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April 28 - May 6, 2003
In April I got to go to Anchorage, Alaska for a week of work.  Since I've tagged along on a couple of Eric's nicer trips, he decided to do the same.  
He came up toward the end of my week at work and we stayed on for four days of vacation.  We saw lots of beautiful mountains, glaciers, wildlife,
and some old friends.  It was a nice trip, as you can see by the ton of pictures I took below.  

The view out my hotel window the first night (complete with the reflection of the curtains!)  The sun set around 11pm and rose sometime before 6 - I didn't try to get up early enough to find out exactly when it came up!  
  The mud flats in the Cook Inlet.  The tide here is the second largest in the world, changing 38 feet two times a day.  Sometimes the whole inlet is filled with water, other times there's this long expanse of mud.  

Everyone warned me about the mud.  It's very dangerous because people go out there at low tide and get stuck in the mud, then the tide comes back in and drowns them.  After hearing a story like that, this is as close as I went!


This is a one of the views out the 15th floor of our office.  Anchorage is surrounded by mountains on   three sides and the Cook Inlet on the other.  It's very beautiful 
This shows the ConocoPhillips office, it's the tallest building in Alaska


My friends Stephanie & Toby Erickson invited me over on Tuesday night for a walk on the costal path.  We had a nice walk and a great visit.

 Here are Steph and Toby now!!

 And us girls, reliving our old dancing days
On Wednesday we had a meeting, followed by a group lunch.  It was very fun, we even ate outside - I couldn't believe it!  These guys are my new friends, they were all so great.  Very friendly and quite tolerant of my many rants.  The picture on the left was taken in the atrium/entrance of the building and is of Scott Lapiene, Robert, Phil Long, and Wayne Manuel.  The other picture shows the same four plus Brian Palenske.  I really enjoyed working with these guys, what great attitudes they had.


 Here was the first moose I saw up there, he sauntered right out in front of my car.  By the time I turned my camera on I was left to take a picture of moose butt.

The other picture is taken of the city skyline from a point near the airport, I rented a bike and rode almost to the end of the costal trail.  It was very nice.

Thursday night I went up to Flattop and took these pictures.  (Above and below) Afterward I went to Potter's Marsh?  I can't remember what it was called, but it was a short walk with a nice spot for sitting.  I was trying to stay awake until midnight when I had to go meet Eric's plane.  That was the only night I was ever out after dark!
This is just a shot of some trees that I liked.
 Friday Eric went rock climbing while I went to my last day of work.  
Saturday morning we headed north.  We started the day with a short hike (which are the only kind Eric will take) to Thunderbird Falls.
 Thunderbird Falls  


   Farther North...
 Cute little tiny Post Office  

A view of Matanusca glacier from the road
   And here we are up close.  It was beautiful.
 The cliffs made out of dirty black ice that we hiked through to get to the glacier
This looked so strange because it's totally clear below the pebbles.
It felt like they were suspended in the air so it was creepy to step there.
           Another shot of the clear ground
 Single rocks in their own little ice puddles and my toe for scale Checking things out
 Eric and the glacier  

Eric always has to climb to the top of things
   Is he sexy or what?

A very nice shot of the glacier from up close


We had a nice lunch here after viewing the glacier
  Me with a roadside waterfall
Saturday night the Eriksons had us and the Keskulas over for dinner and to solve the problems of the world.  We're hard at it in this picture here... Steph doing cleaning up duty

Views from our drive on Sunday - South to Seward   




 Eric, enjoying the hospitality of our B&B, Ptarmigan - run by Sharon & Tom Sunday night we attended "Hound of the Baskervilles" by Seward High School 

Our first sighting of the day was the cutest -
three sea otters playing around and checking us out.
Monday I went on a glacier cruise, Eric went fishing.    

This is a bald eagle
in her nest.  Sorry
for the poor picture
quality.  I wish I'd have
taken my "real" camera
with it's super zoom.

Sea Gull

Neat rocks on the shoreline
   Two pretty waterfalls

Me, bundled up on the boat
  I forget the name of these birds, but they have one of the longest
migration patterns.  Otherwise they look pretty normal.
 This is two eagles, one way up an on the left, the other a little lower Here they are again, a little closer (and blurry!)

A bunch of gulls on some rocks
 One more shot of the eagles, they were posing for me

Sea Lions, sunning
out on a rock



These were white-sided dolphins, they played around our boat
for quite awhile.  There were at least 30 of them, it was cool.
This is one of the glaciers we saw
but there was too much ice to go 
very close.
This is one of four black bears
that we saw.  You'll have to trust
me on this one, he looks more
like a spot in the picture!
 A big block of ice that had calved off the glacier  

This is about the most we saw
of the two whales we encountered
that day.  We found two gray 
whales, but they wouldn't come
very far out of the water.
   Another glacier



And a third glacier.  This was the biggest of the day.
These all came from the Harding Ice Field which is
leftover from the Ice Age.

This one made a super loud cracking noise when we were
there, it sounded just like an Oklahoma "thunder-boomer."

Nothing fell off but just hearing it was very cool.  This thing
was enormous.



This was that other gray whale.  
They were just shy and not coming 
out of the water for us.
 These are shots Eric took back near Anchorage on his climbing day  
   Here we have pictures from Eric's fishing trip with Aurora Charters
 We have front & back looking views from the boat... And a shot of his 'burly' sea captain, Cathy


 I think there is a mountain goat in this picture but he's hiding very well.  Sea Lions

And a final shot of some Sea Lion butt
to end our show.

Late Breaking Pictures:  These came in late, but in Eric's opinion, they're the best pictures of all!

Eric caught two Halibut in no time.  One weighed 73 pounds and the other 62!



I want to mention that the lady who runs the Chickadee B&B went 'above and beyond' for us on our last day.  
She was very kind to us during the 12 hours we were trapped in Alaska, which is a topic I don't want to discuss.  
Let's just say that Northwest Airlines SUCKS and I will encourage you to never give them your business again.  


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