October 30, 2008
FIve things about Alaska… most of them are overly obvious.
1) It is far…at least if you live anywhere on the east coast it is far. Like, 15 solid hours from my door to my hotel room with no layover. And trust me, with the flight I had, I I felt every minute of those 15 hours.
2) It is cold. Like really, really cold. Like your eye balls start to freeze and you wonder what will happen if they get stuck that way cold.
3) The cold does not seem to bother anyone who lives there. I brought my best Northface jacket, mittens and wool sweaters and I wore all of them…all the time. I even considered wearing the mittens to bed one night. (I know…thats hot). Some of the locals left the airport in flip flop and SHORTS! Apparently 27 degrees with no light and a strong wind is their balmy fall season.
4) It is take -your-breath-away beautiful. The sun peaks over the mountains late in the morning and the light filters over the valley. In the afternoon the snow kissed peaks glow from the late day sun and whole sky flushes pink and blue. If it was not so freaking cold, I would have spent all my time gazing and the view which don’t imagine ever gets old.
(The taller building of the 2 on the right is was my hotel, the top floor has a resturant that overlooks the inlet and Mt McKinley and is where I enjoyed a delicious 5 course meal watching the sun set. It was amazing)
5) The people are amazingly nice. I grew up in NY so when I think of moving through a city I put my head down, walk strait and fast and become irritated when a cabby blocks an intersection. The city of Anchorage has a completely different tempo. People stroll, and talk and dare to stop and look in a window. While crossing a street I happened to drop a mitten. Not one but TWO cars stopped and honked to point it out to me and by the time I turned to get it a complete stranger had picked it up and changed his direction to give it to me. These are either the nicest people on the planet or they are tired of weak tourists flooding their emergency rooms with frostbitten hands due to dropped mittens.