Thursday, May 24, 2012


Last week we made a quick trip (350 miles, 7 hours one way) to Anchorage and Wasilla for errands and a little sight-seeing. While in Wasilla we stopped to visit the Iditerod Museum which re-inacts the history and running of the Iditerod dog sled race - the world's last great race.

The sculpture of Joe Reddington and one of his huskys memorialized the man who reintroduced the running of the 1,000 miles dog sled race from Wasilla to Nome. The race was originally run in the late 1800s to carry diphtheria serum 1000 miles from Anchorage to Nome.

Sled dogs are hitched to a wheeled sled to provide  an experience for tourists. The dogs love to run and pull. The mushers have a difficult time holding them back. In training the dogs are often hitched to a 4 wheeler in the summer.
Alaskan's have a sense of humor. This black and white volkswagon sports a back fin, side fins and a tail fluke like an orca whale.
We spend a cool, sunny spring day at the Anchorage zoo.  My favorite animal was the polar bear. Actually there were two bears sharing a glass sided habitat.
This cute, furry critter is a baby muskox. His extremely fine, soft and warm undercoat, called quivet, is shed in the summer. Natives collect the fur and spin it into fine yarn that is knitted into mufflers, scarves and caps that are so soft and light that it is said it's like trying to hold "smoke".  The items are expensive, so I'm settling for photos.
Although we saw a couple of black bears on the AlCan, they were in the distance and ran into the woods. This is as close as I want to get to one.
On our way to Anchorage we stopped at Summit Lake in a pass through the Alaska Range. Monique walked out on several inches of fresh snow on top of the frozen lake. She broke through the crust of frozen snow and sank to her knees. Fortunately the ice was still frozen.
This photo of a sign for the muskox is out of order, but I wanted you to know what that cute little baby would look like when he is grown. About the size of a  cow, the muskox are bad tempered and can be dangerous.
The two polar bears played "fighting" like our cats do. They tussled, rolled and batted at each other. The glass faced habitat allowed close up viewing.
The bears seemed to like looking at us through the glass underwater.

The bear brought a yellow ball to show us!
There were other animals that we don't see at the Houston zoo. When I return I'll share more pictures.

This week we are de-constructing the ceiling of the sactuary of First Baptist Church, Delta Junction. My next blog will have pictures.

One section of the bear habitat was underwater with glass. This bear seemed to like the people attracted to him.

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