The Alaska Trip: Day 1, Anchorage
Further than you think. And much bigger than it seems.
Also really bright, at least in June.
I left New York on a 6:00am flight (Delta, of course) to Anchorage via Minneapolis/St. Paul. Because I had to meet some people on the way to the airport, that meant waking up at 3:00am. So I’d been awake for six hours when I landed in MSP, and for seven hours when I boarded the 9:00am flight to Anchorage.
I’d been awake for over twelve hours when I landed in Anchorage, which is why I was so surprised to hear the greeting “good morning.” It was just a little before noon, local time.Though part of the U.S., Anchorage is like nothing else. Even the approach via plane looks different. Lots of destinations boast snow-topped mountains, even in the summer, but here they rise majestically from the water and stretch impossibly to the horizon. It’s like the gateway to the end of the world, or, as I would later learn, the beginning.
My first task, appropriately, was survival: food and shelter. A taxi to my hotel (The Captain Hook — highly recommended) took care of both.
Fed and rested, I set out to explore. The downtown area is small, and I didn’t have the energy to venture too far away, so I decided to devote my time to buying gifts. The Alaska Native Arts Foundation didn’t have what I wanted, and my other recommendation, the Two Spirits Gallery, was closed.
That’s how I stumbled upon the “One People One World” gallery. I had, in fact, passed by it earlier, foolishly dismissing it because of its unorthodox appearance. This time I looked more closely, and started talking to the proprietor, Mr. Trevor Rennie. What a treat!I spent nearly two hours with Trevor, learning about Alaskan art and native artists, talking about Anchorage, and ultimately buying a few gifts, which Trevor agreed to put in the mail to me. If you’re in Anchorage, stop by. Really.
Exhausted and borderline delirious, I returned to the hotel and relaxed before an 8:30pm dinner.On my way to my room at 9:45pm, I snapped a picture of Anchorage. Lighting wasn’t a problem. It hadn’t even begun to get dark.
The next day I would travel 130 miles to Seward.