Alaska 2014

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Comments added AFTER coming back to San Jose are in [square brackets].

 

Report 28. Day 28. Sat, June 1. Sister Shirley and husband Jerry arrive by air.

Our alarm goes off at 5:00 and I reset it to 5:30. We get up and head for Potter Marsh, where we plan to do some birding.

Roads are dry, that's good news, the day is overcast, it feels like rain but this is Anchorage and that happens. We’re hoping it’ll hold off for a few hours.

6:00 am and I think it’s cool that we’re riding on Northern Lights Blvd.

As we arrive at Potter Marsh, we notice a number of white paper birch trees totally blown over by the wind. They have lifted the dirt around their roots, and the blackness of that dirt makes me think of the blackness of black bears.

I want to check how to get back to Anchorage, and it's easy.

For all you gun and reality TV fans, we drove past Wild West Guns, visible from the freeway. I like all the characters on that show, and hope I get a chance to stop in.

The wind is blowing hard, it is now raining, and Sharon gets a Bald Eagle. Our truck says it's 43 degrees, and we settle into birding from the truck. {This eaagle really had to balance as the wind was blowing this tree all around.}

On Seward Highway, there is a pullout every quarter mile or so. We take one, and Sharon spots some mountain goats.

The tide is out, as lots of sand bars are showing. Sharon spots two black dots on the sand, and binoculars reveal them to be an adult and an immature Bald Eagles. They must be eating crustaceans out there, or having a contest to see who can stay there the longest when the tide starts coming in. Sharon watches the little one pull a feather out, and the wind carry it off, with some white on it. She says, "You can see that it's an eagle feather." {There are warnings about the sands here, many are like quicksand and people are warned to not try walking out here. There are huge tides here and when the tide is coming in they have a 6 foot "bore" or wave of water that will cover up all these sands.}

We are listening to Leon Russell's "Magic Mirror," we're at Bird Point, and we have 30 minutes to pay the fee for being here. To me, that means you can stay here 29 minutes for free. Woohoo.

There are what look like a bunch of ivory white colored rocks in the sidewalk, but Sharon puts her bins on them, and they are Beluga Whale parts - heads, backs and fins, like they're in the water, and the water is the concrete of the sidewalk. {The whales come in with the tide chasing "smelt" or bait fish. We tried but didn't get to see them.}

We turn around and head for home. As we are zooming back, Sharon calmly says there is a moose on the right. We turn around and come back, wondering where we're going to park, but we find there is a lower parking lot right next to the big meadow she spotted him in. A sign says Anchorage Soil and Water Conservation District, and there is a moose drawing on the sign. Sharon wants me to get the sign in the foreground, with the live moose in the background, but they won't line up that way because of a tree in between them.

As we continue driving back, Sharon spots some terns, and they may be Arctic Terns. We decide to go somewhere for breakfast to celebrate our moose. We choose Denny's, right near our RV park.

The day passes, and I remove some stuff from the silver storage box in the bed of our pickup, to make room for Jerry and Shirley's carryon and checked luggage. Before you know it, it's time to go to the airport. We arrive there about a quarter to three.

We follow the info that gives the status of their flight, and before you know it, here they come, walking down the aisle to their luggage carousel. Hugs all around, their luggage arrives successfully - one humongous red plastic suitcase. Jerry says it's a little oversize, but nobody ever questioned it. They did three legs today. Kansas City to Salt Lake City, then Salt Lake City to Seattle, then Seattle to Anchorage. They are tired from the big day.

They have a huge recommendation to eat at the Moose's Tooth Pizza Restaurant. So since we passed it and know where it is, we go there. What a great place.

Everybody orders the pizza they want. Sharon and I split one, and she gets a salad also. I can only eat one piece, they are so big, so we pack up the pizza we don't eat, to take back to the trailer.

To celebrate their arrival, we do what we love - a couple of games of Rummikub. But in the middle, Sharon starts getting real quiet, and is getting a badly upset stomach. She is sure it's food poisoning from the pizza or the salad. Her body throws up all it can to get rid of it, but she's really sick. She sticks out the game we're playing, but then it's time to hit the hay.

I lay out our plans for tomorrow, and we all turn in for the night. If you can call all the light in the sky, night. This photo was taken fifteen minutes til midnight.

Cheers,
Bob and Sharon


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