Driving down the Glenn Highway to Anchorage on Thursday was very spectacular – the high snowy peaks of the Wrangell mountains, and 2 glaciers – the huge Worthington Glacier across a valley, and then the smaller but much closer Matanuska Glacier which was accessible via a privately-owned road, but we had our sights set on Anchorage and kept on going.
The highway is in a state of some disrepair due to frost-heave – where the frozen ground rises up and buckles the road’s surface. There are road repair gangs along the way, and sections where the asphalt has been removed and replaced with gravel. Compared with an outback Australian road, it’s still a very good road, though.
We’ve been having a few technical issues, and Thursday ended up being one of THOSE days. We went to a McDonalds north of Anchorage so that I could get coffee and we could use their WiFi to book a place to stay. The WiFi was really slow, and they kept having blackouts and ended up closing until they could figure out what to do, so we kept driving until we got to another McD’s that did have coffee and working WiFi. We booked a suite at a place near the airport, but after being in the suite for about 10 minutes, realised that their WiFi wasn’t working, so packed up, got our money back and went to another motel/RV park on the other side of town where the WiFi was actually working – we made sure before we checked in. We’re still fighting with booking.com about the first place as they are classifying it as a ‘no-show’.
Creekwood Inn, the place we’re staying in, is good – we have a studio apartment with a full kitchen, and there is a coin-operated laundry on site. Everything we need.
The last couple of days have been sunny and warm, with temps up to 70F – which I think is around 20C. We had lunch at the best restaurant in town, according to Trip Adviser – Moose’s Tooth Brewery and Pizzeria. And it was great! Hard Apple Ale, which was a beer rather than a cider, but definitely tasted like apples, and I had a White Pizza (feta, mozzarella, provolone cheeses, artichokes & sun-dried tomato), Greg had an Aloha Way (ham & pineapple). Then Key Lime pie and Rhubarb Crisp for dessert. If anyone can explain the difference between a crumble, a crisp, a betty and a buckle …. I’d love to know. Anyway, it was all delicious, great atmosphere and our waitress got extra brownie points for guessing correctly where we came from. She’s a local, but had spent a Christmas with a friend in NZ and we had a few laughs about how different a Southern Hemisphere Christmas is from an Alaskan one.
We visited Captain Cook’s statue, overlooking Cook Inlet. What a guy! What an explorer! We have been kind of collecting visits to Cook statues and memorials around the world. There is one commemorating his death in Hawaii, on the Big Island, and another one on South Bruny Island that we visited in April, and now this one at the other end of the world, here in Alaska.
We have been driving around Anchorage a bit, and have noticed how many businesses call themselves ‘Arctic – something’, or ‘Polar – something’, which seems a bit misleading as the Arctic Circle is at least 1000kms north of here.
Heading south to Seward today, then further south along the Kenai Peninsula to Homer to do some camping, glacier-watching and other outdoorsy stuff. We have to come back through Anch to head further north to Denali, Fairbanks and beyond.
And here’s the song I wanted to share a few posts ago – Michelle Shocked’s ‘Anchorage’.