Saturday, August 25, 2007

Alaska finale

So, I left off in Anchorage. (I had forgotten to mention that on our flight to Fairbanks we sat next to a man who looked like he ate babies, and when he talked as it turned out his voice sounded like a guy that would eat babies. Damn big dude. And Norwegian, so he definitely eats babies.)
Anyway, we arrived and stayed at the Historic Anchorage Hilton. We got in at about 8pm so the next day we hung out with David & his kids, Blaine & Talilah. Not much exciting things this day, we wandered around downtown and the mall and that was about it. Then the next day we were going to go to the zoo, which would have been nice. I actually don't like zoos but I was willing to give it a shot. The day turned out to be really rainy and nasty and I talked everyone into seeing Ratatouille. The movie turned out to be surprisingly good - well written, and the animation was great, overall just really cute. Had some dinner at Davids and then back to the hotel. On Thursday we got up early and rented a car and drove to Seward. Of course with any rental company they never have what you want so we got stuck with a fucking minivan. I hate minivans. Anyway. Seward.
We show up early and call our friend Eric (who we know from EMU) he's my myspace friend "Eric the Red" and his photos are great and you should look at them. Anyway, he's happy to see us and I can tell we're gonna have a great time. We go on a day cruise of the Kenai Fjords National park and right up to the Aialik Glacier. Most of the day is rainy, and cold and drizzly but we're in a temperate rainforest so that's what we get. We saw puffins and sea lions and little penguin like birds and then.. a pod of orca whales passes directly in front of our boat. It was amazing. I even got lucky and snapped a photo of one of them breaching. Damn! We saw a ton of stuff.
The boat had about 100 people and we were next to this stupid family that had about 8 kids with them. I think it was a group of stupid families. Anyway there's this kid that I think is a little girl for about 4 hours and then I realize it's actually a little boy, but the kid whistled non-stop for 8 hours. And not a song or anything. Just whistling noise and it was horribly annoying. Oh wait. He did stop whistling for a while. When his mom put the portable DVD player on the table and turned it on. They fed these kids crap all day - cookies, candy, pop and then plopped them in front of a DVD player.
Seriously!? You pay how much money to take a sightseeing day cruise of kenai fjords national park and your stupid children watch dvd's all day?? You are a moron.
So after that we hang out and wait for Eric and his girlfriend Katie (who is a firecracker - she's fun) and have dinner and then back to their place. They work in Alaska in the summer and then somewhere in the winter. This winter it might be Hawaii. With that kind of moving going on they don't own anything. The living room is a beanbag chair and a small tv on a couple milk crates. It's awesome. Sometimes I really miss owning nothing.
Next day we get up early and we drive down to Lowell Point for our kayaking trip. Turns out we are the only 2 people who have signed up so we have our own private 8-hour kayak trip today. We get in our boats and go out and start paddling. I forget how stiff and horrid things feel when you make the same motions hundreds of times. I had some pretty stiff wrists and some pretty awful knots in my shoulders. We kayaked out to Caines Head and in the meantime saw sea otters from far off and seals in the water, and we cruised by this bald eagle on the shore, from about 15 feet away. It was pretty amazing, just coasting by while the eagle is staring at us and we are staring at him, and they are huge. It was so cool I couldn't even get a photo. I just stared.
And the fish! It was salmon spawning season and literally every 5 seconds one was jumping out of the water near us. Jump, plop. Jump, plop, Jump, plop. It was really funny. Just seeing fish popping out of the water all over the place. One even hit our guides kayak. I'm lucky one didn't land in our kayak because I would have screamed and there would have been flailing limbs involved. Among the many things I have issues about - another is fish touching me. Especially flying at me from a river. I would have ended up in the water most likely.
We get to Caines Head and hike up to this old WWII fort used to secure the area from invading Japanese (they had captured two Aleutian Islands) and Seward was a place to protect because it's a deep-water port that never freezes.
So the fort was creepy, but the hike was pretty sweet. Then we hop in the kayaks and paddle back to Lowell Point. It was a hard day but beautiful.
That night, we are treated by Eric and Katie to salmon burgers. Yum. And I do not eat fish. Correction! I only eat fish in Alaska. I had salmon and then halibut and then more halibut and then salmon burgers. And Katie makes this kick-ass guacomole dip. We just sat around and bullshitted and had some alaskan ambers and alaskan oatmeal stouts and it was great. We had a fantastic time in Seward.
Next morning is the 18th and time to go home. We are pretty sore and tired so we take our time driving back. We visit exit glacier - the only glacier you can walk right up to (which was pretty cool) and we also visited Portage Glacier area. The drive back is beautiful, going around all these amazing mountains. There's gates all along the way to close the road for avalanches, but as it was August there was no snow! No worries with driving through "the pass."
We make it back to the airport and return the car, check the bags and we're good to go! Overall it was a fanfuckingtastic time!
Soon I'll have a link to view all our photos on iWeb.
Thanks for reading!

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