10/1/20 – Last Day in Alaska
Well, we did it: reached 100 miles as my battery gauge went to one bar. I left just enough, I think, to get to the airport, rent the mini-van, drive back to the hotel, crate up Sunride, and get back home. For my last 20-mile ride this morning, I went back to my favorite places: Chester Creek and Campbell Trail, Moose Loop and the like. I saw lots of ducks both in the creeks and on the ponds.
I took several side trails to see places like Moose Lake, where there were lots of moose prints in the mud.
And, I did see two more moose, both female, grazing the deciduous tree leaves. I watched at a safe distance from a bridge. Trail walkers passed by. I pointed to the two moose. “They’re pretty used to people,” one lady walking her dog said. She sauntered right past them. Feeling emboldened, I rode past them as well, coming within 15 or 20 feet without cause for alarm. I didn’t stop to take photos. I wasn’t that bold.
I saw several unpaved trails through the forest. Most pedestrians and cyclists stay on the trails so I speculated these kinds of trails could be moose trails. I read in the visitors’ guide there are 1,500 moose in and around Anchorage, as well as 300 bears (mostly black and brown) 150 beavers, dozens of bald eagles, and 300 beluga whales out in the coastal waters.
The posted speed limit on the trails around Anchorage is 20 mph. I obeyed the speed for the most part, except yesterday when we feared being chased by a bull moose.
The sky cleared by late morning and it even warmed up a bit. I had left my afternoon free for a floatplane trip to Denali, but the pilot called to say even though the skies were clear around the mountain, there were 60 mile-per-hour winds up there so he was canceling the trip for the four of us signed up. Seems there’s always something with that mountain. It was disappointing news, but I kept doing what I’ve come to love most, just cruising along a beautiful trail in the woods. I hadn’t eaten breakfast this morning and by 1 p.m. I was ravenous. I rode in to Kriner’s Restaurant and ordered the “Mom’s Special,” a virtual Thanksgiving dinner. Take a look. Known for their generous portions, they could not have piled more food on the oversized-to-begin-with plate. Under all that gravy is turkey, dressing, and mashed potatoes, along with fresh corn, cranberry sauce, and rolls. Yum, yum, yum!
Every Thanksgiving the Kriner Family gives out free dinners like this on Thanksgiving Day. Last year, Mr. Kriner told me, they served 350 of them. As hungry as I was, I could only finish half of the feast. I’ll have the other half in my room for dinner. Of the many things I will miss about Alaska, Kriner’s is certainly one of them. Good-bye Alaska. I hope to return some day.