Day 35, 7/3/15, Friday
Weather: Partially sunny. Temperatures were in the high 60s to low 70s.
Since we were in a camping area that did not have wifi, our first task of the day was to find a location that had the service. The nearby MacDonald’s provided this for the customers so we went there for breakfast. We did not have availability to wifi for the past three days and this backed us up in our daily updating of the blog as well as checking our email.
We are now out of the area of glaciers and permafrost so the mountains are more what we expect near home. There are lots of black pine, not stunted by the permafrost, and quaking aspen (thinking of Paul Andrew).
With this being the eve of the Fourth of July, we checked the information that we received the other day at the visitor center to see if there were any festivities taking place locally today. There was a local community festival being held at the Lions Club Park in Eagle River. This included entertainment, sky divers, games, concessions, and fireworks. Since we had been in this community the other day, we decided to drive the twenty minutes back and enjoy the festivities. Unfortunately, when we arrived in Eagle River, at about 2 pm, we found someone who told us it was not due to begin until 7 pm. Apparently, with sunset so late, fireworks cannot be done until midnight! And with the fire danger so extreme, there would be no fireworks this year.
At this point we decided to return to Anchorage to find a campground and relax there for the day. We checked into the Centennial Campground, run by the city of Anchorage. To our happy surprise, we discovered that this campground has black bear families and moose that come through frequently. The talk in the campground was that there already was a bear in the park and it was up in one of the tall evergreen trees. Apparently, one of the campers left food uncovered and this was all the bear needed to feel welcomed. We interrupted our afternoon and evening’s relaxation by periodically going over and checking the bear’s status. This is the first bear encounter on the entire trip so far. As we are getting ready for bed, the black haired visitor is still with us.
Tomorrow we expect to go into downtown Anchorage for their holiday celebration. We do have confirmation that these celebrations will take place between 8 am and 6 pm.
G & P