Friday, August 26, 2011

Alaska State Fair and beyond!

Could it be that time already? It seems time goes faster as we get older. So there goes summer of 2011, and it was a good one for Anchorage. We have been spared the hurricanes and tornadoes of the East Coast this year, and the weather has been a spotty pattern of sun and drizzle. That's good for our crops, and the State Fair will again be showing the results of the 23 1/2 hours of sunlight. Expect to see some BIG cabbages.

Note also that other smaller towns are vying for the attendance at fairs and farmer's market. One of the newer markets is the one in the parking lot of the famous "Chilkoot Charlies". They host weekly unique booths, plus the Mobile Mender (a lady who sits at sewing machine and does your repairs!)

Girdwood (that's Alyeska Resort town) has it's big Forest Fair in July, followed by Blueberry Fair, and this weekend is the Fungus fair. Along with costumes, you'll see mushrooms of all varieties (including the beautiful red ones that are poisonous) and taste the local delights.

Talkeetna has the Bachelor Auction and permits to climb Denali.

Homer had Creative Writing Workshops, many Art Galleries, and theatre, in addition to the expected water activities.

Seward has the big Silver Salmon Derby, and the image above shows an osprey fishing -- they are quick! Seward is also the jumping off place for cruise ships. Whittier has been added as a docking site for cruise ships, too, as it's closer to Anchorage, where you all want to go . . . don't you?

Fairbanks is the 'other' big city in Alaska, and has it's fairgrounds, and the great one-of-a-kind Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs (actually 60 miles each). The main campus of the University is there, and the campus equals many of the big guys in the lower states.

Now I don't know how I got on this quickie travelogue, but maybe it's because I'm going outside for a few weeks, and will miss all the things here. But just to keep you interested, I'm posting a few images, totally unrelated to my blog script!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer Blogging in Anchorage

If you're following my 'occasional' blogs, let it be known I've done more than what's published . . . somehow my last blog ended in cyberspace. I should take time to perfect these because I intend to solicit business for cruises and tours. I'm an occasional consultant for Why Not Travel, and just too busy socializing, I guess to pay too much attention to my webpage. However, I will say that I have a lot of scoop about traveling around Alaska, and can recommend good and bad trips. Also, I'm the president of the Alaska Council of Hostelling International, so I know the economy stops, too.

The thing about Alaska, tho', is that there are a lot of sad happenings, like outdoor activities. Surely, you wouldn't think an experienced pilot would have such a tragic weekend trip.

This picture shows the perfect family who were killed in a mid-air collision while flying to their cabin in the bush. I didn't know them, but couldn't help feel sad over this. Sure, I lost two friends last week, who were each being called in their time, and it didn't strike me as sad at this one.

The other dangers in Alaska is being attacked by bears. This could happen at any time, and even in populated areas, as they love our food goodies, even though they may have been thrown into the trash can.

I really didn't start out to sound so depressed today, but it's just the mood I'm in . .. Some good things are happening too around Anchorge. The Anchorage Bucs Baseball club is finished their season in the middle spot of the Alaska Baseball League. But some players have been called, or drafted into the majors, and the season is ending with fireworks and retirement ceremony for the 31-yr. founding father/manager of the Bucs. His successor will have big boots to fill. I have not even touched on the many great farmer's markets, fairs, block parties, and trade show and concerts, but we have all of the above . .. and too many tourists. The business people don't think so, but the locals kind-of avoid Fourth Avenue crowds in the summer. Gee, do I sound like the local curmudgeon. Not me, I love it here and am willing to share my hometown with you all, so come on up, and remember that I can be your inbound travel consultant!