Sunday, June 23, 2013

Alaska Day 5 - Seeing the Local Sites in Anchorage

Starbucks was tops on the list of important things to do first thing this morning...but of course, you knew that, right? 

Representative photos posted here.  Go to my photo album to see all photos taken this day.

While running the half marathon yesterday, I noticed signs along the trail, each specific to a different planet, so of course my curiosity was piqued.  When I had a chance yesterday afternoon, I got on-line and searched for more information, and here's what I found:  Light Speed Planet Walk.  Well, this is too cool not to visit.  And as it turns out, it starts on 5th Street in front of the Performing Arts Center and just a block away from the Starbuck's.  How convenient!

I started at the sun, and followed the Light Speed Walk heading west up 5th Street.  One step is equal to the distance light travels in one second.   I walked all the way to Mars!  Whew!  

This brought me near to an historic house located downtown and now preserved.   The Oscar Anderson House.   It was built in 1915 and was the first wood frame structure in Anchorage.

After this delightful morning post-race recovery walk, I returned to the hotel, grabbed my Garmin GPS, and got in the car, headed for the Alaska Zoo .  

This zoo is notable for its role in animal recovery and rehabilitation.  Most of the animals and birds residing here were either found abandoned as babies or were found injured.  They take in these animals and treat them, rehabilitate them, raise them if babies, and then, if possible release them or keep them if they can't.  It's sad and yet also heartwarming.  Sad because these beautiful creatures will live the rest of their lives in cages.  But it's at the same time heartwarming, because these animals would have otherwise perished in the wild if they'd not been rescued. 

There were several species of magnificent raptors - golden eagles, bald eagles, snowy owl, Great Horned owl - with broken and/or amputated wing or leg.  Every color of bear:  brown bear, black bear, polar bear.  Gray wolves, red fox, coyote, snow leopard, Amur tiger, and more. 

Backtracking back toward the downtown area, I stopped to top off my gas tank in preparation for tomorrow's day trip, then stopped at a Carr's grocery store to buy more bananas and some water.

Then it was on to the much-anticipated next stop...Alaska Wild Berry Products .  And in particular, the chocolates section of the shop.  Umm umm!!  Wild native berry jelly interiors, coated with rich dark chocolate!  Perfect way to finish the day. 

Today's route:

Tomorrow:  Scenic drive to Whittier through the Whittier train tunnel, then a ferry ride to Valdez.

1 comment:

  1. That planet walk looks really neat. All the way to Mars - now that's a walk.

    Starbuck, a walk, and then later chocolate. Yep, a good day.