The Ambassador of Girdwood

Well, maybe not the Abbassador of the whole town of Girdwood, but I’m starting to feel like the Ambassador of the Alyeska Hostel. I’ve been here a few days now, and have thoroughly enjoyed the oppportunity to meet the many travelers that have come and gone. As I’ve learned where things are within the hostel and around town, memorized the Wi-Fi password and which bathroom has the best showerhead, I feel like I’ve become the greeter and guide for the short timers. It’s definitely been a pleasure to talk with them and learn of their adventures.

A few have come and gone with little communication to anyone, but others feel as I do, that the interactions makes it all the better. Yesterday’s guests that left today include Laura from England and Haddon from Australia who have 2 year work visas for Canada and decided to quit their jobs in Whistler, BC to explore Alaska. They’ve been hitchhiking, camping and hiking for 11 days now and guestimate the will be back in Whistler in three weeks or so… when they run out of traveling money. I didn’t ask, but I’d say they are in their mid to late 20’s. Very admirable.

Other guests I met were Philip and Eva from Berlin, Germany who rolled in last night and were lucky enough to find one bunk available. They are on their way back to Germany after spending some time at The Rock Island Lodge, Philip’s fishing and hunting lodge on Kalgin Island off the Kenai Peninsula. I started talking to Philip about putting his lodge on AIRBnB and VRBO, but considering he’s so far away, he’s not very concerned with having the lodge generate money. Sensing my enthusiasm, he asked if I’d like to run it for him. I responded that I wasn’t interested right now, but after an amazing morning walk, the thought of doing something like that sounded more tempting. The island has all of the mainland wildlife – but no bears! Alaska in the summer and Mexico in the winter? Hmmmm. And to think this journey is just beginning!

Over the past couple of days, I’ve explored Girdwood on my bike and walking. It’s a nice little town where everyone seems friendly. Two establishments must be mentioned, Aroy-D Thai Food and The Bake Shop. Aroy-D Thai Food caught my eye as I rode by and the pictures will show you why. I’ve never been served a meal on wax paper wrapping, but after tasting how delicious the pad thai was, he could have dumped it on the table and I still would have enjoyed it!

The Bake Shop is known for their soups and “free refills” as well as their giant cinnamon rolls and sourdough buns.

This morning I went for a walk up the street to see the waterfalls I was told about. I’m not sure which was more amazing, the waterfalls and the surrounding forest or the Mama moose and her two munchkins that I saw on the way…

There were so many beautiful things to photograph around town so I’m going to present a variety of pics below for your viewing pleasure…

Something I had never heard of before, is the Salmonberry, a yellow/orange rasberry shaped fruit. They can be found everwhere around this quaint little town and they are delicious!

Thanks again for following me as I explore the world that presents itself to me as I head south. Tomorrow I will be giving up my Ambassadorship and heading to Portage, a little town that has a train depot where I will board a train headed for Whittier, AK. At one time, the train was the only way people could get to Whittier (other that air or sea), but now, automobiles can get there in between scheduled trains. Apparently there is a tunnel that takes 20 minutes to go through. Bikes and pedestrians are not allowed. And so the journey continues…

12 thoughts on “The Ambassador of Girdwood

  1. Chris,
    Your adventure is a wonderful read every evening. Thank you for sharing! The photo’s are amazing! Be careful of the Moose! I hear that they can be quite territorial! (Perhaps that’s only during mating season? idk, LOL)
    As for the bears, I am sure you will see many on your journey ahead. So exciting to live vicariously through your travels! Stay safe and aware, and above all else, God Speed my friend for safe travels ahead and wonderful memories!
    Tina

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  2. Another fine account of a great day in Alaska. Glad you enjoyed Girdwood. It compares favourably with Whittier, but you’ll find that out for yourself in a bit. Tailwinds!

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  3. How cool that would be to run a lodge on an island! Hunt, fish, hike! Peace & tranquility! Many new adventures & opportunities await you!! Somebody’s got to do it! Might as well be you!!

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