Monday, June 14, 2010

Anchorage Guest House and Tony Knowles Trail

June 13 - midnight in Anchorage (4 AM Cinti) - arrived at Anchorage Guest House. The picture was taken without flash - sun sets but it never really gets dark during the few hours between sunset and sunrise. Right to sleep after a long day of travel!

Above is Andy Baker, owner of the hostel. Really nice guy -great sense of humor and very playful with the kids. Keeps a very clean place and is really helpful. A Pittsburgh native, he's become the Alaskan outdoorsman with great stories about being chased by moose and encounters with bears. Is a performer too - singer, songwriter, guitarist. Didn't get to hear him play though.

Here is a picture of Michael pointing to some of our destinations on the map hanging in our room.

Hiked part of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Lots of birds! Below is a Bald Eagle being chased by gulls.
Black-billed Magpies (below bottom left) are all over. They're loud but I thought they were beautiful. We also saw a pair of Red-necked Grebes, Greater Scaup, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs (Lesser is below right) and a Green-winged Teal. My favorite was the Arctic Tern. Watching it maneuver as it prepared to dive for food was incredible. It travels from Arctic breeding grounds to wintering grounds off of Antarctica each year. It may cover 25,000 miles - the farthest yearly migration of any bird.