Saturday, July 23, 2011

Girdwood, Alaska

About 40 miles south of Anchorage is the small community of Girdwood.  Like many of the small villages and towns in Alaska, Girdwood got its start when someone came to pan for gold.  In this case, it was James Girdwood who came 1896.  Today, Girdwood enjoys tourists during both winter and summer.  Surrounded by Chugach National Forest, hiking trails are numerous, fishing is a favorite, and for bicyclists there is the Bird to Gird biking trail.  In winter, there are plenty of cross-country ski trails as well as downhill skiing from Alyeska Ski Resort.

We spent the morning just wandering around.  Our first stop was the Alyeska Resort Hotel.  The folks staying there are experiencing a whole different Alaska trip from what we’re experiencing.  Ours may cost about the same as their trip, but ours is lasting 3 months instead of a week.  Without question, it was a beautiful place.

The rest of Girdwood
Next, we stopped in at the post office to mail a card and buy stamps.  The post office may have been the largest building in town.  As we were pulling out of the parking lot we noticed a building across the street which had the look of a coffee shop.  We grabbed the Lonely Planet guidebook, but The Grind wasn’t listed.  In we went.  What a cool place; part coffee shop, part internet cafe, part used book store.  We were the only tourists there; everyone else were locals and they all knew each other, of course.

Our other stop in town was Crow Creek Merchantile.  It’s the only grocery around, but by looking at the prices, I’d say you might be better off to drive into Anchorage.  We were hoping for an assortment of food, hardware, sundries, and gifts, but about all we found were groceries and toiletries.

The flowers, even along the roadside, are just beautiful.  The fireweed and daisies have about taken over.  The businesses and townships also decorate with flowers, making an ordinary stroll along the sidewalk a remarkable experience.  I couldn’t resist making a few more pictures.

Alyeska Resort Hotel
We decided to stay at home this afternoon and it turned out to be the best decision. Dark clouds rolled in and it’s been raining for several hours now.  I think we have this to look forward to for the better part of next week.  We can’t complain, though.  Our weather has been perfect for almost two weeks.

Tomorrow, we’re moving up to Wasilla.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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