I’ve been traveling in Alaska for the last three weeks, soaking in the amazing beauty of this state. (And now I’m having to put up this brief post through my sister, Megan, due to unforeseen problems with the app my blog is on, combined with my poor signal and a less than cooperative device. Thanks, Megan!)

      In order to get to Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city–actually, its only real metropolis–I had to take a skiff to the nearby fishing village, board a floatplane, and then, after a day in Ketchikan, I took the small ferry to the island that Ketchikan International Airport is on. The Alaska Airlines jet then proceeded to stop in every other small city in Southeast Alaska (the “milk run”) before heading over the vast wilderness that stretches between the Panhandle and Anchorage. Altogether it’s a five hour trip and the view out the window is relentlessly spectacular.

     As we approached Anchorage, still thousands of feet up, I was able to get a shot of the sunset over Matanuska Glacier. The glacier is hundreds of feet high, twenty-seven miles long and four miles wide–one of many huge glaciers, along with enormous mountain ranges, that we’d seen on the way.

There’s always a bit of culture shock to get over when you go directly from the roadless wilderness to a city. And this time it struck me when I was sitting in the car at a red light watching the endless flow of multiple lanes of traffic at an intersection. Where were all these humans, in their wheeled shells of steel and glass, going in such an unending rush? 

     I managed to overcome my sense of being an alien observer from another planet long enough to indulge in a shopping spree, wearing out my poor, longsuffering hostess in the process. The selection is far larger and the prices are significantly lower than anything available in Southeast Alaska. Always, when I go to Anchorage, I feel like I’m visiting a city in the Lower 48, partly because of the prices and partly because the city is so sprawling that Alaska and the wilderness are pressed to the outskirts. Even the Chugach Mountains that encircle the city look like Down South mountains, for some reason.

     At any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and was so involved with interacting with other people that unfortunately I didn’t spend any time taking pictures, sorry! Hopefully, I can get back to posting regularly on my blog and there will be more photos. Until then, thanks for being patient and continuing to tune in.

Happy to help…and welcome to “My World” of the city life, haha!



9/16/2016 08:15:10 am

Thanks again! It was fun visiting “your world” but I wouldn’t want to live there! It’s great to be back in the bush.

A few facts about Anchorage (this is for you, Nancy): The population is around 300,000, which is forty percent of the entire population of Alaska. The city spans nearly 2,000 square miles and is located at the head of Cook Inlet, named for the British explorer James Cook.

The city is most famous for having survived the second largest earthquake in recorded history (accompanied by a devastating tsunami) in 1964. Alaskans know it as the Good Friday Earthquake and it measured 9.2 in magnitude.

My hostess showed me, on a previous trip, the area that had been destroyed by the tsunami and it’s an eerie place. All the trees are dead because of the salt content now in the dirt, and old, rusty vehicles stand in curious places as silent witnesses to the violent wave.

Moose are frequently seen within the city. Once, on a car ride to the airport, we were accompanied part way by a young moose striding confidently down the middle of the highway. Another time a moose showed up in our yard. Their size is breathtaking and it’s no wonder the residents consider them awkwardly charming, dangerous nuisances.

Flocks of mountain goats can be seen up close on the highway just outside of town. I’m told bears are frequent visitors, too, but I see enough of them where I live so it was the goats and moose I was most interested in. And, of course, the huge number of bipedal creatures who preferred to go around on wheels rather than use their feet. They were pretty interesting, too.



9/16/2016 03:42:32 pm

Awesome! Thanks for giving me the down low on Anchorage. Very beautiful – again. 300,000? I’m going to have do to some research to compare that to another city for size so I can envision it better.

Glad you are alive and well. I was wondering……



9/16/2016 06:39:52 pm

Sorry to be out of touch lately. Our signal out here has deteriorated to epic levels, which is partly why Megan had to post this from Florida. I typed it up in email, but when I hit send the signal disappeared and I got a message saying “sending failed.” When I went to look for it in drafts, even though I’d saved it, it wasn’t there. So I was biting my nails until I heard from Megan and this finally went up.

I’m trying to get caught up with everyone, but it’s all touch and go and a lot of frustration. I might be reduced to snail mail once again….

Megan, very kindly, has agreed to put my blogs up for me–if and when I can send them to her.



9/16/2016 07:44:30 pm

Oh, and some cities similar in size to Anchorage, by population, are Buffalo, Corpus Christi, Newark, Bakersfield, and Lexington. 🙂


Daneel Olivaw

9/17/2016 12:06:11 pm

Please add my own deep gratitude to Megan for helping you in your blog-posting difficulties. She is performing a wonderful public service in bringing these great posts to your eager audience. I knew next to nothing about Alaska before reading this blog and I’ve learned many astonishing facts, such as that Alaska is actually part of the United States (it’s true! you can look it up!). And the vivid description of moose gave me a new appreciation for the trepidation that Boris and Natasha always felt when contending with Bullwinkle.

I’ve always been charmed by the fact that “Anchorage” is such a generic name for a city where lots of boats dock. It’s like naming a city around a harbor “Harbor” or one on an inlet “Inlet.” But sometimes this lack of imagination works and the name nevertheless acquires a romantic aura, as the creators of Superman discovered when they named their big city Metropolis.

I read that in the early 1900s, there was a move to rename Anchorage and that a vote was taken among local residents. The most votes were for the only slightly more imaginative name “Alaska City.” The powers that be decided to stick with Anchorage and the passage of time has shown the wisdom of that decision.

Am very much looking forward to your next blog post.



9/21/2016 02:23:16 pm

Thanks, Daneel! I thought about sharing the story of Anchorage’s name because I thought it was so charmingly Alaskan, but I didn’t so I’m glad you did.

Sorry for taking so long to reply. I finally gave up waiting for a cooperative signal at my house and today took a hike to the beach that has a fairly good signal.

I also took this opportunity to email a blog to my sister, so she should put that up fairly soon, when she can get to it. What a crazy way to do a blog, but I guess that’s life out here. 🙂



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