I'm a couple days behind on the blog so here goes.....we bailed on the half marathon on Saturday and ran the 5 miler, which is actually 5.6 miles and I got 5.92 by my Garmin GPS watch. The race was pretty uneventful except for some pretty steep and unexpected hills. One of the marathoners we met had a moose run alongside him for about ten minutes and another bunch ran into a bear - no confrontations, it left peacefully. I couldn't believe the amount of runners who were with the Team In Training Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. There had to be at least a few hundred of them, and in total they raised something like five million dollars - we met two survivors out on the course who were three and eleven year survivors, just amazing. After the run we grabbed some food and headed downtown for some real food. Anchorage has an outdoor market on weekends with a few hundred stalls of local vendors and artisans. Lots of neat stuff, native crafts and a bunch of crazy meats (reindeer sausage is actually pretty tasty) and local foods. I had read that when the salmon are running there's a river
right near a downtown hotel that locals fish from. It's called Ship Creek, and after we bought our rail tickets we headed up to check it out. There were easily fifty fishermen within eyesight and I imagine that carries on for a mile or so up and down the creek. And the salmon aren't even really running yet, though we did see four catches. We found a local microbrew and had some lunch - jono ate this crazy muskox cheesesteak which disgusts me now just thinking of it. We came home and I passed out at 7:30 and was done for the night! We had to get up early to make the train for our tour up into the mountains, more tomorrow!
The Raven and the BearThere's a raven on top of this bear's head - the story goes (in a nutshell) a halibut showed a bear how to make a fishook if the bear promised not to eat him. The bear kept the hook in a pouch. A raven, seeing how much salmon the bear was catching asked what was in the pouch to which the bear replied "a secret". So the raven poisons the bear, steals the hook and the bears pelt which he proceeds to wear to catch fish. Tingit children are warned not to let anything take their fish or they will starve in the winter so they start pelting the "bear" with rocks. The raven unveils himself and gives them the first halibut hook. SO that's the story of the statue, which I didn't know until well after I took this picture of Jon. I sort of wish I'd never learned it, would have made this picture a lot easier to add.
Totem Polepretty self-explanatory, these things are all over the place. We saw a small one being carved in Whittier before we left on the boat.