This was our flight day to Anchorage, Alaska. We had a minor delay at DFW, but arrived safely at the destination. One of our larger suitcases arrived minus a wheel, which proved to be a challenge until the last day of our travel when John’s friend offered a luggage cart which was SO much appreciated on the final legs of the trip. After collecting our luggage at the Anchorage airport, the shuttle from airport to hotel arrived quickly and we were soon settled into the Ramada Inn Anchorage.
The hotel has been recently updated with spa-style shower and decorator touches in the rooms but maintains a historical feel with the many framed photos from early years of the city. The shuttle bus driver gave an interesting commentary as we traveled through the downtown area in route to the hotel. The city has a marked walking tour path with large markers along the way. The Wendler Building is a notable site, with a dog statue just outside on the edge of the street. This is no ordinary dog statue, but the marker of the Iditarod’s ceremonial race starting point. The statue is intended to represent all sled dogs, but is often associated with Balto the Wonder Dog. Balto claimed fame in the wilds of Alaska as the lead sled dog for the final leg of a treacherous journey delivering diphtheria medicine to Nome, Alaska in 1925. This medicine was then used to successfully combat an outbreak of diptheria. This journey by sled is commemorated annually in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
The Alaska Statehood Monument is a very small park at an intersection near the hotel. In this park, a bust of President Dwight Eisenhower commemorates Alaska achieving statehood in 1959. This park is small but rather scenic. The Alaska Railroad is just a couple of blocks away and very visible (great vantage point for photos).
We had dinner at the Slippery Salmon next door to the hotel. John enjoyed Reindeer Hot Dog for dinner and I had a hot bowl of delicious salmon chowder. We visited with another traveler who was wrapping up a week of independent solo travel and shared stories of the many locations she had visited. This only caused us to be more excited about the week ahead!