10 Days of Heat - Anchorage, Alaska





Welcome back to 10 Days of Heat!



Almost two weeks ago I left Tokyo, Japan, in order to work on my scavenger hunt items I needed to pick up:





So if I thought the 12 hours' flight from Switzerland to Japan was never ending, the trip from Tokyo to Anchorage took 14 hours! Interesting map with Japan being on the "left side", right?





Don't get me started on the time difference. First I went seven hours forward, and now 17 backwards!? 

Also it's summer in Alaska, and it basically never gets dark. So confusing. I just want to get some sleep! 


At least I missed the longest day on June 21st: the sun was basically up all the time between 4:20am till 11:40pm.


I don't want to complain, though. 
On the shortest day of the year (December 21st, winter solstice) there's only 5.5 hours of daylight, can you even imagine? Sunrise is at 10:14am, and sunset at 3.42pm. 

How do people not get depressed?  

Maybe because they get to see those spectacular Northern lights?


Photo Source


Let me tell you about Geoffrey, a guy I met at the Brooks Lodge when I was staying at Katmai National Park. 


Photo Source

He had the most scary but also most exciting and touching encounter, check this out:




Aren't those cubs the most adorable thing? I asked him to take me back to the location he met them (remember, I had some bear poop to collect!) 

As we were walking, he told me he did some research on bear poop. Did you know you may determine whether the droppings were from a brown (coastal) bear or a grizzly? How?

Turns out grizzly bears are found in inland Alaska and mainly eat berries, insects and nuts (they are not vegetarians, though, if needed, to they will munch on moose, elk, goats and sheep, too) while coastal brown bears love their salmon.

There are more bear types you may meet: 

Kodiak bears have been isolated since the last ice age and live on Kodiak, Afongnak or Shuak islands in southwestern Alaska. These island have an abundance of salmon, so Kodiak bears have an easier life and therefore a larger population. 

Black bears live in the forested areas, oh, and let's not forget polar bears although you'd have to travel far up north to see them as their habitat is sea ice. 

If you're interested in more bear facts check out this page.

Back to the poop. There was this scientist who dried bear droppings, mixed them with soil, planted it and waited... she got tons of sprouts!!! You'll also see pictures of different varieties of bear poop in the article. I'll spare you ;-) 

What I did in order to check my assignment is getting some candy. In Canada they like to sell chocolate chips and label them as  "Moose Droppings", and it looks like in Alaska they do the same thing for bears.

In the shop right next to the candy I also found a pair of fuzzy warm Mukluks boots. Can't wait to wear them!

Now that I was done with the stuff I needed to do, I took a day trip to the Valley of 10,000 Smokes where in 1912 the Novarupta Volcano erupted and another one to Cooper Landing to try and catch some Kenai salmon. 




Unfortunately I wasn't any good at it so I purchased some nicely deboned, skinned and ready to enjoy salmon I ended up sharing with Liza who couldn't make the day trip. She had a post to finish! But we sure had an awesome happy hour with a fantastic view, already making plans to fly to the East Coast!

Be sure to check back soon and now please head over to our host's blog and read the other contributions!



PS: Here are a couple of tips on how to react should you encounter a bear (entire article here):


  • If you encounter a grizzly, do not run.
  • Avoid direct eye contact.
  • Walk away slowly, if the bear is not approaching.
  • If the bear charges, stand your ground (you cannot outrun it).
  • Don’t scream or yell. Speak in a soft monotone voice and wave your arms to let the animal know you are human.
  • If you have pepper spray, prepare to use it.
  • If the grizzly charges to within 25 feet of where you’re standing, use the spray.
  • If the animal makes contact, curl up into a ball on your side, or lie flat on your stomach.
  • Try not to panic; remain as quiet as possible until the attack ends.
  • While in bear country, be aware that you may encounter a bear at any time.
  • Be sure the bear has left the area before getting up to seek help.