Saturday morning, there were brand new cruise ships in the harbor. Sadly, we checked out and headed back up the Kenai Peninsula. We decided to take a short side-trip to see Hope. We liked the name.
Hope was a ridiculously cute little town, and from the looks of it, completely deserted. That wasn’t true, exactly, it just had the feel of a ghost town. Everything was closed, and the only movement was around one trailer down by the waterfront. There was obviously a lot of regular camping there, because there were weird piles of abandoned stuff around campfires. Like this engine, for example.
I was on the verge of peeing my pants, nothing was open, and it was far too light out to go outside. Instead, I visited the most terrifying handicapped port-a-potty in the universe. I’m still scarred.
Near Turnagain Arm, we encountered a lot of traffic for Alaska. We didn’t really mind, considering the scenery. We slowly made our way into Anchorage, and had lunch before checking back into the same hotel as before. This time, there were cops in the lobby, evicting a guy who’d apparently made himself too-much-at-home.
We headed downtown to wander and shop. It was gorgeous outside, warm enough that we didn’t even need to wear jackets. I bought about 50 hoodies (or so it seemed), and a bunch of stuff for the friends back home. We headed down to the Saturday Market (I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I have a deep, burning love for open-air markets in other cities), and wandered around the booths. I discovered the ak starfish company and swooned.
Once I was done buying half of Anchorage, we got in the car and headed to Earthquake Park, near the airport.
anchorage from across cook inlet
The park had an impressive memorial and intepretive site dedicated to the 1964 earthquake, and great views of Anchorage from across Cook Inlet (we were told that on a clear day, it’s even possible to see Denali from that point). We walked a mile or so down the hiking path, then decided to go see more of Anchorage.
We went to a pizza place for dinner, then to see the Captain Cook monument. I liked him because he’d been our first rental car’s namesake in Hawaii. Also, I like seamen.
captain cook monument
We parked down near the Alaska Railroad station and walked to a bridge over Ship Creek to watch the salmon fishermen. Coming from a decent-sized city, it was kind of scary to think that people would eat fish that were in a city river. Then again, they were coming right out of Cook Inlet.
salmon fishermen at ship creek
Also, I learned the five types of salmon, and how to remember their names, but i won’t tell you the trick: pink, silver, king (chinook), sockeye (red), chum (dog).
A train was arriving as we walked back, so we went down to see it. Half the cars were owned by Holland America. There’s something so amazing about the trains there. I really want to do that next time, and maybe stop along the tracks and see if I can hail one. Yeah!
We went back to the hotel to pack for the flight and chill before leaving Alaska. We may have had a little party involving our leftover booze from the 4th of July. I discovered mushrooms growing in the bathroom, and didn’t really mind at all. We went to bed around midnight, and it actually looked a little like the sun might set for once.