Alaska: Day 3

I’m so excited to tell you all the things I’ve learned about Alaska today!

Embarking on our 3rd day here in Alaska, my body is still revolting against adjusting to the time difference and change in latitude. But I’m persistent so I’m thinking she’ll come around here anytime.

Fortunately we had a nice, slow morning – in great contrast to what I know is coming tomorrow. I always learn new things when I’m around Gayle. This morning I discovered Manuka Honey (Comvita Active Manuka Honey, 1.1 Pound Jars (Pack of 2)), which is apparently great for ANYTHING that ails you. Manuka honey is from bees who feed on the flowers of the Manuka bush, also known as the “Tea Tree” to produce a honey that has anti-bacterial properties. Tea tree oil is commonly from the related Melaleuca tree native to Australia and is used as a topical antibiotic and antifungal for wounds that fail to close.

Gayle, Bill, Ryan and I all decided to walk over to the Alaska Zoo this morning for “1/2 price Sunday.” The story about how the zoo started is worth sharing here. Rather than try to re-tell it though, let me share it through their own words.

That’s right, some crazy Alaskan chose a baby elephant over $3,000 prize money. Annabelle, the first animal in the zoo, became quite the celebrity. You can still buy her “art” in town, as she became prolific with a paintbrush and easel. There are lots of other really cool animals in the Alaska Zoo, and it’s worth a visit if you’re up this way. Incidentally, I’ve been promised that Moose frequent Gayle’s yard but haven’t seen one yet. They do have a couple at the zoo though, so at least I got that.

We returned to Gayle’s house where the maps came out and I got some geography lessons. First of all, did you know that you cannot drive TO Juneau, the capital of Alaska? You cannot drive there. You can drive once you get there, but you can only access it by air or by water. I had no idea.

Next, we are right next door to Russia but you cannot, in fact, see it from your house here. Not even in Wasilla. We’re right on the edge of the Cook Inlet, and tomorrow we’ll be driving south, with the Turnagain Inlet on our right and mountains on our left. I don’t want to spoil tomorrow’s post by getting ahead of myself though, so I won’t say more now.

Things have been abuzz here in Gayle’s house all afternoon, where we welcomed close to 60 family members tonight for spaghetti dinner. This woman is a machine, so of course all of the sauce was cooked on Thursday and carefully packaged and kept for today. She has made a dessert with rhubarb from her garden.

Gayle also has “singing bowls,” each of which play the exact tone of the body chakras (CRYSTAL SINGING BOWLS – SET OF 7 QUALITY QUARTZ -NEW!!). They get unbelievably loud and literally vibrate your soul. I’ve never experienced such.

We’ve just concluded the extended family dinner. The Roth family is spectacular and I am exhausted. We have to be up at 4 a.m. in order to catch the 6:30 a.m. Whittier tunnel opening (more on that tomorrow), but for this reason I write no more and am turning in for the night.