Apr 22, 2009

North of 60 Again

Spring is slowly but surely coming to Anchorage after a winter that was made longer by the fact there really was no summer to speak of in Anchorage last year*.

After a long flight (and by long, I mean 6 hours in a middel seat) we were treated to beautiful weather on arrival - sunny and highs in the upper 40's, and this forecast is predicted to hold for the rest of the week. The snow is gone and the Mew gulls have returned and are busy setting up housekeeping on the roof-tops downtown. Sunset is 9:30 PM or so and first load of tourists arrived on a north-bound cruise ship in Juneau yesterday.

If I were going to be up here more regularly, I would absolutely ship a bike up for the summer. This is a great city for riding a bike. With a bike, I doubt very much you would need a car at all in summer. In fact, commuting by bike in Anchorage was great - much better than Minneapolis, in retrospect. The route was about 6.5 miles, of which 1/3 was on neighborhood streets, 1/3 on city streets, and 1/3 on a multiple use trail (MUP) that led into downtown. Each leg was generally safe (a few intimidating intersections, but nothing really bad), and portions were quite scenic. Of course, there are areas in Anchorage where you simply can't ride a bike safely - I would say pretty much all of mid-town (the new, office and stripmall part of Anchorage south of downtown) is very bad. Working downtown, that was never a problem for me, however.

This is a short trip this time, so likely no time for extracuricular activity, but I wanted to get an update from the last frontier because it's been awhile since I have been up here. The photo is the view out my office window overlooking 4th Ave. downtown.
That's it for now. Back in the L--48 before you know it!

* Many people that have not been to Anchorage think it is often cold and dreary (like Seattle or Vancouver) in summer, but Anchorage is sheilded by mountains and is usually very dry and mild in summer.

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