Friday, September 14, 2007


Melanie’s Last Day

We had quite a few adventures on Melanie’s last day here. Doug was able to get off work at noon and we went to the Noisy Goose in Palmer to eat. It has great food!! This picture was taken on the porch of the café. This is a sample of how the flowers grow here in Alaska.

After lunch we went to the Iditarod Race headquarters in Wasilla. There was a musher there with his team and a couple of puppies. His name is Raymie Redington. His father, Joe Redington, is the “Father of the Iditarod”. His two sons have been mushers in several Iditarod races. Most sled dogs are not the Alaskan huskies that we picture or have seen in Disney movies. They are leggy, athletic dogs. Musher Martin Buser told us that they are just like human distance runners.

After we left Wasilla, we drove to Anchorage. We passed through the city and went south on the Seward Highway. Our specific goal was to spot some Beluga whales. And we were successful!!!! We saw two whales cruising up and down the coast. Unfortunately, it is not like the whales you see breeching on TV. They swim more like dolphins, popping out only long enough to get air and submerge again. You can see just a little bit of their back and the spray of water as they “blow”. Since it happens so quickly and you don’t know where they are going to pop up next (and, since a digital camera has a slight delay in snapping a picture), we weren’t able to get very good pictures. But we DID see them.

We them turned our eyes from the inlet side of the highway to the other side, the rocky side. We were now in search of Dall sheep in the rocks. Again, we were successful! We saw a mom and her kid WAY up high. It is amazing how they are so nimble in the rocks.

We turned back toward Anchorage, we could see the rain moving in. This is a shot of what we saw.

On our way back into Anchorage, we made a detour and went to Flat Top Mountain. You can see from the picture where it gets its name. There were still a few blueberry pickers there. The rain hadn't caught up with us, so we still had a good view of the city of Anchorage and the surrounding land. As we left Flat Top trail head and started down the mountain, we saw a moose grazing near the road. He apparently was used to a lot of traffic.