I arranged it to have 3 full days (outside of my coming and going days) to explore the Anchorage area.
Anchorage was a blast!! That city is in the middle of the most beautiful setting...mountains on one side and Cook Inlet on the other. Wow!
I spent my first day in Anchorage town itself. First stop (because it opened earliest) was the Russian Orthodox museum. Although very small and rather limited in its displays, it was interesting and since it was free nothing was lost. A bonus was the fact it had a nice little gift shop with both Russian items (icons, mastroika, dolls, etc) and Native Alaskan art…both at good prices.
Right across the street is the Anchorage Museum. Its displays are of “things Alaska”. Special exhibits while I was there included one on Iditarod founder Joe Redington and one on the Yup’ik people and how they have survived on the tundra (with many cool hands on displays like snow slit goggles). There is a tremendous history wing that goes from ancient to current times. Then, being downtown, I checked out the many cute shops with art from local artists. I found several nice Native pieces at good prices. They were done by young ‘up and coming’ artists rather than the well known masters.
My final stop was at the Alaska Zoo. This I found to be disappointing. It reminded me of the old-time ‘roadside zoos’ that disappeared (thankfully!!!) in the 60s. Most of the animals were in small wire fences cages with “doghouse” type shelters. The wolf enclosure was large and had an observation deck, so I got some great photos there. And the musk ox was in a corral so I got some nice close-ups of him. That silly beast decided we were buddies and he wanted to play. He would come racing up to the fence like he was charging…only to come to a sliding stop at the last moment. Then he’d put his nose thru the fence for a pat. One of the times he did that, a couple was walking up the trail. They BOTH screamed as he charged towards me. LOL
While in Anchorage area I tried to eat just things that are "Alaskan". If I could get it in TN I wasn't interested. So I had a lot of seafood (fresh ocean caught salmon, halibut, clams and prawn) plus some caribou. The sourdough pancakes at Gwennie's were wonderful. There was a distinct "ale" flavor to them.
Native basketry at the Anchorage Museum.
Model of an arctic home.
Scrimshaw on a walrus tusk.
Beautifully beaded seal skin mittens.
Polar Bear at the Alaska Zoo.
Arctic Timber Wolf