Thursday, July 9, 2015

July 8, 2015. In Anchorage.

We put on our bike clothes, came out to breakfast and looked out the window--it was drizzling. Darn. Joanna made bacon, eggs, and fresh muffins for breakfast. Here she is below.

Yesterday a new guest came in from Boston--it is Bella, who is a painter. She blew in here late last night wearing a long duster coat and a black bowler hat--almost reminded me of Mary Poppins.

While we were eating breakfast the other new guest came up from the lower floor. He is Brian and he is on his way back from Russia to his home in Scotland. He just spent several weeks on a Russian research vessel looking for the highly endangered spoon-billed sandpiper, a small bird that migrates from Siberia to China and Burma each year.  He showed us a You-Tube video of the little bird doing its mating dance.

After breakfast it started raining a little more so we exchanged our biking clothes for street clothes and decided to go downtown to do the rest of our shopping. We passed the Wendler Building which was the first permanent building in Anchorage, built in 1915 and still in use. The bronze dog in front of the Wendler Building represents the start of the Iditarod.

I realized when I got out of the car that I'd left my purse back at the B & B. Instead of coming back out of the parking garage I borrowed money from Dianne, who had to get it from the ATM. This was worth a good laugh, since she lost her ATM card in Idaho in 2010 and I had to spot her the rest of that trip.

The flowers here are amazing. The forget-me-nots seen below adorn all the lampposts on 4th Street. Every park is burgeoning with flowers of every type and color.

We were very surprised to see a shop that sells ivory, thinking that it was illegal to sell. We did not go in this store to find out.

Dianne wanted to go on the trolley tour, so we did. It took us on a 15-mile tour around Anchorage, and the guide was informative and entertaining. He told us that the reason the flowers are so exuberant is that they are exposed to 22 hours of light every day!

During the tour we passed by the large float plane yard at Lake Hood.

After the trolley tour we went to the ulu factory, but did not buy any ulus. Then it was off to lunch.

After lunch I wanted to stop at the Qiviut Shop, just because it's such a great Scrabble word! It was interesting talking to the young man in the store. Qiviut is the soft underhair of the musk ox and a cooperative collects qivuit, has it spun into yarn, and contracts with small remote village women to knit items out of the yarn. Each village has its own pattern knitted into hats and scarves.

We stopped by the Russian store to look at the Matrushkas. We went to a short film about the devastating earthquake that hit Alaska in 1964. During the film our seats shook and rattled--hokey but effective.

When we got back to the B & B to get my purse, Brian and Bella were still there. Bella had plans with her friends, and Brian wanted an ulu, so we took him with us in the car. We drove around looking for bike shops to try to find an Alaska bike jersey, drove Brian to the Ulu factory, stopped at the grocery store for supper and finally returned to the B & B for the night.

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