August 13 and 14th, 2011
I reached Anchorage without incident. Finding the HD dealer was tricker. I think it is the only one that I haven’t seen tons of signs telling everyone where it is. Or maybe I just didn’t know about the others, since there weren’t lots of signs. Any I got there before the closed and got a tent site for the next two nights. I also found out there was an REI there, and it was close to the dealer. After setting up my tent I rode over to see what they had and do some research. They were closing but one of the sales people still talked me through the amazing advances in sleeping bag and pad technology in the last 30 years. I took down a lot of information, placed one bag on hold (it was the last one they had in stock) and went to get dinner.
Honestly the food was so-so, but it had ambiance
After dinner I slept one more time in my old bag. In the morning I packed up it and my air mattress, and shipped them back to WI from the UPS store conveniently across the street from REI.
During dinner I had sent a few texts about the bag choices and settled on the Big Agnes Lost Ranger, it has been awesome since and I haven’t been cold once since using it. In fact, I have generally felt much better, and wonder how much being cold at night while sleeping was affecting me.
I also got a Hennessy Hammock tent, since carrying the Nomad back into campsites was a chore. I have wondered a few times since getting it if it was something of a mistake, given it’s size. But so nice, I don’t think I could go back to a ‘normal’ tent. But in the interest of lighter packing I thought I would give the hammock (which is about as light as it gets) a try. Since I got it at REI I have a return-without-question option when I get back to the states.
Since I was in Anchorage I decided to find Alaskan Leather, and get a new strap for my buttpad, it wasn’t really elastic anymore. The ladies at the store gave out a few cries of grief seeing my old pad and said I needed a new one…after they got done playing with Blue
Blue also approved of the new pad
Last chore was to top off my oil, which had been a little low in the morning.
I wonder if it will make it louder?
With my chores done I went to find lunch. All day people had been telling me to eat at some place called Bear Tooth. I got directions (Everyone seemed to know what I meant, even when I got the name wrong. It is apparently the place to go in town) and got there for a late lunch
It is a strange place. Inside there is a Mexican place that serves pizza, and family style restaurant, a pub/grill, and a two screen movie theater.
After lunch I decided to check out the Anchorage Museum, which was interesting if tiny. It had a cool Mammoth / Mastodon exhibit as well as a lot of native-people’s stuff
Rain coat made from ‘mammal intestines.’ Yay for textile.
Blue got to climb on stuff.
Blue said this was what is father looked like, but I didn’t believe it. According to the plaque these bears had gone extinct 10,000 year ago.
After the museum I went back to the camp, made some dinner, and got to try out my new bag. So nice.