Back from Alaska!

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by phoebe, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. phoebe


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    Cook At Home
    Hi everyone! We’re back from our trip to Alaska, and all I can say (well, not ALL I can say ;) ) is that if you ever get the chance, GO!!! The places we went are staggeringly beautiful, and the people are warm, interesting, and helpful. Here’s a few (really, only just a few) highlights:
    In Girdwood (a funky ski resort and hiking area 45 minutes south of Anchorage,) our B & B owner (who was all of 40 years old) entertained us for a couple of hours with stories of commercial fishing all over Alaska from the time she was 8 or 9, washing clothes in a creek twice a year, shooting a bear for food, riding with her mother the pilot, etc.
    We hiked to and admired glaciers around Portage.
    Went on a magical hike in Seward that took us through forests, then opened up into mountain and water views.
    Had the best pie of our lives at Summit Lake Lodge ("fruits of the forest" pie)
    Saw our first bear in Homer. While driving to a hike at the nature center, a black bear cub ambled into the road a few feet from our car. He looked at us as we gawked at him, and then he scampered back into the woods.
    Had a ball at the State Fair in Palmer with the giant veggies, the animals, and the “backhoe rodeo.”
    Spent a few intoxicating days in Denali at just the right time: the jaw-dropping fall colors were out, but the mosquitoes and tourists weren’t. And on our last night there, we got to see the Northern Lights.

    I could go on and on, but there was one evening in Anchorage I wanted to share with CTers. One of the guests at our B & B there was Brad, a baker who’d just returned from five months at a fish camp. He’d baked over 7,000 loaves of bread (all by hand and by himself) along with other bakery goods including French pastries. He’d be up at midnight and wouldn’t get to bed until 8 or 9 p.m. (the guy had never been one to sleep much apparently). He’d never been to culinary school, but was self-taught and learned on the job at hotels, bakeries and wherever else. Our hostess was also a caterer, and when she found out that Brad made bread sculptures (a few of them several feet high), she cajoled him into giving an impromptu class in her kitchen for her, another caterer and us. The poor guy; he hadn’t seen his wife in 5 months and she’d just arrived from Denver the night before. But he gave the class and was amazing! He kept protesting that he’d never taught anyone anything except to show assistants how to do things he didn’t want or have time to do in the hotels. But he was great. Just using cooking shears to transform lumps of dough into crabs, lobsters, and lizards. And then he showed how to make bread bowls with gorgeous leaf designs for salads or soups. Realize that the guy looked like he'd just fallen off a Harley after a 12-year ride, but his work was delicate, skillful, and whimsical.

    Anyway, thank you to everyone who helped me plan this trip, especially Chrose! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
  2. chrose


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    Professional Chef
    Welcome back Emily! I'm glad it went well. Your description really brings back memories and makes me want to move back all over again! It truly is an amazing place. I'm looking forward to pictures and stories!

    If you hiked the mountains around Girdwood you'll notice all the mountain streams flowing through, my dear departed brother in laws ashes are buried under a tree next to one. Can't imagine a better place as that's where he spent a good deal of his time.

    Did you go into the city? Did you see my old restaurant The Corsair?

    Do tell when you catch your breath!
  3. mezzaluna


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    Cook At Home
    Wow! What an experience! Ours was much different (okay, we were Princess tourists), but we got to see some mindblowing scenery and some pretty big cabbages to boot.

    Next time, we'll go for a trip more like yours. Welcome home!

  4. nicko

    nicko Founder of Staff Member

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    Former Chef
    That sounds awesome I have always wanted to go to Alaska. Thanks for sharing.
  5. cook-jetto


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    Welcome back