|Friday 4-24. It is snowing AGAIN. Predicted it will turn to rain later today, but for now it is ocvering the ground. Well, this is Alaska. Baking sourdough bread today. Started the starter a few days ago. The whole Valley of Anchorage is getting ready for their annual clean up week. Its a community wide event held for 5 days, with compettion between businesses, schools and clubs. The cities provide the orange bags and then have different locations during the week where people can bring their trash. There is quite alot of trash left after the snow disappears. Last year the Valley collected over 40 tons of garbage. They also have Free Dump Days where locals can bring their heavier stuff to the dump free of charge. You actually see people along the road collecting trash. They have one evening for the family with door prizes for the most recyclable collected or most trash collected. It all ends on a Saturday, with a community picnic, prizes and awards.
Tuesday 4-29. Some observations after our 2nd week here in Wasilla. Some leaves popping out, looks like aspen. The paper (white) birch have buds but no leaves as yet. Pussy willows showing their fur. Some snow on the ground but mostly in the wooded areas. Drivers much like they are in most of he continent: fast teenagers; tailgaters; guys who can't stand to be passed; lots of cars with winter damage such as mufflers that don't muffle, and body dents. Many of the residential side streets are not paved. Gas prices went up another dime today to $3.81. Soon the weather will reach the 60's and it will be time to explore. We are going south of Anchorage to Seward hopefully to see some grey whales. Early spring is the only time to see them as they migrate in May farther south. Whales can be seen most any time, but different varieties at different times of the year. Everyone has told us to dress warm. Louie is not going on this trip and will be boarded at Dogtopia. Its a motel for dogs, with a 10x10 room, couches, rugs, radios and TV's. They let the dogs run free during the day in a fenced up area unless they don't behave. Its pretty special and our Louie made himself right at home when we went for a visit. He seemed very happy there.
The trip down to Seward was vey nice. Lots of small avalanches, some which had to be plowed away from the highway. It is a two lane road most of the way with beautiful views of snow capped mountains and evergreens. Locals say it is the most dangerous road in Alaska, as the tourists often stop right on the highway to see wild life, and the roads are very curvey potentially resulting in an accident. There are several small villages along the way each with their unique flavor. The average population for these villages is about 200 people who make their living in the tourist business. There are some artist or craft shops, some cabins and several country stores that serve as vistor information places, grocery store and local museums. They are very interesting places to stop at and get some local color.
We saw a moose when we took Louie to his "suite". On our boat trip we saw Orca whales, sea lions, mountain goats and eagles. The weather was windy and rainy. Swells were 4-5 feet making the boat trip bumpy. But overall it was a very interesting trip and the City of Seward is getting ready for their busy and short summer season.