4 Jul 2015--Happy 4th of July everyone! We are here in Anchorage, with Ellen, getting ready for the 4th of July parade a little later, so I thought I would knock out this blog in the meantime.
Here are a few pics of our last trip out to the hatchery in Valdez, where Cathy is looking out for the salmon run (haha), followed by a few pics of the countryside as we traveled the 300+ miles from Valdez to Anchorage.
Alaska has been on Ellen's bucket list for a long, long time...so here she is, finally, arriving in Anchorage!
These are pics for all of Ellen's 1st 2 days here...been busy so falling behind a bit! For our 1st sightseeing day we headed south to the Begitch-Boggs Visitors Center, but along the scenic drive we saw our 1st land animals in Alaska, more of the Dall Sheep that Cathy and I saw in Canada first. The 1st animal pic here has a baby laying down on the left side of the pic.
The Visitor Center had a few exhibits and a nice film, (I cajoled Ellen into the kayaks--haha) but outside was the better treat. Behind Ellen is the Portage Glacier area.
After a short drive down the road, we took a hike to the Byron Glacier, going thru some woods to get to it. Ever alert to the bear threat, which is not Ellen's favorite part of this trip, we made it safely to the glacier area. haha
On several blogs Marie has asked about the glaciers, so here is a quick look at what causes them. When you think about a glacier like the Columbia Glacier being 15 miles deep, it is really quite phenomenal!
Coming out of the woods, but only about 1/2 way to the glacier bottom, Ellen decided to enjoy the view from afar, while Cathy and I continued the trek. Once out of the woods, we were either walking/climbing on snow or rocks, an activity we like much better than woodsy "tree to my left, tree to my right" scenery! In the last pic in this series, Cathy and I are looking back at where Ellen is sitting. If you blow up the pic and look directly behind the head of the guy in the pic, you can see Ellen's green sweatshirt.
On our way back home, we timed it so that we could try to witness what is known as a "bore tide", a crazy thing that happens very few places on earth. A bore tide happens due to certain gravitational pulls in only certain geographical areas, like the Turnagain Arm of Anchorage. Because the mountains cause somewhat of a choke point where the tide is coming in, the tide literally comes in all at once, not gradually, so you can actually see it. Depending on the season, the wave can run anywhere from 6 inches to 6 feet tall!!! Some people go so far as to "ride the wave" on paddle boards or surf boards.
It is almost impossible to photograph it, but you can see in the 2nd pic that there are sand bars out in the middle of the water that will shortly, before your very eyes, be completely covered by rushing water. In the 3rd pic you can see the tide coming our way.
Even in a video it is hard to capture, but you can see some of it here, where a guy is "riding the wave"...it is much more impressive in person (haha).
Yesterday, July 3rd, we headed to the Eagle River Nature Center for another hike, what ended up as mostly a 3 mile long walk in the woods. There were a few nice spots though, and even though Ellen honed in on this sign of a bear sighting the day before, she said she was a little more relaxed than her 1st day here. haha
Ellen's 1st moose!!! And probably not 30-40 yards from our viewing stand!
On our way home we stopped at another of the fish hatcheries that are all over Alaska and got to see our 1st salmon. Some of these guys were huge; you can see them in the water between Cathy and Ellen, heading for the waterfall. They were occasionally trying to jump over it, but to no avail. That was impossible to capture in a picture, but a bit fun to try to catch in a video. We saw quite a few, but didn't capture too many, so it's not till about 10-12 seconds into this 1st video that 2 of them jump, and then the 2nd video just shows a clearer view of how big they were.
Off to the parade today and, weather permitting, another hike...fingers crossed!