Anchorage Museum

We stopped in the Anchorage Museum while there. It was three floors of very interesting things. One of the most crazy things had nothing to do with Alaska but was from Norway. They have a thing there called Slow TV. It’s hours of just sitting and watching birds in a nest, a yule fire burning with people relaxing around it, the view off the bow of a ship as it moves through the water or from a train as it moves down the tracks. It’s suppose to de-stress you and help you relax. You can read about it HERE. They had several videos running of this Slow TV. I taped a few minutes of a couple of them. If you want to watch more click on the link above, there are several full videos on there to watch.

IMG_3196IMG_3227Bossman hanging out with some new buddies at the museum…
IMG_3197 Slow TV room… IMG_3203A coat made out of seal guts, yuk! They had several here…
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Many display cases like this for every native tribe to Alaska

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Painting by Sydney Laurence

Some gadget that you had to use your own weight to pull yourself up…IMG_3213This is the stuffed body of Togo, a famous sled dog owned by Leonard Seppala. With this dog he ran the longest and most hazardous part of the serum race or Great Race of Mercy. The Iditarod Race is run in memory of this great serum race. Diptheria had broken out in Nome in the dead of one of the worst winters in 1925. The only way to get the life saving serum there was by dog sled. They did  it by relay. The dog, Balto, who ran the last 55 miles got all the attention as the dog who saved the day, but Togo was the real hero. Seppala’s only daughter was at risk to catch this terrible disease.  He had a personal stake in this race!

IMG_3220IMG_3218Check out this picture! In the winter if you run to the grocery store you will find these poles to plug into for battery warmers to keep your battery from dying while your in the store. It gets that cold! NO THANK YOU!
IMG_3216Since I mentioned the Iditarod here are few pics from our stop in at the headquarters… fullsizeoutput_557IMG_2996IMG_2993IMG_2992IMG_2990Statue of Balto…
IMG_2988IMG_2986It really was only a gift shop. You could pay $10 to ride on a sled with wheels pulled by the dogs and we got to play with and hold puppies! These dogs are amazing and so full of energy. They absolutely live to work and pull a sled.

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Anchorage, Alaska

It’s time to dip back into Alaska! Anchorage is an absolutely lovely town! We spent a short amount of time here so didn’t get to do a lot. Here are some scenes from around town…

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A band was playing in the city park in the evening and this old couple danced the night away. They were so much fun to watch. Rain didn’t keep anyone in. The local TV weatherman broadcast from here that night. That was interesting to watch.

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These lilacs were in someone’s yard. There were lilacs everywhere and just as gorgeous as these!
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There was a 9.2 earthquake in Alaska in 1964. Did horrible damage. Here is a plaque about it and a plaque about the slide of land that changed the landscape of Anchorage… IMG_3177

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This theater is the only building left after the quake. Everything else in Anchorage was destroyed! IMG_2963

The woods in one of the parks we walked in hoping to see moose roaming around but didn’t. Only mosquitos  😦
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Skagway

Last stop before Glacier National Park and our disembarking in Seward was Skagway. A small, quaint town just 23 blocks long and 4 blocks wide. The National Park Service rescued 15 buildings here and its a real piece of history. This was where the gold rush folks started their trek up into the Yukon. The Chilkoot Trail is just a few miles out from Skagway. It is called the worlds longest museum. Also called the Golden Stairs, the gold- seekers had to make it over the ‘meanest 33 miles in history’.  More than 30,000 men, women, and children made it over this trail carrying enough supplies to last them a whole year between 1897-99. They would have to make several trips to carry it all over. The winters were brutal and some lost their lives. Click the link above to read more about it and see pictures. We did not go to the trail! But you could imagine all the people pouring into Skagway getting ready for the trek to their fortunes.

Eventually the White Pass Yukon Railway took its place and became the main means to access the Yukon. There are several of the trains on display in Skagway. They have big rotating blades on the front to dig through the snow! I can’t imagine living in that time!

Here’s some photos I took of our day in Skagway…

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Raven

 

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Whales, Juneau Part 4

Spur of the moment we decided to do a whale watching tour once we got into Juneau. Bossman said no before, as these extra tours cost quite a bit. But the fella offered us the bus ride to Mendenhall and two tickets for the tram ride I posted about earlier. The tram alone would have been $60 for the two of us so that convinced him 🙂

We saw several whales. All alone, not in a group like you see in all the touristy pictures. The naturalist with us said that is rare to see, of course it is! They are basically solitary animals and only rarely do they do that group feeding. We did see three whales do the fluke thing with their tales as they dove deep. That was very cool! Mostly we just saw the hump of their backs briefly. I didn’t get a pic of the tail thing. It happens so fast and I don’t have a fancy camera. I decided to not even try and just enjoy myself instead of missing all the action trying to get pictures of it.

It was a beautiful day and I love being on the water anyway. The scenery was spectacular of course and we saw a glacier off in the distance. There were eagles sitting a top the posts on the docks. Here’s a shot of an adult and an immature one…

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This was not our boat I just thought it made a nice shot.

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Look close, you’ll see our first whale…

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Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier

‘Mendenhall is one of 38 large glaciers that flow from the 1,500 square mile expanse of snow and ice known as the Juneau Icefield. As the glacial ice accumulates seasonally, gravity pulls the ice down valleys. Slowly and steadily the glacier scouts bedrock, grinding everything to powder or transporting huge boulders on its 13 mile path to Mendenhall Lake.’                 *Forest Service pamphlet

We had a limited time here as we had a whale watching trip to catch so we didn’t get to do any of the wonderful trails that were there to hike. 😦  It is a lovely place. We took a bus ride there and on the way we saw bald eagles sitting on light poles all along the road!  There is a waterfall off to the right of the glacier and a nice walk to it, but we didn’t have time! It would have been nice to have two days in Juneau. Mendenhall Lake is gorgeous. Chilly and clear. A man was wading in it though and said it wasn’t too bad. This was our first look at a glacier and they are spectacular. Later on we got to cruise into Glacier National Park and got up close and personal with a couple of them, but thats for another post!

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A glacier bear in the visitor center…

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A ground cone flower, also called broomrape. The bears eat these…

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One more post on Juneau, the whale watching trip!

Juneau, Part Two

We had a lovely walk around downtown Juneau. Lovely old buildings! So much history here I’m sure. One of the first things we came across was a large raven on a roof top, yelling his lungs off. My first time seeing a raven! We don’t have them in the northeast. I love these birds! I’m a mystery buff remember ;).

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An old Ben Franklin store!

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The library, its on the top right of this elegant parking garage…

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The old Alaskan Hotel built in 1913, on the register of National Historical Places.

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This is the corner of Front and Franklin. This intersection is the heart of downtown Juneau. On the site where the Triangle Building stands now, the first prospectors camped through the winter of 1880-81, establishing local government and planning the Juneau Town site. The first businesses clustered at the spot, initially called Miner’s Cove, quickly spread out along Front and Franklin Streets. Nearly all of the buildings near the corner are historic ones, built before 1915.

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The Red Dog Saloon is a big tourist draw here. We went in but there wasn’t a seat in the house so we didn’t get to eat or drink there. Full off ambiance! It was founded during the mining era and has been in operation for decades. The Alaskan Legislature has recognized it as the longest operating Juneau tourist attraction. Lots of memorabilia inside! Including a gun Wyatt Earp supposedly checked on a visit and left without. Hmm.. I find it hard to believe he would forget his gun!

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I tried to get a video of the inside but it didn’t turn out very good, but I found a nice one on AlaskaGranny’s Youtube channel…

Mendenhall Glacier next!