Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Adventures in Alaska

Alaska pictures as promised.

So work sent me to Anchorage, Alaska, for Beltane (actually it was for a conference, but lets pretend). Consequently, I did not really get a chance to celebrate Beltane, but then again I usually don't celebrate many of the major Wheel holidays other than Halloween, Yule, and to a far lesser extent and for totally personal reasons Mabon (which I'm fairly sure is the one that doesn't have any real historical legitimacy, so the fact that I make it my own personal holiday works, but don't quote me on that one).

Also, on May first in Southern Central Alaska, the sun does not go down until 11 PM, it doesn't really get dark until midnight, and then the sun comes back up at around 4 AM. Oh and it looks like the dead of winter and there is still three feet of snow on the ground in the rural areas, so celebrating what back in my neck of woods is the full on bloom of spring just does not seem appropriate.

The downtown area of the city is pretty amazing. It's not in every city that you can look down the street one way and see snow covered mountains, and look the opposite way and see water complete with sea gulls. Also, for an arctic city, there are a ton of homeless people wandering around, and I got to see a teenager girl fight in Town Square Park, right outside what I think was their court house.

But before I make you think that the city was unpleasant, it's important to remember I was there two weeks before tourist season. While I was there, it was amazing to watch everybody buzzing around getting ready for the tourists. Street lines were being repainted (all the lines get worn away during the winter because of the gravel they put down on the road, which makes driving in the city with three lanes of traffic and no lanes very interesting). They were washing the streets, prepping all the parks, and in general just taking care of everything.

Luckily, Fiance flew up after the conference, and we had a little three day vacation. I will say, Alaska was quite possibly the most beautiful state I have ever been too even with them still being in a more wintery state. So without further ado, the Alaska pictures. (Caveat: Fiance was a little squeamish about me posting his face on a public blog, and he was super worried that somehow his family would see it, so I went ahead and blurred his face in the pictures he was in. He is also the primary photographer.)

Fiance Flying In Over the Mountains
The View from Just the Taxi Leaving the Airport
F Street Station, Anchorage, Alaska - If you like laid back bars, this is the place for you!
Things you can find downtown that tell you you're definitely not on the East Coast anymore.

Sunset over the mountain whose name translates to Sleeping Lady
Captain Cook Monument looking over Cook Inlet.
On the way to Whittier, Alaska, for a five hour glacier cruise.
Stop on the way to Whittier
Out on the water, all those dots are sea otters.
Momma sea otter carrying a pup
So much ice!


Mountain reflected in the water

In front of Surprise Glacier.  The pictures just do not do it justice.