Autumn in NY – or – Anchorage


The image here is a giant bubble blown up over Cheney Lake, which is a lovely lake on the east side of Anchorage . . . what amusing things our guys think of while we wait for the first big snowfall.
How can it be mid-October already? Well, I’m pedalling as fast as I can. My project is to finish those “One of these days, I’m gonna . . .” projects, which includes cleaning out, scanning and throwing out, sorting out,etc. as the first snow falls in Anchorage, and indoor projects come first.

Anchorage is full of events – bazaars, concerts, parties, football, etc. — and it’s hard to do it all, but my personal schedule has been reduced to minimum volunteer work, and maximum relocation consulting. This I’ve been doing for incoming oil company executives, and it’s been a pleasure to meet men (is it politically to exclude women?)employees from other countries. So far they all speak English, which is nice because I’m ‘language impaired’ and only speak English, but I am a grammar freak, and enjoy proofreading.

Since I have both a Nook and a Kindle, I read a lot and it’s not a good idea to correct spelling, or typos, or grammar, on already published works, but I get a personal pleasure from finding these. I recently published a short story about a girl and her horse. Her husband is “Terry” and the horse is “Teddy” . . . well, I didn’t proofread my own work, and I mixed the names up several times. . . it led to some funny stories.

I suppose I should get back to informing you of the thrill of visiting Anchorage. This week the Federation of Natives is having their convention at our still new Dena’ina Center . . . Here I am back to that linquist stuff. . . phonetically, wouldn’t you pronounce that “dee-na-eee-na”? Well, that’s what I would think, but it’s really “dee-nya-na”, which is a Native word.

In preparing for the long, cold winter, construction crews are winding down on road upgrades/repairs. I’m ready. Yessir! I’ve leaving Anchorage for the cold months!

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Anchorage visits Soldotna

So you say, where on earth is Soldotna… it’s a town on the Kenai Peninsula which you pass thru on your way to Homer. Homer is the end of the road, and the Homer Spit is world-famous, but this time I actually stopped in Soldotna which is on the Kenai River. This is a real vacation spot for inbound travelers, and has grown a great deal since my last visit. But this week, we have experienced huge storms, winds and flooding, and even the old trappers are shocked over the weather and the problems it has caused.

We drove there for the Grand Igloo of the Pioneers Annual Convention, and being the hearty bunch, over 300 made it from all over the state. It was actually publicized on the front page – above the fold – of the Fairbanks paper because the vote allows this 100 yr old group to allow women to be officers in the Grand Igloo (state)! Pretty shocking, eh!


The fishing hasn’t been as good this summer as it usually is, but sufficed in keeping the guides in the black. It’s been a week now, but every so often, the sun peeps thru for a few hours and you remember why you live in Alaska. This picture doesn’t show the chaos caused on the Kenai Peninsula, but also, flooding north of Anchorage was just as bad.

Sorry I haven’t been blogging a lot, but I’m into some other social media these days . . . not as good, tho’

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Alaska Concierge Strikes Again

Image

As a travel concierge, I have been showing readers how and why they should visit Alaska.  I have neglected the people who plan to actually move to Anchorage, but now my services have expanded.  I am actively working as a relocation concierge, where I help incoming oil executives to blend into our city.  I’ve learned things from this myself, namely, you need a social security card now to do anything – legally.  It never occurred to me that the card now is identification!  The other things follow – drivers license, bank account, etc.<P>

Summers in Anchorage are just delightful, and mostly for outdoor sports and other events.  Our Alaska Baseball League is only a six week season, but we have a lot of games crammed into that time.  With each game come some peripheral joys, such as this Mexican dance group, who were accompanied by a mariachi band,and it helped the spirits of our <a href=”http://www.anchoragebucs.com”>Anchorage Bucs</a> to win the game that night.  However, things were not so the rest of the season, as the Glacier Pilots (the other Anchorage team) wiped the others out. <p>Fishing has had its ups and downs, and bike races, foot races, biathalons, etc. saturate the days.  <P>The gardens are so beautiful and seem to be on every corner in addition to our decks and yards.  The Botanical Garden located by the Campbell air strip, has grown into a large assortment of plants plus arts and crafts.  The many trails can occupy a whole day is you’re into a big, long walk.  So it continues to be a good time for a visit to Alaska!

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Alaska Concierge Strikes Again

Image

As a travel concierge, I have been showing readers how and why they should visit Alaska.  I have neglected the people who plan to actually move to Anchorage, but now my services have expanded.  I am actively working as a relocation concierge, where I help incoming oil executives to blend into our city.  I’ve learned things from this myself, namely, you need a social security card now to do anything – legally.  It never occurred to me that the card now is identification!  The other things follow – drivers license, bank account, etc.<P>

Summers in Anchorage are just delightful, and mostly for outdoor sports and other events.  Our Alaska Baseball League is only a six week season, but we have a lot of games crammed into that time.  With each game come some peripheral joys, such as this Mexican dance group, who were accompanied by a mariachi band,and it helped the spirits of our <a href=”http://www.anchoragebucs.com”>Anchorage Bucs</a> to win the game that night.  However, things were not so the rest of the season, as the Glacier Pilots (the other Anchorage team) wiped the others out. <p>Fishing has had its ups and downs, and bike races, foot races, biathalons, etc. saturate the days.  <P>The gardens are so beautiful and seem to be on every corner in addition to our decks and yards.  The Botanical Garden located by the Campbell air strip, has grown into a large assortment of plants plus arts and crafts.  The many trails can occupy a whole day is you’re into a big, long walk.  So it continues to be a good time for a visit to Alaska!

