Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Alaska: Part II.

Step by step, day by day, I'm taking you through our Alaskan honeymoon. You can catch up on the first two days here

Our third day in Anchorage was a bit of a bust. We had a flight seeing trip on a float plane scheduled, but they called about an hour before take off saying that weather was bad and they'd like for us to reschedule. Thankfully, we had our last day open, so we switched our flight. That left the entire day open, and poor weather on the horizon at that.

We're not ones to waste a day in a new city, though. We've biked in a Chicago blizzard all with the spirit that it was our first visit to that city. 

We started at Potter's Marsh on a tip we picked up from my sister's friend.


The marsh was created by the Alaskan railroad. On the right is Turnagain Arm, an extension of the Pacific Ocean reaching inland. A couple feet offshore, the railroad parallels the water, cutting of this space that would have been connected to the ocean. Enough geography. It enticed us as a prime moose habitat and others had talked of bears. Spoiler alert: we only saw birds and fish. 


How perfectly timed is that raindrop on the bridge shadow?! Just noticed that.

We did see salmon swimming upstream, though it wasn't as epic as we'd imagined. They weren't jumping out of the water up a 90-degree angle, but they were massive, and they were salmon.

We then popped over to Beluga point where I hoped to see a walrus. No, obviously it's named for Beluga whales. The weather really broke loose at this point, so we spent some time waiting it out.


It never got better. I never saw the belugas. This is sounding all negative, but really, despite the weather, it was fun to see the sites and you really can't go wrong with anything in Alaska. Look at that view on a terribly, rainy day!

That night, we went to Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria. It was amazing. Seriously, I normally don't boast restaurants with an hour wait, but you know it's good when the locals are will to do that on a weeknight. Fun fact: Anchorage has a TON of craft breweries and pizzerias. It's sort of their thing. We went expecting seafood, but we're always in for pizza and beer. 

Another fun fact: Alaska eats the most ice cream per capita of any state. We got in on this and ate a lot of ice cream while also rubbing the bellies of metal bears for supposed good luck


On our fourth day in Alaska, we trekked three hours south to Seward to take a six-hour boat tour. 


The weather was worse than the day before (read: no break in the downpour) and we were offered the option to pick another day, but after driving three-hours and having no other days available, we were getting on that boat. 


We were attempting the Kenai Fjords National Park Tour, with a cruise through Resurrection Bay past glaciers, sea otters, sea lions, and whales. It was a big catamaran boat and had windows, but we had ponchos and braved the elements under four layers of sweaters and thermals. 


The boat had to turn back early for choppy water and bad weather (and the majority of passengers puking), but Zach and I had a great time. We saw some sea otters, puffins, and sea lions. 


I was very upset to miss the whales, whales jumping, and glaciers calving into the water. Next time. The company was great in that they offered a partial refund for the early return. 

Again, the sites were amazing.


This is also where we had the best salmon of the trip, and I can't imagine there were many steps between it and the boat. 


Okay, last one. Isn't this something out of Robinson Crusoe? This place looks so cool and I wish they had invited us in for hot chocolate.  

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