June 13, 2009
The alarm went off at 4 a.m. this morning. Two and a half hours sleep is simply not enough. But this was no time for the snooze button. I rolled out of bed, showered, and was dressed by 4:30. My wife and I had driven to Albany last night after attending my cousin's wedding in Poughkeepsie. The thought was that we would be able to get more sleep and avoid the hour-long drive in the morning. One out of two isn't bad I guess. By 4:45 I was checked in, by 5:00 I was through security, and by 5:45 I was seated on the 6 a.m. flight to Detroit. Twelve and a half hours, 4095 miles, and three naps later I stepped foot in Alaska for the first time.
On Friday I had checked the weather forecast for Anchorage and was disappointed to see overcast with a 60% chance of rain all day long. I did not want to spend my first day in Alaska confined to a hotel room and unable to experience the outdoors that has made this state famous. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised when on approach to the Anchorage airport I saw nothing but blue skies and mountains as far as the eye can see.
After checking in to my hotel, I decided to head downtown and rent a bike. Anchorage has an amazing array of bike trails that would allow me to see the majority of the city in the little time I had. I rented a Trek mountain bike from Pablo's Bike Rentals on the corner of 5th and L, grabbed a bite to eat at the F Street Station, and set out to see the city. I rode the length of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail from its downtown start along the banks of the Knik Arm and the Cook Inlet around the airport and back to the hotel, about 25 miles in total. I arrived back at the hotel around 9 p.m. with some tired legs and a sore bum. Pablo needs to upgrade his seats.
After a quick snack from the convenience store across the street (a frozen cappuccino and some Reese's peanut butter cups if you were curious) I settled in to write this entry. I plan on getting up early tomorrow, watching some World Cup soccer, and having a morning bike ride before I return the bike to Pablo and fly to Dutch. I do not think I will have any trouble sleeping this evening.
Good night from Anchorage.