Alaska, Washington and Oregon
Saturday, Sept 12th

We packed up our supplies and drove out to Logan Airport, Boston, Mass. We're getting pretty good at this packing stuff now - one big and one little tagged bag, a backpack apiece, and one small carryon. The backpacks held the camera and binoculars, plus gatorade and various snacks. Rule 1 for flying: drink tons of liquid! Your body dehydrates really quickly in a plane and the last thing you need is to be screwing up your health before a trip! We got to Logan OK - no traffic at all! We signed in, and waited for the plane, around 1pm.

We flew down through Dallas, TX. We'd done this route before - rolling hills, Blue Ridge Mountains, (Shenandoah River?). Patches of farms, blue rivers. We landed in TX, had to switch planes, and then were off on uncharted ground - flying up to Seattle, Washington. The pilot and stewardesses were incredibly unhelpful in identifying anything at all, but what a landscape! Fields squashed into spaces between the foothills of small mountains. Even stranger, while the fields were blocked into squares, only circles within the squares were plowed! Sometimes a half or third was of a different color. Very, very strange.

Clouds rolled in, so we didn't see much of the rockies. We landed in Seattle to a lovely sunset and a gorgeous view of Mt. Rainier, 14,400 feet tall. It was marred by the hugeness of Seattle/Tacoma - two cities that had essentially merged into a collosal barrage of light. Then we were off again, in the dark across another batch of cold water, up into Anchorage. This was even more cloudy despite my desperate attempts to glimpse rugged coastline and icy glaciers. Finally (11:45pm) we began our descent. We peered out the window, waiting, then poof we were below the clouds and Anchorage, brightly lit up, was before us along the coast. To its east were the Chugach mountains - medium sized, averaging the height of Rainier. Go figure.

When signing out the car, I was sad to notice that in addition to most other roads in Alaska that were banned (poor condition), they didn't want us riding on Denali Highway. This is a great east-west dirt road between Denali park (where McKinley is) and another road. Well known for its animal life - it goes into the "bowl" of the Alaska Range instead of cutting through it. The lady there looked at me surprised. "You'd really want to go on Denali Highway?" I doubt she'd ever thought of going there. Alas.

Trappers Trail B&B
We gathered our stuff and headed out into the Chugach - our B&B was the Trapper's Trail, nestled in those mountains. 15 miles out of the city, and we were in wilderness. Quiet woods, past the Alaska Zoo and now into national forest. The B&B was built with huge windows facing down over Anchorage, and a huge deck in back over a quiet lake and beyond it, the Chugach mountains. That's our bedroom, lower left, with the side shades drawn. The enter second floor front is the living room.

We entered and met Hans, a very friendly and congenial host. He and his wife led us to our room - and what a room! It was raised, and the entire west and north wall were pretty much window. Anchorage lay like a glowing jewel against the sea, while to the north, a hint of the Alaskan range shone. We went to sleep.

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