Urban Hiking (v): aimlessly walking around a new city with no real destination in mind.
One of my favorite things to do in a new city is to just set out walking around and see what I see. If you remember back in Edmonton that was the plan but the weather got in the way. Well these two days in Anchorage, the weather has been amazing.
The RV park is on the edge of downtown right by the train station and near a river filled with Salmon. So I decided that would be the first stop. I didn’t see any salmon, but it might be the wrong time of year. The train station was crawling with people on cruise ship tour buses, but was still fun to walk past and see the Alaska Railroad tour trains.
After that I walked up the hill into the heart of downtown. It’s a smallish downtown for the size if the city and there are no massive skyscrapers (I think the tallest building was maybe 20 stories). I wandered past fun boutique restaurants and coffee shops, great city parks, and a couple of fish markets. And then it was time to head back to the bus to check on Pepper and grab some lunch. After lunch I organized the bus a bit and relaxed on the couch with a good book.
Around happy hour I wandered over to the 49th State Brewery. It’s a local brewpub that actually started in the Denali area, but they opened a new location here in Anchorage. I’d heard the beers were good and the food is amazing. And it was! There must have been 15 things on the menu I wanted to try. But traveling solo I needed to pick one… or two. I settled on the beer cheese dip and the crab stuffed Jalapenos. Fantastic. I had a seat on the rooftop patio and the views were amazing.
After 49th State, I decided to wander into another bar/restaurant that I’d read about – The Bubbly Mermaid. It’s a Champaign and oyster bar. I’m not a huge fan of Oysters, but they serve Alaskan Oysters, so I thought it would be worth checking out. They have a huge selection of Champaign and many of the bottles are sold by the glass. Which is great because I only needed one glass. And one oyster. It was tasty. And cooked, so it was less slimy than oysters I’ve had before.
After that, day 1 in Anchorage came to a close.
Day two started off super lazy. Pepper woke me up and I fed her and took her for a short walk, but then I went back to bed and slept for another hour. It was divine. I think I was just worn out from white knuckle driving to get here that it all caught up to me this morning. I actually parked the bus when I got here two days ago and I haven’t moved it since. That’s been a nice treat.
I was really lazy all day. I read. I took a nap. I did a load of laundry. And then around 5:30 I decided to go out and rent a bicycle and ride the coastal trail which runs 11 miles down the coast. A number of people had told me it was really pretty and full of wildlife like bears and moose, so I thought that would be the perfect thing to do today. And hey, it stays light so late, it wouldn’t be a problem to ride 22 miles. Just up the street is a bike rental shop. The guys were really nice and rented me a hybrid bike for 3 hours for $18. They set me up me with a map, helmet and lock too, just in case. I set off about 6pm for the trail. The ride was pretty easy and mostly flat with a few small hills. It definitely is really pretty and even though everyone said to watch for bear and moose, I never saw either. But that’s ok. It was a cool tour and I got some great photos of downtown Anchorage from the trail. It took me about 2 hours (with some stops for photos). I returned the bike and headed back to the bus to make dinner.
Tomorrow morning I head for Seward for two days, then back to Anchorage to pick up my first bus passenger! Then we head north to Denali National Park.