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Downtown Anchorage

Today, my last full day in Alaska, I spent my time in downtown Anchorage. After a little digging, I figured out where and when to meet the bus and took it (for only $2!) into downtown. I then walked a few blocks to make it out to the Anchorage market. The flyer said their were 300+ vendors and it definitely seemed that way.

market

The largest open-air market in Alaska!

I thought the market would be mostly produce with some vendors mixed in but it was completely the opposite – which was kind of nice!

Beautiful wood carvings! There were tons of booths selling ivory, jade, and whale bone (balene) carvings as well! There's also this beautiful kind of animal bone inscription called scrimshaw that I found super intriguing!

Beautiful wood carvings! There were tons of booths selling ivory, jade, and whale bone (balene) carvings as well! There’s also this beautiful kind of animal bone inscription called scrimshaw that I found super intriguing! (check out the link – click on “scrimshaw” to learn more about it)

syrups

There were lots of locally made syrups and jellies for sale!

sled dog posing

A tent for people to pose with sled dog props! There was a surprisingly long line for this one – only in Alaska đŸ™‚

photographs

Photographs selling beautiful prints of the mountains, wildlife, and aurora borealis

fossilized trilobites

There were also a few booths selling minerals mined in Alaska (and a few from all over the world). My favorite were the fossilized creatures. I have a geeky geology crush on trilobites (top left, gray coloring). (there’s a link on “trilobites”!)

After the market, I spent a few hours wandering around downtown to shops and cafes.

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Part of downtown – outside the visitor center

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There were food trucks selling reindeer dogs everywhere!

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Another stretch of downtown – there were lots of Alaska tour companies and high-end hotels in this area

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A beautiful park I passed walking back to the transit center – there were a few scattered throughout the downtown area

Before I left, I wandered into the visitor center where I found a few museum exhibits and a short film about Denali, which was really cool to be able to see.

By the end of the day I was definitely starting to feel yesterday’s hike, so I made my way back to the transit center where I found that I had about 45 minutes until the next bus #3 rolled around. It turned out to be a nice delay, though, because it allowed me to find a little coffee shop where I got a smoothie, people watched, and read some more of my book (which I’m hoping I can finish on my flights tomorrow).

Sitting here, I’m realizing this is the last time I’m going to see the “sunset” over the mountains and it’s a little bittersweet. Everything is so beautiful out here. I’m excited to get home, but I already know I’m going to have to come back out here at some point – if only to see some of the parts of Alaska that I missed.

I’ll be flying out of Anchorage tomorrow around 4pm and arriving back home the next morning. I’m hoping to get over to Chester Creek Park again tomorrow morning to see some of trails I missed when I was first out here. I’ll be sure to post again if I do! And I will definitely be making a last post reflecting on my trip once I’m home!

Thanks again to everyone who’s been following these last five weeks!

-Hannah

 

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