The First Day: Arctic Valley Ski Area, Anchorage
Updated: 10/18/98 - Fixed broken link.
On the first day, we all went up to the Arctic Valley Ski Area, which is located near Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage where Doug is stationed. From this vantage point, there are a lot of beautiful views.
NOTE: Most of the pictures are links to a larger version of that picture, so click away!
The views of Anchorage are quite nice, as you can see:
The reddish color on many of the mountains in the fall is created by a plant called Fireweed. This plant changes to a bright red in the Autumn. Here is a picture of this strange-looking plant:
There are also lots of blueberries on this mountain, and a few other odd plants. Here is a picture of some small white mushrooms surrounded by other native plants
Of course, our main mission on the mountain was not to look at stuff, but to gather blueberries for a blueberry pie. Ever the victorious hunter, Doug is shown here with some of our catch.
Nate, shown below, keeps a careful eye out for the steep edges of the cliffs, as our hunter occasionally gets distracted by the hunt and ventures too close (blueberries can be VERY elusive prey). As you can see from the second photo, a fall would be a bit of a problem (this is pretty much a vertical drop).
But the scenery turns out to be very distracting, so our intrepid hunters take a final look before rejoining the rest of the (very patient, but eager to take the blueberries and go back home) party at the base of the mountain. On the way down, we saw a parachute-glider who had found a faster way down.
On our way down, Nate paid so much attention to the scenery that he fell down a trail, got a blood blister on his hand, and scraped his knee. Fortunately, the damage was not serious, and he just limped around looking a little pathetic for a couple of days.
In the evening, we picked up the remainder of our party at the Anchorage airport.