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Bastille Day in Anchorage

Sure! We recognize international holidays here, too. Our popular restauranteur, Jens – whose restaurant bears the same name – always brings in llamas and other livestock and bales of hay, to display under the tent outside his place, and there’s costumed French notables, beheadings, carriage rides, and a loud New Orleans style band, etc. But that’s not all that’s going on in our city.
We have downtown activity, too, with the Town Square becoming a poplar place for fairs and markets. It’s a great drawing cards for our many tourists, who can walk to most of these place, but for the locals – well, me, anyhow – we would have preferred some parking available, not unlike Union Square. A tourist would think that the large parking garage within a block of this congested area would suffice, but they don’t know that this garage is only for State of Alaska government employees. The State has more money (our money) and can afford this, plus taking over the large Ensearch Building, a beautiful 15 story edifice originally built by Texas trillionnaire, H. Hunt. Across the street is the new Dena’ina Convention Center, which is a 3 story marvel (this means it was built within budget). The name is interesting, and I prefer my pronounciation (dee-na-een-a) to ‘theirs (de-nine-a). Okay, so I’m poking fun at my favorite city, but there are funnier stories I can relay here.

For those getting out of town, we note the fishing is good if you’re after halibut, but the salmon runs are down this summer. It’s still a pleasure just to get out on the lakes, rivers, and inlet to try your luck, and I’ve been lucky to have friends supply me with enough salmon for the winter. But nothing tastes as good as a king salmon, never frozen, and gently sauteed.

Baseball season is at the half way point, and scouts have already taken some of the Anchorage Bucs best pitchers, so we hope to struggle thru and maintain the top half of the board. We had a fun night recently called Mexican night and with it was a mariachi band, colorful Folklorico dancers, and margueritas. Of course, without a full liquor license, we had to fake it, with salt-rimmed glasses of Mike’s hard lemonade – but it worked!

Well, it’s been a chilly July, but we’re pretty tough up here, and the tourists I’ve talked to are glad to escape the heat of the lower states. I read the the numbers are down, but there seem to be a full, crowded sidewalk of tourists daily and the cruise ships are coming in with full loads, so we’re not suffering. Enough said!

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Slow down, summer!


This summer is going by too fast. Solstice saw a crowded event calendar, which indoor activities being put aside to take advantage of the beautiful weather we’re having in Anchorage. The baseball season is in full swing, and would you believe they don’t even have to turn on the lights in the evening – our daylight hours are close to 20 hours and you just can forget to go to bed. The baseball season here lasts only 6 weeks, but they are filled with special events and the ball players love their days off, so they get to go fishing, golfing, etc. Right downtown in Anchorge, they stock Ship Creek with trout so you won’t go home empty handed.

The Mayor’s Run draws at least two thousand and that’s paired with the Women’s Run, which is usually even larger.

The Moose’s Tooth has doubled in size and is one of the more popular watering holes. Here’s a shot of their crowd celebrating solstice.


This is the place to be, and here I am!!!

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Summer is Beautiful Time in Anchorage

Talk about action! It’s hard to keep up with what’s going on indoors and out in our fair city. On a personal basis, I’m volunteering at the American Astrological Conference, which has drawn registrants from all over the world! Looking at the schedule shows that none of the events are in either of our three planetariums around the city, but I hope they will be visited anyhow.
This weekend found 4,000 ladies in the Women’s Breast Cancer Survival run, and it’s become a well known annual event nationally. Of course, it was won by our local heroine, Kikkan Randall. She’s a cross country skier of note, which translates to the track too, and the color pink abounds!
The alternative lifestyle community also took over the downtown streets with a parade and trade fair, and the annual Renaissance did not lack for a devoted crowd either.

The Botannical Gardens have a wonderful fair over the weekend, and it has become a great family event, which has a variety of talents including my magician partner.


The National President of Hostelling International also came to town to host an appreciation dinner for the good works we’re done in hostelling. We had a great dinner at the Glacier Brewhouse, which is a popular downtown watering hole, besides being advertied on the many cruiseships, so it’s the first destination of many cruisers.

Our weather has been cooperating, too, although it is unpredictable as showers appear for a while every now and then, but overall, the sunshine brings everyone out. There are farmer’s markets on at least 10 venus that I can name, but my favorite if the Spenard Farmers Market, which is just a few blocks from my condo, but the organizer is a talented gal who bring booths of local color, and one of the clever different ones is the “Mobile Mender”. If you can’t figure that out, it’s a gal with a sewing machine that mends stuff you don’t want to.

The other event of note is the arrival of the Bore Tide, a unique tide that comes in the width of Turnagain arm, which fights the oncoming winds, so becomes aroud 5 feet across. . . this event draws hundreds of cars, doubled by people to Beluga Point and other spots to watch this. It helps if you carry a bottle of wine and toast the tide as it rolls across!

Well, I’ve finished my report and haven’t even mentioned all our golf tournaments, and lakes, fishing, campers, etc. but you have to make time to engage in all these choices.

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