The last week of summer and beginning of fall in Alaska bring on an almost electric atmosphere to many residents. You would think with long winter’s length that a sense of dread would be filling the air. That’s just not the case.
But, don’t think for a moment, we didn’t send summer out with a bang!
Last Week of Summer
Jeff had the last week of August through labor day off this year. With the exception of a working trip to Seward, I had the time off too.
The Alaska State Fair fell during the week so we continued our obsessive fair tradition and went twice: once alone and once with the kids. As usual, we ate WAY too much and spent a small fortune.
The highlight was the pumpkin weigh in with the champ setting a new state record at a whopping 1469 lbs! I have no idea how they grow them that big. Jeff is trying to figure it out so he can compete. Pretty sure you’d need a chainsaw to carve it and a few hundred pie plates for pumpkin pie!
We’re pretty fascinated by large Alaskan vegetables! The lady who thought she had a competitor in the cabbage division woke up to find a moose had chowed down on it one morning.
For our overnight in Seward, Jeff and I took Saige with us. I think she enjoys it when she’s a spoiled “only child”. They played while I worked.
Saige wanted to go to the Alaska Sealife Center to see the new Stellar Sea Lion Pup, and ended up playing “chase my finger” with a curious Harbor Seal.
Jeff was happy to find a ‘Bucket of Butts’ at Thorn’s Showcase Lounge. It’s a relative dive of a place (think Vegas meets The Last Frontier), but the lightly battered fried halibut chunks were spot on delicious.
On the drive down and back, scenery didn’t disappoint with the last of summer foliage and just a hint of fall colors.
Aurora and Belugas
Jeff and I took one day while the kids were in school to drive down to Alyeska. I’d heard on the news that the beluga activity was pretty high. That was an understatement.
We parked the car at Beluga Point and walked across the train tracks to the rocks jutting out into the ocean. The sun was bright on calm seas with belugas surfacing everywhere! They follow the salmon up the Turnagain Arm with the tides. I was able to get some pictures between 50-100 yards off, but missed one that surfaced about 15 feet in front of us.
After about an hour and a half, we headed down to the resort for our favorite margarita pizza and creme brûlée. Not a bad date at all.
The icing on the cake for our last week of summer was the amazing early season Aurora displays that graced us 4 nights in a row. What a show!
I’ve come to the understanding that I will be perpetually tired with light all night during the summer and looking for light at night during the winter. I guess that’s what Sunday naps are for.
Bring on Fall and Winter
The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, and ski sales are in full swing. Hunters are hunting, animals are migrating while we are swapping summer gear for winter.
The last week of summer was indeed a memorable one…now, bring on the snow.