Click for 35 pics in Picasa. Flying in over snow covered mountains and then seeing the craggy mountains looming at the ends of the streets, and the alpine feel of the air, reminded us of the high country up round Kosciusco. It was a bit of a shock to realise that Anchorage Alaska is at sea level, not high up in the mountains. Guess it’s the latitude that makes it feel sort of like in the mountains.
Then there is the daylight. It’s always light. It’s crazy, when are you supposed to sleep? The sun sets about 11:30pm and rises again a few hours later. The Sun Path Diagram is interesting (see pic, from http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/anchorage-alaska.html ). The sun rises to the East of North, loops around through the South at noon, then sets to the West of North. Sunsets slide to the right. It never gets dark, only twilight with the sun just below the horizon.
Our hotel window faces West so the sun shines through our curtains at “night”, but we do have a great view across Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet to Mount Susitna, the “Sleeping Lady” (see pic, her head is on the left).
We didn’t feel like going to bed ever, for a few days, then we felt like going to bed at 7pm, as good a time as any when it is always light.
The locals love it. They can go hiking, fishing, etc right up until bed time. It seems they become a little like bears, active in the summer and hibernating in the winter. There is an interpretive sign down near the river saying that when the salmon were running the Alaska Natives didn’t go to bed for days on end. It was all hands to the fore to harvest and preserve the Salmon for their winter.
Fishing is big here. You can go salmon fishing in the river right next to the town. It’s a short walk from our hotel and the salmon are just starting to run upstream. Fun to watch.
Seaplanes and all kind of light aircraft are also big here. Much of Alaska is only accessible by air, and Alaska has more small planes per capita than any other US state. Plus we are near an air force base so the skies are interesting but a little noisy. Lots of trains as well.
And plenty of great food. Clam chowder in sourdough bread at the weekend market and festival was Lance’s favourite. Surprisingly they closed at 6pm even though they have perfect conditions for a “night” market. Maybe they all go fishing.