Saturday, August 29, 2009

On the road

The week of Aug 15 - 22, was one of research for writing (That's an excuse to explore). Early Monday morning I visited the Anchorage botanical gardens. Did you know that a bale of hay could be carved out to hold a small garden of mixed veggies?A sign warned that black bears had been seen around the herb garden which is fenced in with lattice work. I joined a couple traveling from Vancouver to hike to the herb gardens. While there a wedding party arrived and held a small wedding amound the flowering plants.

From the gardens I drove to the Anchorage Zoo which has been expanded since I visited in 2002. Most of the animals are rescues that cannot be released into the wild. Recently their prized elephant was sent to a warmer climate.

One of the most unusual animals is the musk ox. It is indiginous to Alaska but was wiped out by hunters years ago and has been reintroduced into the wild (and on farms). The under coat of the musk ox is the softest, finesst and warmest wool imaginable. Called quivet, the wool is gathered and given to Native coops where it is knit or crocheted into scarves, hats and smokerings.

As a cub this polar bear had a black bear cub for a playmate. As they reached age four they had to be separated.
This is as close as I want to get to a grizzly!

Look closly to the right side of the photo for another strange "animal" at the zoo.
On Tuesday I spoke to a group of ladies (WOM) at First Baptist Church in Palmer. I try to encourage everyone to write their own story as a journal or in memiors.

Lynne caught me doing house keeping duty. The water tanks have to be emptied!
This is the visitor's center in Wasilla, where we have been staying. Lynne is holding a bear carved with a chain saw by a friend of hers.

We made a side trip to Hatcher Pass, over 3,000 feet into the Talkeetna Mountains. This high valley above the tree line, was matted with the fireweed that had gone to cotton. Their leaves were a brilliant red.
Para gliders favor these high bluffs for the thermals that carry them into the sky.

I am sitting by the edge of Summit Lake, found high in Hatcher Pass. The water is near freezing.

The Susitna River racing down from Hatcher Pass sent spray of icy water as it toumbled over boulders.

On our way back to Wasilla from Hatcher Pass we stopped for chowder at a small cafe run by woman who is also a chain saw carver. This sunflower is one of her works.

Since traveling south from Delta Junction and the library, I've had a problem finding wifi andbeing able to send, so until next computer cafe.....
I'll think of you in Texas. Temp was 46 degrees this morning.

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