Sunday 13th July 3:00 p.m Anchorage, Alaska
It's a beautiful day! If I told you how glorious the weather is here in Alaska, you wouldn't believe me. Yesterday was a glorious sunny day, and today is even warmer, with not a cloud in the sky. It's a shame to be stuck inside working on the computer, but at least I know that there's still seven hours of sunshine left, so I can go for a walk later or borrow Casey's mountain bike and explore a little further afield.
Friday afternoon, after joining Casey for a sushi lunch with some of his old State Legislature associates, Casey took me climbing Mt Flattop. Flattop overlooks Anchorage city, the Chugach mountains to the East, and on a clear day you can see Mt McKinley hundreds of miles to the north- on a really really clear day, that is! It was a tough hike, but the view from the top was more than worth it. It was after 10:00 by the time we hiked back down, but of course the sun hadn't even considered setting yet. We scoffed down some soup, and headed out to meet some of Casey's friends at Bernie's, a trendy bar downtown.
Three days ago, on the trip from Tok, Ralph and I were stopped a few hours out of Anchorage, where the road was undergoing a huge construction project. I didn't mind so much, since it was right near Matanuska Glacier, and I snapped a few pics of the glacier. Lisa, the 'stop and go girl' or 'flagger' as they're called here, was very chatty and was intrigued with my travel project. She insisted that I visit her while I'm in town. After putting up with me for a couple of days here in Anchorage, Casey was happy to get rid of me for a while. He drove me up to Eagle Creek yesterday afternoon. After an afternoon chatting and soaking up the sun with Lisa, she took me out to sample the local nightlife. 'This will be a little different to Bernie's' she warned. Bernie's was the bar that Casey and his friends had taken me to the night before, in Anchorage. It was 'the' place to be seen, and was packed with the city's young and beautiful; my 'caveman' look didn't really fit in! The 'Homestead' bar in Eagle Creek was, by comparison, slightly less sophisticated. It reminded me of nights out in my hometown as an eighteen year old, with the DJ playing AC/DC tracks and other 80's music disasters. A quick study of the crowd around the bar showed that tattoos almost outnumbered teeth. But we enjoyed ourselves and I met a few of Lisa's friends, and played electronic darts, which I suck at severely!
Because the roadworks that Lisa works at are so long, and the delay usually at least fifteen minutes, she often strikes up a conversation with motorists. Last night Lisa was proud to show me photos that had been sent to her from all over the world, by motorists she had met 'in the line up'. Lisa drove me back into Anchorage this morning and shouted me breakfast at Humpy's, a local favourite. It was almost like having breakfast with a Hollywood celebrity, as passing tourists recognized her from the roadworks, and came over to our table to say 'hi'. Too funny. One French couple who came over to talk to Lisa, have just completed a motorbike tour from Las Vegas to Anchorage. That's gotta be almost seven thousand kilometres!
Now I'm back in Anchorage, trying to get something set up with my hosts to the south. If I can get in touch with them, I'd like to head off tomorrow.