Lyn & Joanne's RV Adventure to Alaska travel blog

 

Sculpture in front of the center

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rod & Athabascan girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Today promises to be a full day. A nice tour bus picked us up at 8:30am, for our trip to the "Alaska Native Heritage Center". This is a place where the native Alaskans learn, teach and preserve their heritage. It is OK in Alaska to call these people "Eskimos", but apparently frowned on in Canada and some other parts of the world. These are the Athabascan's, who are composed of many tribes, and each tribe had its own geographical presence. We had a short introduction by one of the native docents, and then had a demonstration of Eskimo games by some of the youth. The games they demonstrated for us, were mostly for fun, but did serve to keep them in shape over the long cold dark winters of Alaska. It was told to us that there is an Eskimo Olympics competition held each year. Mostly for fun, but records are kept and world records are recognized. One very hard looking game was where the individual would have to hold himself completely off the ground with one hand,like a one handed push up, while reaching up and touching an object higher and higher overhead, without losing his balance. Another was to jump from one foot , kick an overhead object with the same foot and land back on that foot. Very difficult to do, but they were good at it. We also watched some dance performances by the young ladies of the group. Outside, they had a native village of sorts, with a small lake, and the typical housing used by the various tribes. Native crafts were also demonstrated along with kayak building. The grounds were beautifully kept, and they had members in their native dress at some stops to explain their heritage. The gift shop had some very nice and very expensive items in it. We then went on a 1 1/2 hour tour of Anchorage with our bus driver narrating at points of interest along the way. Two things that were interesting to me was when we went by the area where homes were totally destroyed in the 1964 earthquake, the largest ever recorded at 9.2 on the Richter scale. The other was the Lake Hood float plane base, the largest in the world having some 800-1200 float planes there at any one time. The takeoffs and landings are controlled by the tower at the main Anchorage Airport. We saw quite a few take off and land in the short time we were there. We then went to lunch at the "Sourdough Mining Co." where we were served Chicken and ribs, family style, with an ice cream bar for desert. After lunch we were given some time to walk across the street to the "Alaska Wild Berry Products" store where they had all sorts of candies, home made fudge and other gifts, etc. Also, the worlds largest, "Chocolate Fountain". We then got back on the bus and left for the "Anchorage Museum", which had a very large and complete collection of Alaskan historical artifacts and excellent dioramas. Our docent was very knowledgeable and a gifted speaker. She made it very interesting for us as she led us through the time periods in Alaskan life. Joanne has come down with a bad cold and I didn't think she should have gone on the museum portion of our tour but she did, and managed to back to camp, where she can rest. We had a 6:15pm briefing for our Monday move to Kenai, AK. The park had a free music and food deal going on at the pavilion so we had a hamburger or hot dog, and retired for the evening. Tomorrow is a free day, and we will see if Joanne is up to anything, or just rest due to her cold.



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