by the fire station where Dan is the head of Emergency Services. It was a great chat, full of connections. His parents live across the road from mine and he used to pick berries at the field where I was Berry Boss. No, I'm not that short, but he is 6'8! :)
I bought a sweatshirt from this icon of the Homer Spit and had to have a photo in front of it. As I told Becky and overshared(my mother's daughter) with too many people, "I'm a TOURIST!"
I leave you with these thoughts: I'm not a frontier woman and would never want to live in Alaska, not only because of the winter weather, the politics, and the macho men in their enormous pick up trucks, but oh, what an incredibly beautiful and interesting land to visit.