Day 34, 7/2/15, Thursday
Weather: Partly cloudy all day. Temperatures in the 60s
We departed Eagle River at about 10 am and drove forty-five minutes into Anchorage. The road was now a divided six lane highway as you would have going into a major city in the lower forty-eight. The traffic was moderately heavy and fast moving. No longer did we have that rural feeling.
Anchorage is actually a small city with a defined down-town area. Parking whether on the streets or in defined lots is subject to meters or pay booths. It became very obvious that RVs were not to be accommodated anywhere within the downtown area due to the fact that these parking spaces were designed for car lengths only. Parking in a lot about 2 blocks off the main drag was $10 for up to 2 hours; max charge $40 for 24 hours. In Manhattan the max we’ve paid is $36/24 hours.
Our intended first stop was at one of the two information centers indicated in the travel brochures. Actually, the two had become one. The original center was a small log cabin. A new but slightly larger building was added in more recent time directly behind the original. No parking accommodations were available. This was very poor planning considering that much of the visitor transportation was by some form of RV. We did find a metered parking spot at the corner of one of the blocks and managed to occupy it even though we overhung beyond the allotted size.
After obtaining the information that we needed in the center, we drove to the edge of the city and found a place to park in a church lot within walking distance of downtown. Public transportation is not readily available. As we walked through the streets we found familiar stores such as Penney’s, Nordstrom, etc., along with the small shops and impressive hotels. There are many eateries to satisfy various cultural cuisines.
One of Paul’s reactions to Anchorage was a little dismay in that it was surprising to find such a completely different developing upscale community so different from the character of the rest of the state. As we were leaving the city, we stopped to visit a lakeside park/walking trail that was recommended to us. While there, Gail stopped to speak with some teenagers who were using skate boards as well as walking poles. It turned out to be “roller skis”, one on each foot, and the kids were students from U of Alaska Anchorage practicing Nordic skiing
We located a camping area outside the city where we will be spending the evening (N 61° 11’ 35” W 149° 52’ 56” , elevation 42 ft.). Tomorrow we plan on spending time locating the places of interest that we would like to visit. We are also at the beginning of the Kenai Peninsula areas that are noted for salmon fishing.
G & P