Anchorage day 2 - 30/7/2011

Anchorage day 2 - 30/7/2011

Got up at a very reasonable time of 09:00 and had a light breakfast, Twining's Irish Breakfast Tea and bread with orange raspberry jam, before venturing out on one of Tim's bikes to explore the parks leading down to the coast. There are very good bike/pedestrian paths alongside almost all roads and through the parks. I headed down the Chester Creek trail to Westchester Lagoon and on to the Coastal Trail. Red necked grebes were just sitting around waiting for me on the lagoon. This is a manmade lagoon with a 5.5 acre area below the dam which is tidal. The sluice has a white plastic threshold and is illuminated at night so that the salmon can be counted as the swim up the restored stream and into the lagoon. I spoke to the volunteer and he said that the intention was to have a webcam set up to allow remote access for the volunteers but that that was not ready to deploy yet. The salmon run has not started in earnest but is expected to start in this stream in the next 3 days.

I headed south in the warmth, 66F, along the coastal trail towards the International airport. There are vast mudflats here and they looked very empty bar a few gulls. Then I spotted some yellow legged.... just too far away to take a decent picture. Cycled on and stopped at a small garden of flowers hoping to find some butterflies but found several types of bee and a large blue dragonfly. Virtually everyone says 'hi' as you pass and there are people walking dogs, roller blading, cycling, running, walking, and cross county skiing (on blades). Not long after I spotted about 20 cranes in the distance flying around and making a lot of noise. About 8 stayed on the mud flats whilst the other flew off across the channel toward an island. After a bit of stalking along the shore, and because the group were making their way off the mud towards the vegetation, I was able to get a really good view through my bins. They were not looking for food in the mud but carefully picking out the new growth in the salt marsh reeds at he base of the stems, giving thenm a rinse in the pools of water before eating them. After an hour or so of watching them I was about to continue along the path when a walker told me to be careful as there was a moose and calf in the trees just 10yds behind me.... They ARE big! I got on the bike and took a photo as I went past...

I cycled on to Point Woronzof and then headed back into town along Northern Lights Blvd. I was looking for REI, an outdoor shop, to stock up on gas and look at some sandals suitable for the river float. REI is the American version of MEC in Canada, being a cooperative, and developing it's own lines of gear. It is an enormous shop so I spent a long time looking and lusting after equipment that I don't need but would be nice to have! In the end I bought a gas canister, some folding scissors, two maps and some waterproof plastic bags. I then went next door to the Middle Way Café for a late lunch of spicy chicken sandwich and café latte. Lunch lasted a bit longer than planned as I transferred and uploaded the days photos and the blog for yesterday, checked my emails, Facebook etc. I will return to REI tomorrow and get some sandals and a warm hat. I must have the 2 Tupperware boxes containing my camera battery charger, the 6 remaining bars of Montezuma's chocolate that were presents for people I stayed with and emergency medicines etc. Not sure how that happened but it was very dark in the food safe where my bag was stored and I must have put them on a shelf and not seen them when I was packing up. I will email the Glacier Bay Park Rangers to see if they can find them...

Finally Happy Birthday to my nephew Richard in Bahrain, 30 on the 30th!

Sent from my iPad


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