Friday, June 25, 2010

Anchorage Alaska

According to the AAA Tour Book  Anchorage is as far west as the Hawaiian Islands and as far north as Helsinki Finland. It is Alaska's largest city, located in the heart of the heart of the state's south central gulf coast. Our first stop was at Earthquake Park. From this park we could look over Cook's Inlet and see the city of Anchorage off in the distance.
The infamous 9.2 Good Friday Earthquake struck Alaska in 1964. Some of the more extensive damage was done on the northwest end of Anchorage, where earthquake park now is located. This was once a residential neighborhood- 75 homes slid down the hills of  this area, and 6 people lost their lives. After hiking around the park we drove into downtown Anchorage. The city is noted for its prolific flower baskets (one count put the total of baskets at 100,000) and gardens during the summer time. If I have any lasting memory of this city, it will be of all the flowers located on its streets and around its shops!
We spent some time walking the streets of this city and touring some of its museums. It was enjoyable walking around a big city, at least Anchorage is a bit bigger than some of the towns we have been in during the past several weeks. Our next stop was the Alaska Botanical Garden. This garden has some unusual features to it which cannot be found in other gardens. It is the first garden I have toured which has a sign, seen upon entering, to watch out for moose and bear. Another sign in the garden has a warning for winter visitors to be careful crossing the trail for mushers (mushers are the competitors for the Iditarod). One of the trails also leads to Copper Creek where the king salmon run. It does not seem that we are that far into summer but many of the plants in the garden are blooming and already quite large. This is the effect of the extensive daylight hours which makes the growth of plants and shrubs quite intense.  I don't believe I have seen a flowering foxglove before, what a beautiful flower! It is pictured below.

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