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Anchorage

        Seymour, the mascot of Anchorage

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* With a population of about 280,000, Anchorage is pretty much like any small US city.  (It’s about the same population as Plano!)  Prolific, large, brightly colored flowers decorate the quaint, downtown shopping area.  The main Visitor Center is in an historic log cabin right in the heart of downtown. 

* The Alaskans are somewhat hard on Anchorage – not because there is anything wrong with it, but because the natural beauty outside Anchorage is so spectacular that Anchorage pales in comparison.   Quote – the best view of Anchorage is “the one in the rear view mirror”.  This is a little tough, considering 42% of all Alaskans live in Anchorage.

Anchorage location

* Anchorage sits at the base of the Chugach Mountains along the coast of Cook Inlet.  Six mountain ranges can be seen from Anchorage, including the Alaska Range (and Mt. McKinley) to the north, the Chugach Mountains to the east, Talkeetna Mountains to the North, Tordrillo Mountains to the west, Kenai Mountains to the south, and the Aleutian Range to the southwest.  The city is also ringed with National Forest and State Parks.  Anchorage is as far north as Helsinki, Finland and as far west as Honolulu, Hawaii.

* Anchorage was a central hub for much of our travels.  We were in Anchorage three times, for one night each time.  We stayed in “regular” hotels and ate in chain restaurants that one would find in any US city.

* Ship Creek runs along the edge of downtown Anchorage.  We were told that the salmon were running.  Many anglers were in evidence along a long walk along the river’s edge, but alas, we didn’t see any salmon.

* There were, however, several truly great bead shops in Anchorage.  We spent out last afternoon indulging my beading habit.  We both wish we had spent more time doing that – the last shop was wonderful and we only spent a few minutes there.

FACTOIDS:
*  Size:  Anchorage is nearly the size of the state of Delaware.  Stretching more than 50 miles from the Portage Glacier to the head of Cook Inlet, it encompasses 1955 square miles.

*  Weather:
Average Temp:  July:  58.4F, Jan 14.9F
Daylight:  19 hours 21 minutes in the summer, 5 hours 28 minutes in winter
Average Snowfall:  69 inches

*  Population:  277,498 people, 42% of the state population  
LINKS:
* Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau  
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"Downtown" Anchorage Begonias
"Downtown" Anchorage Incredible Begonias -
seen pretty much all over the city
Mom Chris Jade Necklace
Outside the main Visitor Center.   This boulder is jade, which is the state gem of Alaska.  There is an entire jade mountain on the Kenai Peninsula, but alas, it is inaccessible by car. My favorite Alaska souvenir
I made this with jade beads we bought in Juneau and chain, beads, links, etc. we bought in the Anchorage bead shops.
*  Jade shop link
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