June 04, 2007

Seattle & Alaska (Non-birds)

Hello everyone. Well, we made it back! It was an absolutely amazing trip and will probably take a couple of posts to cover. But you've got to start somewhere so here we go. We arrived Washington, land of evergreens and Starbucks, on the evening of May 16. It was my first trip to Seattle and I gotta say, the northwest is one of the coolest places I've seen so far. We took a couple trips across the Puget Sound on the ferry and drove up Hurricane Ridge which was amazing. We also played for a couple contra dances in the evenings. From there we flew to Anchorage, land of eternal sunlight and really, really, exceptionally big mountains. They aren't anything like the mountains around here. Pictures don't do them justice but maybe you can get the idea: mountains1, mountains2, mountains3, mountains4, mountains5. We stayed one night in Anchorage then drove down to Homer for a couple days. Lots of great birds but I'll cover that in another post. We saw a bunch of moose (twice with babies!), seals, sea otters and a whale. Noah also saw a black bear but the rest of us missed it. While we were in Homer we took a boat trip across Katchemak Bay to do some hiking. They dropped us off at point A and 6.5 hours later picked us up at point B. We hiked up to this lake right at the bottom of a glacier. It was incredibly cold with the wind whipping off that water but it was awesome to see. All along the shore there were these beautiful little pieces of ice.

We had some wonderful meals during the trip. One of the coolest places we went was Cups Cafe in Homer; incredible seafood. Turns out I'm a big fan of halibut. I also got to meet Lionel and Alycia Johnson who asked me to give them a little impromptu banjo/ukulele lesson even though Lionel's arm was broken and still in a cast. Alaska has a very odd combination of breathtaking scenery and, well, junk. Like this purple school bus for instance, just sitting in a parking lot. That was a little sketchy. So, after a couple days in Homer we headed back north to play at the Dancing Bears Dance Camp at King's Lake in Wasilla, AK. What a wonderful group of people. That is definitely one of my strongest impressions of Alaska; the people are so nice! And they have a great dance community up there. Some of the folks we hung out with were Linda and Rashmika, fellow birders Willy and Richard, our rockin' sound woman Lucy, and Mr. freaky-upside-down-bass-playing Joe Fallon. We had a great time. Definitely want to go back sometime. So I guess that's about it for now. Like I said, lots of good birds but I'll save that for later. It's a busy week with Josh and Sarah's wedding and my grandfather's funeral but I should find some time to post. Bye for now.