Day Four: Trains and trams

Tuesday, I took a tour of the National Archives and Records Administration Alaska Regional Office. It is a lot smaller than the photoarchive at Seattle, where I interned, but the staff was very nice and helpful. Since I was there, I decided to do a little genealogy research about my great-uncle Franklin Fehr, who was in the U.S. Navy during WWII and was declared MIA after his plane crashed. We were able to access the information on Fold3’s website, since NARA has a paid subscription. We were able to find several entries in Military War Diaries that mentioned the plane crash and the search for the air crew. Apparently, he was on air patrol out on the Aleutian Islands almost to Japan with about 7 other men when their plane began experiencing mechanical failure. Their plane went down and after four days of searching, they nor their plane was found. His name is on the Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial. http://www.fold3.com/page/529991331_franklin_e_fehr/

We ate lunch at the SeaGallery, a local seafood place, and I got my picture taken with a bear–the same bear that Daddy and PeePaw (Daddy’s dad) had their picture taken with when they visited a few years ago. πŸ™‚

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I then had a meeting at Ahtna, Inc., another one of the Alaska Native corporations. The meeting went very well, and I hope to remain in contact with them after I leave Alaska.

We visited the historic train depot of the Alaska Railroad in downtown Anchorage, which is where PeePaw worked for 16 years. It was really neat getting to see where he worked while he lived in Anchorage. He started out on the bridge gang and moved his way up to carpenter and then foreman.

DSC_1357Very close to the Alaska Railroad depot is Ship Creek that runs through the middle of downtown Anchorage. You can go out and fish for salmon right in the middle of the city! It’s a pretty amazing sight.

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We decided to drive south of Anchorage and visited Potter Marsh, a wetland area with a boardwalk that allows you to walk out over the marsh. I was really hoping to see a moose, but still no luck. We did see some geese, ducks, salmon and other birds. It’s hard to believe that it’s right outside of Anchorage city limits.

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We continued our drive further south to Beluga Point, where I had hoped to see some beluga whales but still no luck. I think all of the wildlife knows I’m coming, and they hide. 😦 We continued driving around Cook Inlet and drove down to Girdwood, where the Hotel Alyeska Resort is located. Everywhere you go is a stuffed animal of some kind. This polar bear looks like it is really in it’s natural habitat. And what do you know, I found a real moose to take my picture with. πŸ˜‰

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It’s a real moose this time. πŸ™‚

The Hotel Alyeska is a ski resort with a tram that you can ride to the top. We barely made it before they stopped selling tickets. I’m not sure why but the ticket agent gave us a deal on the tickets. We were able to ride up for the price of one! Every little bit helps. πŸ™‚ I’m a little scared of heights, so I was a little unsure of this. It actually wasn’t bad. The tram itself was large and could fit 20-30 people, so it was nice and sturdy and only swayed when it passed the tower holding the cables. The view from the top was incredible and definitely worth the trip! However, the mosquitoes were waiting for us and swarmed us when we were out walking around. They are way bigger than the mosquitoes we have back home! The day was so nice, and we made it back to the hotel about 11pm with the sun not completely set. I could get used to these long Alaskan days.

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