The next couple of weeks, I will be blogging from Alaska — one of my favorite places on Earth. As a lifelong hiker and outdoor enthusiast, Alaska is simply unequaled anywhere in the world for its immense and wild beauty. We arrived late Sunday night and experienced the gorgeous wilderness from the air. Flying into Alaska is always awe-inspiring as the seemingly limitless wilderness unfolds before your eyes. We spent much of the first full day biking and enjoying the city.
Before going to breakfast, we stopped in a little antique shop on Fourth Street that I wholeheartedly recommend. It is called the Antique Gallery and its proprietor is a delight to meet. Walter Earl is a major collector of guns, Native art, and virtually anything from the quirky to the divine. He has genuine items of great historical and cultural significance from the dueling pistols of Napoleon to ancient masks of Native American tribes. His collection of vintage firearms is simply amazing with some weapons that I have never heard of, let alone seen. As a military history nut, it took my family every ounce of strength to get me to leave for breakfast.
We left Walter to go to one of my favorite places for breakfast: the Snow City Cafe. While you are likely to have to wait for a table without a reservation, it is well worth it. The food is amazing from it: stuffed French bread to what may be the best has browns in the city. I had the wild mushroom omelet, which was absolutely fantastic and their house jellies are spectacular.
Stuffed from breakfast, we went next door to rent bikes. Pablo’s rental bike has a parking area in the back and they are very helpful. The rate was $25 for three hours plus $5 for every hour after that period. We then took for the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which is the best known and loved of the four greenbelt trails located in Anchorage. This was my second time doing the trail which often features moose and black bears. It is roughly 13 miles from the bike store on 4th Street near the federal building. It was a few blocks down 5th Street near the Snow Cafe. You bike through marshland, forests, and past mud flats at the water’s edge. The last mile is a steady climb to the top, which many chose to walk rather than bike. You can then take your bike to one of the many mountain trails and find some breathtaking views of water and surrounding forests.
After a long bike trip, we went to an Anchorage classic, Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse. It was a bar with a wide range of great beer and long menu. We had the great Calamari as well as the crab balls. (I liked the Calamari more). The fries are particularly good.
After some shopping for gifts, we then went to the New Sagaya City Market on 13th and I St. — a local favorite store. We loaded up for dinner and went back to our rental for badly needed rest and relaxation after a wonderful day in Anchorage.