Touring Alaska Part II

While awaiting Alicia, thought I would tell you about the air conditioning.
There isn’t any.  If you want to cool off, you just open the window.   I
slept with the window open all night and it was wonderful.  I thought it would be chilly here since 58 for the high sounds chilly, but it’s not. The air smells fresher and the humidity while high doesn’t feel humid.  Weird. It actually feels rather dry here.

On Friday, we attended the Alaska state fair.  It was crowded, but not
unpleasantly so.  We walked and looked at all the booths set up for the various items made here.  There was jewelry, quilts, clothing, snow mobiles, foldable boats, and all the usual booths we have at home.  For food, there  were many that you would recognize and some you wouldn’t .  The oyster bar surprised me as did the salmon quesadilla, but we stopped at the booth serving caribou steaks, reindeer polish sausage, and bison brats.  I ate the reindeer sausage with sauerkraut and it was really good.  I had to buy a
jacket since I was chilled.  By the afternoon while watching the lumberjack show, I warmed up nicely.  The lumber jack show was fun and entertaining.  They chopped logs with axes, chain saws and the long saw and had an axe throwing contest.  There were a number of people there who appreciated their show many who obviously appreciated their skills.  No surprise since everywhere you go there are large cords of wood at each house.

Afterwards, we drove around the area seeing Palmer, Wasilla, and more of Eagle River.  We drove up to the top of a mountain looking at the scenery.  There were houses tucked
away all through the mountains with driveways that looked more like paths.  It was easy to imagine the cozy, isolated lifestyle with views to die for.  But this is summer and I can’t imagine commuting to work or even getting groceries in the winter with several feet of snow and icy roads that don’t divulge the edge due to the snow.  It was very sobering.  I tried to imagine putting away food all summer so I would never have to leave if I lived in one of those houses.  These are a hardy, independent people.  They have studded tires and chains for winter.  I could also imagine tumbling off those roads and never being found.  It was scary and exhilarating at the same time.

At one point, near the top of the mountain, we could see all the way to the ocean.  The mountain tops are not treed having shrubs and grass only.  I grew up near the
mountains of North Carolina so this brought back memories of many other drives.  By this time, we were all tired and ready to go home.  After a quick dinner, it was home and hotel and a good night of sleep.  One last thought, I am thinking about all of my friends and family in Mississippi.  We are watching the movement of Gustav and worrying about what will happen.  Since all three of us vividly remember Katrina, it is a poignant, helpless time.


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