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Anchorage Here We Come!


A decked out moose greets us at the Visitor Center.


July 19, 2017

It was 8:15 a.m. (PST) and we were ready to board our flight to Anchorage, Alaska. After spending five days exploring beautiful Seattle we were ready to start our two-week Holland America Alaska Land and Sea Journey. In 2013, we embarked on a week-long cruise along Alaska’s Inside Passage and vowed we would return.
It was a beautiful sunny day as our Alaskan Airlines flight taxied the runway and then soared into the air for our three-hour flight to Anchorage. It was a smooth flight — just a few minor bumps as we flew low over the mountains ringing Anchorage. When we arrived in Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport we met up with Holland America representatives who took charge of our luggage and whisked us off to a comfortable coach bus for our ride to our hotel.

At the hotel, we met our journey guide, Kayli, a Vanderbilt graduate from Wisconsin in her late 20’s. It was Kayli’s third year leading an Alaskan Land and Sea Journey so we knew we were in good hands. After an introductory briefing, she handed us our first information packet of the tour. It was filled with our itinerary for the next day and information on exploring Anchorage.
Rodge and I checked into our room, donned our rain slickers and ventured out into a sixty-degree rainy day. We headed for the Visitor Center, a large log cabin with a sod roof covered in flowering grasses. There we jumped on a trolley for an hour tour of the city. The red car rolled through historic neighborhoods and by the famous Alaskan Railroad. We watched seaplanes splash-land and take off from Lake Hood and traveled through Earthquake Park. We were on the lookout for moose along the way.

The route took us over many streets that were devastated during the 1964 earthquake. Over the course of four minutes, on Good Friday the 9.2 magnitude quake split roads, uprooted trees, and started a landslide that sent many houses into the waters of Cook Inlet. In Earthquake Park you can still see the earth ripples left over from that singular event. In the area there is no evidence of any residential housing, only hilly landscape covered in forest.

After the trolley car tour, we headed to the State Visitor Center. Since it was connected to a Federal Courthouse we had to go through a security screening similar to what takes place in an airport. The center was excellent with displays about Alaskan wildlife and geology. Lots of taxidermy skill was on display including a huge polar bear. We ended our stay watching a 45-minute film about the Klondike Gold Stampede. After dinner, we retired for the night to rest up for our eight-hour long train ride to Denali National Park.




We arrived in Anchorage on Alaskan Airlines.


On the red trolley for a tour of the city.


Our view inside the trolley.


Hood Lake where seaplanes land and take off.


Anchorage. Air crossroads of the world.



One Comment

  1. Comment by Kevin:

    I always appreciate it when visitor centers provide proper lay of the land…externally via the roof and internally through it’s guide books and maps!

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