Monday, November 26, 2007

When people came by my cube on the 16th they saw my suitcase and asked where I was heading. I answered that I was heading to Alaska over Thanksgiving week to beat the heat of Wisconsin. I had planned on some hiking, maybe skiing/snowboarding, and lots of Anchorage exploration. Frequent flyer miles made the trip very reasonable so I wasn’t too uptight about not skiing if the snow wasn’t perfect. Well, Anchorage didn’t have much snow but they had enough for the slopes to open up the 17th, only to see them closed mid week when the temps shot well above freezing, even hitting 45 one day. All the snow melted away and the slopes closed as avalanches become real possibilities. So yeah, I literally got away from the Wisconsin chill by heading to Anchorage.

Before the big melt on Wednesday, Becky and I did some excellent hiking on Monday. The waterfall near the Eklutna River was beautiful, though I’m certain the picture will not do it justice. It is very hard to photograph a fairly narrow waterfall in the midst of snow covered trees and rocks. I gave it a shot though and hopefully those will get developed fairly soon (it is far too easy to just let the undeveloped rolls pile up on the shelf). I believe that roll started in my camera back in June. The Eagle River nature center is also the start of many trails (I’d really like to hike from there to Girdwood someday – a perfect one night backpacking trip). We opted for a short hike and took some excellent photos off of the observation deck. Underneath the large deck is a fast moving the stream that offers up a great top down view of salmon come summertime. Hiking in 20 degree, snow covered Alaska is very beautiful and fairly comfortable. I’m glad the melt came on Wednesday and not Sunday.

The Double Musky is ranked as one of the best restaurants in the country, and from the descriptions of people that have eaten there I wouldn’t deny it. We were told to get there early as they do not take reservations and a 2 hour wait is not uncommon, order a steak or something Cajun, and expect to pay plenty and not feel swindled in the slightest. So we found ourselves a little dressed up and heading to Girdwood for dinner Friday night, only to find a piece of paper in the window with magic marker stating “closed till 12/12.” The website had none of this information. I know it is a family place but the website is well designed and therefore presumably often updated. Nah. Very disappointing and strange. How are they not open given the impending start of the ski season at Alyeska right up the street? I would have expected them to take a vacation right before the snow came, but alas. So we went to Alyeska and had a very tasty, yet odd meal. We saw people getting fresh bread and inquired about our own.

“Oh, the bread isn’t very good. It gets stale right after it leaves the warmer so I figured you wouldn’t want any.”
“Well, we’d like to give it a try.”
“Oh, then I’ll bring some.”

Yeah, the bottom of the bread was a little too hard but it certainly was edible. Good meal (crab stuffed salmon for me – steak for Becky), but odd. Next time we’ll definitely have to call ahead to the Double Musky and make sure the drive is worthwhile.

More pictures will be coming soon, and there are certainly more tales to be told. I ended up walking off the red eye at O’hare Sunday morning with a box containing 20lbs of crab (fresh from Norton Sound) and an additional 15lbs of salmon and halibut. My balcony currently contains my ice trays and freezer packs as my freezer is now a perfect block of seafood. I should post a picture of this before the crab legs head to Indy for Christmas and get replaced by piles of venison on my trip back through Chicago. Endlessly… a block of meat.

No comments: