I've been traveling in Alaska for the last three weeks, soaking in the amazing beauty of this state. (And now I'm having to put up this brief post through my sister, Megan, due to unforeseen problems with the app my blog is on, combined with my poor signal and a less than cooperative device. Thanks, Megan!)
In order to get to Anchorage, Alaska's largest city--actually, its only real metropolis--I had to take a skiff to the nearby fishing village, board a floatplane, and then, after a day in Ketchikan, I took the small ferry to the island that Ketchikan International Airport is on. The Alaska Airlines jet then proceeded to stop in every other small city in Southeast Alaska (the "milk run") before heading over the vast wilderness that stretches between the Panhandle and Anchorage. Altogether it's a five hour trip and the view out the window is relentlessly spectacular.
As we approached Anchorage, still thousands of feet up, I was able to get a shot of the sunset over Matanuska Glacier. The glacier is hundreds of feet high, twenty-seven miles long and four miles wide--one of many huge glaciers, along with enormous mountain ranges, that we'd seen on the way.
There's always a bit of culture shock to get over when you go directly from the roadless wilderness to a city. And this time it struck me when I was sitting in the car at a red light watching the endless flow of multiple lanes of traffic at an intersection. Where were all these humans, in their wheeled shells of steel and glass, going in such an unending rush?
I managed to overcome my sense of being an alien observer from another planet long enough to indulge in a shopping spree, wearing out my poor, longsuffering hostess in the process. The selection is far larger and the prices are significantly lower than anything available in Southeast Alaska. Always, when I go to Anchorage, I feel like I'm visiting a city in the Lower 48, partly because of the prices and partly because the city is so sprawling that Alaska and the wilderness are pressed to the outskirts. Even the Chugach Mountains that encircle the city look like Down South mountains, for some reason.
At any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and was so involved with interacting with other people that unfortunately I didn't spend any time taking pictures, sorry! Hopefully, I can get back to posting regularly on my blog and there will be more photos. Until then, thanks for being patient and continuing to tune in.
Tara Neilson (ADOW)