Sunday August 27: Trapper Creek to Anchorage
In Search of King Crab
This has been a low-key final day.
We got up, went over to the main lodge, and had breakfast. Then we loaded up the car.
They had a short trail to the “treehouse”, and I was curious what that would be like. Amy and I hiked up it. The “trail” was more of a well-maintained path, with lots of stairs. It climbed to the top of a small hill. At the top, the “tree house” was more like a small chalet, with a deck that presumably had good views of Denali. Of course, the only thing we saw was white.
It was overcast but not actually raining. I changed from my hiking boots to sneakers, and we headed south. As we drove, we got occasional bits of light rain or drizzle.
We stopped roughly halfway in Wasilla at a “family diner” for lunch. Then we continued down to Anchorage. Sam found some reviews that really panned our upcoming accommodations. In particular, they talked about bed bugs. We decided to look for alternate accommodations and probably to eat the cost of the original ones.
We ended up at a place next to Ship Creek. It is a more industrial area next to the railroad, so it was a bit cheaper than other places. It seems acceptable, although the A/C seems a bit musty.
We brought all of our stuff up to the room, and then Amy and I spent a short while wandering around Ship Creek. There were lots of gulls, some of them gutting salmon, so the smell was rather less than pleasant.
We called the restaurant where we were planning to get the King Crab for Sam, and the message gave when they were open, and Sunday was not listed. We checked around and decided to go to the place that we ate the first evening we got here, but the earliest reservation they had was 8:45. (Another late dinner!)
We packed up our suitcases, which was slightly challenging, as they seemed to be significantly heavier than when we arrived.
Amy and I drove a short distance to the center of town, parked, and walked around. We were rather amazed at the size of the homeless population. What do these people do in the winter?
We had seen a number of murals covering the sides of buildings when we were leaving a week ago. We tried to find them now so that Amy could photograph them, but we couldn’t find them.
Coincidentally, we ran across the restaurant that we had originally planned to visit. Strangely, they seemed open. We went in and made inquiries. The earliest they had reservations was 7:45. We thought about changing our plans, but as we had liked that other place, we left the plans intact.
We got tired of walking around, and we returned to the hotel. We have about another hour to kill before we leave for our late dinner (which seems to be a hallmark of this trip).
We left the hotel around 8:00. We filled up the tank with gas, and then we drove to the vicinity of Elderberry Park. That was an entrance to a bikeway/path that ran along the water’s edge. It was also right next to our restaurant. We went down to the path and got a good view of the mountains of the Alaskan Range. Then we hiked back up the hill and went in to the restaurant. It was only 8:30, but I figured (correctly) that they could probably seat us slightly early. The worst that could have happened would be that we would sit there a bit before being seated.
As planned, Sam ordered the king crab. I got scallops, and Amy just got a little from Sam and myself. They also served us warm sourdough bread with softened butter. Interestingly, it was there that we had our first dinner in Alaska and our last.
We got an added bonus. There was a large bank of windows facing west, across the water, and as we were waiting for our order, the sun dropped below the clouds and gave us a truly wonderful sunset. People (including us) kept going up to the window to take photos.
We were expecting (like in Chile) that Sam would get a whole crab, or maybe half of a crab. When the plates came out, Sam just had two legs. However, they were fairly big legs, and in the end, there was enough meat on them, that Sam had enough, and Amy had her fill of the scraps.
The damage wasn’t quite as bad as I thought. I think the total came to about $185, but with tip it was $221.
We’re now back at the hotel. Time to hit the sack. Then we need to get up fairly early and start on our way to Seattle.